Over at Open Register they say, " Retailers remain upbeat despite economic pressures". "Consultant Ian Baldwinâ€™s talk, 'Maximizing Profits in a Soft Economy,' drew a big crowd of retailers attending the Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago..." I would have liked to attend that seminar, but unlike many of my fellow nursery people there was no way I was going to make it to Chicago for this event. Are there others like me who find making trip away from the nursery just about impossible? The future of the trade show is to take it to the internet. Why can't we take a virtual tour of the show? Walk up and down the aisles with our mouse (computer type) and stop at each vendors booth. Aim your cursor at the booth and up comes information on that company, with links to the companies web site. Why not offer vendor specials to people touring the show virtually. Want to hear the speakers? The talks would be live, with questions from the virtual and in the flesh audience. The talks could be downloaded for a nominal fee and used by nurseries for employee training or inspiration.
While trade shows can be fun, how can the majority of small garden center owners make it all the way to Chicago? The people who can use this information the most won't be able to take advantage of it. Put it on the web where we can decide which speaker to listen to, pay the fee and learn. This would involve a lot more small garden centers that want, but just can't get away from the nursery. With the tough economic times some just can't afford to.