A Once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity at This Year’s GWA Conference

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Photo courtesy of Susan Harris

Is attending the Independent Garden Center (IGC) Show held annually in Chicago on your bucket list to attend as a garden communicator? If so, don’t miss this year’s incredible GWA conference, co-hosted for the first time with IGC at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier. 

Attendees of the GWA conference, taking place August 13 – 16, will have an opportunity to  also attend several exclusive IGC events, including the keynote session with Daymond John of ABC’s hit television series, Shark Tank and IGC’s Reception and Concert with the Marshall Tucker Band Tuesday night. GWA registrants are also invited to walk the IGC show floor on Wednesday, August 15 from 10AM-12PM.

If attending IGC wasn’t on your bucket list, maybe these garden communicators can convince you it should be.

Maria Zampini, owner of Upshoot Horticulture Marketing Firm: I attend every year. It is the one show where you can see both plant and gardening gift product vendors. As a retailer you can kill two birds with one stone at IGC – instead of going to a gift mart you shop IGC for gardening products and if you can’t make it to a plant show, you can pick up those items at IGC, too. Plus there is great education geared towards IGC’s. AND it can serve as an end of the summer vacation with the family. It is HUGE.” Check out Maria’s Instagram video  of the trade show floor before it opened in 2016.

Kathy Jentz, Washington Gardener magazine: “I find the IGC business topics have a lot of overlap with our solopreneur communication businesses.”

Lisa Eldred Steinkopf, The Houseplant Guru and author of Houseplants: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Growing, and Caring for Indoor Plants: “Anything you need for your garden center is in one place and all the new and upcoming products are also showcased. Plants, plants, and more plants (including all the new houseplants, of course)! Pots, and miniature gardening products, soils, lights, and seeds. It’s all there! And Chicago is a great place to be!

Katie Elzer-Peters, owner of The Garden of Words: ”I like to see what’s being offered because it indicates where manufacturers think trends and interests are going. That helps me know what types of stories to pitch or what angles to take if I want to work with businesses. I know more about what they’re trying to sell. So I know more how to sell to THEM.

Susan Harris of Garden Rant:  “It’s ginormous.”  And as you can see in a post she wrote in 2010, Chicago as a city is a great place to be, too.


One lucky person could win back the entire conference fee—if she or he registers between April 2 – April 6. Another lucky person could win free post-conference tours.

Watch your email, the GWA’s Facebook pages and other social media outlets for upcoming announcements on incentives being offered to those who register early for #GWA2018. Click here for early registration information. Registration for #GWA2018 will open Monday, April 2.

Author: GWA

GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators, formerly known as the Garden Writers Association, provides leadership and opportunities for education, recognition, career development and a forum for diverse interactions for professionals in the field of gardening communication. GWA members includes book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. No other organization in the industry has as much contact with the buying public as GWA members.

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