Conference Program:   Supercharge Your Business
Education Designed for IGCs ... Choose from specialized education sessions for collaborative, tried-and-tested solutions that will improve your store's bottom line.


Explore. Learn. Ignite. A Conference Program Designed for You!

Education / Speakers:   Session Schedule, Updates -- Stay Connected!


Boot Camp: How to Run a Business That Doesn't Run You!
Do you ever feel like your business has taken over your life? Maybe you thought owning a store would give you more freedom and instead you feel trapped? If you answered "yes!" then this seminar is for you!
Date: August 8, 2022 .... Time: 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Speaker: Bob Negen, co-founder of Whizbang! Retail Training


KeyNote: The Omni-Experiential Future of Retail Marketing
Now and in the future, consumers expect many (omni) ways to shop, interact, and buy from a brand. This talk is an exploration of this trend and how to get on the front (and profitable) side of this trend.
Date: August 9, 2022 .... Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m., Room 202
Speaker: Bob Negen, co-founder of Whizbang! Retail Training


Curb Appeal - Getting most out of valuable front-of-house real estate
Impressions and perceptions are formed before they ever drive onto your lot or step into your store. After hearing this presentation, you’ll never look at your storefront the same way again.
Date: August 9, 2022 .... Time: 1:00 - 1:45 p.m., Room 203-D
Speaker: Lyn Falk, Owner/President, Retailworks, Inc.


How to Master SEO and What to Know About Retargeting
Today small business owners struggle to figure out how to make time for all the marketing activities necessary to stay top-of-mind with customers and get new foot traffic in the door. In this session, Andrea Hill will introduce you to small business automation techniques and tools you can implement right away.
Date: August 9, 2022 .... Time | Location: 1:00 - 1:45 p.m., Room 203-B
Speaker: Andrea Hill, CEO, Hill Management Group (StrategyWerx)


Opening Up to E-Commerce
Let us show you how a fully integrated, custom e-commerce solution can make selling online easier, and open your business to a whole new audience, without cannibalizing your existing customers. We will provide a concrete checklist of the actions you’ll need to take to succeed when selling online.
Date: August 9, 2022 .... Time: 4:00 - 4:45 p.m., Room 203-D
Speaker: Ron McCabe, President & Co-Founder, Everbearing Services


Get Your Life Back With Small Business Automation Strategies
Today small business owners struggle to figure out how to make time for all the marketing activities necessary to stay top-of-mind with customers and get new foot traffic in the door. In this session, Andrea Hill will introduce you to small business automation techniques and tools you can implement right away.
Date: August 9, 2022 .... Time | Location: 4:00 - 4:45 p.m., Room 203-B
Speaker: Andrea Hill, CEO, Hill Management Group (StrategyWerx)


Keynote: How to Find Good Employees
Based on this ground work, your staff will develop for you the necessary job descriptions, policies, and procedures required for the successful operation of your business. Tom Shay shares this information based on his extensive 30 years as a small business owner.
Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time: 7:00 a.m. - 7:45 a.m.
Speaker: Tom Shay, Principal, Profits Plus Solutions


Keynote: Brands, Brains and Buying
David shares visionary ideas on how brand strategy, brain science and emerging technologies are changing guest expectations about relationships they want to have with brands and how companies can remain relevant in a digitally enabled marketplace.
Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time | Location: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m., Room 202
Speaker: David Kepron architect, artist, author, educator, international speaker, podcaster


Dealing with Tough Customers: How to Turn Them Into Loyal Clients
The session will encourage small group discussion, reflection and sharing of scenarios and how to deal with tough customers. This will be facilitated within the framework of how various customer challenges impact business results and employee engagement.
Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time | Location: 10:00 - 10:45 a.m., Room 203-D
Speaker: Kim Hartmann, Consultant, Hartmann Consulting


2022 Garden Trends: From Crisis to Innovation
Why should you care about trends? It’s simple. Trends drive consumers and consumers drive sales. When you’re ahead of the curve, your company becomes a trendsetter and you become the go to place for what’s new – whether you are a breeder, grower or retailer.
Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time | Location: 10:00 - 10:45 a.m., Room 201-C
Speaker: Katie Dubow, President, Garden Media Group


Experiential Merchandising: Increase Profits, Create Stronger Visual
Learn how to improve your store’s profitability and your customer’s shopping experience from the owner and Creative Director of ZenGenius, Joe Baer. Join this session to learn the best visual merchandising practices and techniques to engage your customers and grow sales.
Date: Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time | Location: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m., Room 203-B
Speaker: Joe Baer, Co-Founder and CEO, ZenGenius, Inc


Speak the New Gardeners' Language
Let's keep the 18.3 million new gardeners the industry got last year. Learn how to speak their language. This session shares report highlights, industry implications, and connections with upcoming trends.
Date: Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time | Location: 1:00 - 1:45 p.m., Room 203-B
Speaker: Katie Dubow, President, Garden Media Group


Lessons of the Decade (so far) and Where They're Taking Us
Panelists/Guests: Lawson Thalmann, Ecommerce & Technology Manager at Chalet. Hearing from other IGC professionals, they'll share lessons we want to take with us into 2023 and ones to leave behind.
Date: Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time | Location: 1:00 - 1:45 p.m., Room 201-C
Speaker: Susan Markgraf, Chief Adventurer, GreenMark Media


Creating Effective Social Media that Doesn't Drive You Nuts
Attend this session and let us show you how to create robust social media that drives customers to your doorstep throughout the entire year. Gain insight into creating content, attracting customers to your pages, and define the skills and resources needed to manage your social media!
Date: Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time | Location: 1:00 - 1:45 p.m., Room 203-D
Speaker: Ron McCabe, President & Co-Founder, Everbearing Services


Lighting, Color, Signage - Critical elements: Are you doing them right
Lighting can make or break a selling environment. Without the right lighting, you’re no doubt losing sales. Color works hand-in-hand with lighting, and makes a difference in how someone perceives your space.
Date: Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time | Location: 4:00 - 4:45 p.m., Room 201-C
Speaker: Lyn Falk, Owner/President, Retailworks, Inc.


Meeting the Needs of Today's Garden Center Customers
Now more than ever, people are getting outside, enjoying nature and getting more involved in gardening. In this panel discussion, we will listen to four typical garden center consumers discuss their expectations and needs for their local garden center.
Date: Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time | Location: 4:00 - 4:45 p.m., Room 203-B
Speaker: Kim Hartmann, Consultant, Hartmann Consulting


Embracing Change Begins with a Story
Understand why strategic storytelling for business matters, get the basics for telling your brand's story and learn why, if you aren't telling your brand's story strategically, you should be.
Date: Date: August 10, 2022 .... Time | Location: 4:00 - 4:45 p.m., Room 203-D
Speaker: Susan Markgraf, Chief Adventurer, GreenMark Media


KEYNOTE: Where Can I Find Good Employees
As you convert your current employees into good employees, you will find that the good employees from other businesses will arrive on your doorstep and will want to apply for a job. This is because the good employees want to work with other good employees.
Date: August 11, 2022 .... Time | Location: 8:00 - 9:00 a.m., Room 202
Speaker: Tom Shay, Principal, Profits Plus Solutions


Are Shipping Rates Killing You
Learn everything you need to know about shipping. Get the insights from Gretchen as she presents and interviews representatives from R&L Carriers and JA Frate.
Date: TBD .... Time: TBD
Speaker: Gretchen Peczkowski, Owner, Steel Heart, LTD


Reaching the Techno Kids Generation
You're less likely to bring them into your center, so how do you reach them. Get back to sustainable self reliance with the power of web based apps, including social media, podcasting, video training and more!
Date: TBD .... Time: TBD
Speaker: Mike O'Rourke and Scott Sandstrom, Your Midwest Garden Podcast