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August 22-24, Portland

2018 Farwest Show: Novelties and how to market them

The 2018 Farwest Show, August 22–24, in Portland, Oregon, will once again offer two of the show’s most popular attractions each year: the New Varieties Showcase and the Growing Trends Showcase. The showcases forecast the products and services that will influence and shape the industry in the coming years.

This year’s New Varieties Showcase, sponsored by Macore, features 60 of the most impressive new plant varieties entering the marketplace in 2018 and 2019. Attendees will find the latest in annuals, grasses, perennials, shrubs and trees. The showcase spotlights new and improved selections from around the world. Easy-to-read Macore tags identify plant information and licensed growers exhibiting at the show who sell the various introductions. Awards will be presented to contributing growers from a panel of distinguished industry judges. Also presented, the People’s Choice Awards will be voted on by attendees.

The Growing Trends Showcase, sponsored by AmericanHort, will present the latest trends in green living displayed creatively in a garden-like setting. This year’s focus will highlight simple, sustainable, and eco-friendly living through artful designs. Consumer displays and merchandising will spark ideas for landscape and garden retail. In addition, exhibitors at the show will supply the plants in the showcase making connections with the unique design trends presented.

The New Varieties Showcase and the Growing Trends Showcase are located on the Farwest Show floor and free to attendees. For detailed information, visit and

Farwest Show Retailers’ Choice Awards
The Farwest Show will once again sponsor The Garden Center Group’s Retailers’ Choice Awards at this year’s show. The Retailers’ Choice Awards takes place at major trade shows around the country each year. At Farwest, representatives of The Garden Center Group will search the show floor for the top new innovative plants, hard goods, products, and services that can make a positive impact on operations and bottom-line performance for independent garden centers.

The awards process, spanning two days (Wednesday, August 22 and Thursday, August 23), will be led by Sid Raisch of The Garden Center Group and Christina Salwitz of The Personal Garden Coach. All garden retailers are welcome to participate in the product search on Wednesday, August 22, gathering at the show registration area Lobby C under the Dragon Boat at noon for instruction and nomination forms. After searching the floor and gathering entries individually on Wednesday, the team will regroup at 5 p.m., Room C120, to compare notes and choose top picks. Winners will be presented at the Farwest Solutions Center on the show floor on Thursday, August 23, at 2:45 p.m. Representatives from companies awarded will share information on their products at that time.

To participate in the judging, retailers must pre-register. To sign up, go to

The Retailers’ Choice Award is a program of The Garden Center Group. The Garden Center Group is an alliance of 125 premier garden centers and professional products and service providers from around the country. The group is not a buying group. It is a resource for solutions to operational issues facing retailers today. The group focuses on business solutions designed to help independent garden centers increase sales, improve operations and retain more profit. For more information, visit

Information on The Retailers’ Choice Awards can be found at

How new plant introductions set businesses apart from the competition
Horticultural expert Maria Zampini will speak on the opportunities new plant varieties offer as sales and marketing tools for companies.

Zampini, the president of UpShoot LLC, will deliver her address, “Get New, Stand Out,” on Thursday, Aug. 23, 9:45– 10:45 a.m., Room B115. She will explain how new plant varieties can help nurseries strategically differentiate themselves in the marketplace. New varieties can help improve sales and set companies apart from their competitors. Zampini will point out the who, what, where, when and how of new plant introductions, including tips on how to market to consumers and other businesses.

Zampini is a fourth-generation nursery grower and graduate from Penn State with a BS in horticulture. She ran her family’s 1,000-acre wholesale nursery, destination attraction garden center and new plant research and development division. In 2009 she partnered with her father to form UpShoot LLC, a boutique horticultural marketing firm focusing on sales, marketing and licensing of new plant introductions and gardening-related products. Zampini is a freelance writer for magazines for both consumers and the business-to-business horticultural trades. In 2015 she released her first book, an ASHA award winner, with co-author Pam Bennett titled Garden-pedia: An A-Z Guide to Gardening Terms. Zampini speaks nationally and internationally on a variety of gardening topics.

Registration is required for Zampini’s seminar and available online at

Best practices in e-commerce and marketing for garden retailers
The Farwest Show has also scheduled a series of seminars that will give garden retailers informative insights on e-commerce and marketing with workshops and events. Retail experts Sid Raisch and Tina Bemis will share first-hand experiences and tips for success.

Raisch, consultant for The Garden Center Group, and president and CEO for Bower & Branch, will take an in-depth look at e-commerce for garden retail in two seminars. The first, “Look Ma, No Box: E-Commerce for the Local IGC and Their Grower,” Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2:30–3:30 p.m., Room B110, looks at e-commerce as a local experience with benefits for retailers and growers. A second talk, “When a Consumer Clicks ‘Buy,’ They Shake Up Horticulture,” Thursday, Aug. 23, 1:30–2:30 p.m., Room B113, recognizes the revolution and opportunities of e-commerce in the horticulture marketplace.

Raisch is a consultant and advocate for family owned and operated small business. For nearly 40 years, his strategies have yielded profit and success for garden centers, landscape operations and suppliers of plants and products. He is dedicated to improving and re-inventing the interdependent supply chain. In his work, writings and speeches, Raisch is a change agent, moving companies to new heights and places.

In her two seminars, Bemis, co-owner of Bemis Farms Nursery in Massachusetts, will discuss opportunities for garden centers in hosting workshops and special events. In her seminar, “Creating a Profit with Garden Center Workshops,” Wednesday, Aug. 22, 9:45–10:45 a.m., Room B113, Bemis will share workshop strategies that will instill customers with creativity and loyalty to the garden retailer. A copy of her book, Benchmarketing: 15 Ways to Create Profit from Garden Center Workshops, will be included for attendees. In her second talk, “Events vs. Promotions: Telling the Story of Your Garden Center,” Thursday, Aug. 23, 8:30–9:30 a.m., Room B110, Bemis will offer insight on the pros and cons of hosting special events and promotions and how retailers can use events to generate community goodwill, free press and profit.

Along with growing and marketing annuals and perennials, Bemis teaches more than 200 workshops a year on gardening and garden-related crafts and has written a book on the subject workshops. She is a graduate of ANLA’s Garden Center University. Her garden center annually wins profitability awards from The Garden Center Group.

Registration is required for Raisch’s and Bemis’ seminars and available online at Complete details on the 2018 Farwest Show can be found at
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