MAA NEWS MAA NEWS Grows Edition 2017_w - Page 15

Getting the Most Out of GROWS MAA’s Executive Director, Virginia Wood, CMP , shares her tips for getting the most out of your New England GROWS experience. When you and your team attend GROWS, it’s helpful to realize that there are actually three big opportunities: education, exposi- tion, and networking. Plan ahead and you will come away with a treasure trove of valuable information. Everything you need to get business done is under one roof. CONFERENCE TIPS ● GROWS offers 30+ traditional seminars presented by expert practitioners from around the country. Couple that with Sprint Sessions, the Skills & Safety Arena, and Ask Extension on the trade show floor and you’ll find hundreds of opportu- nities to connect with industry thought-leaders. Research the conference presenters in advance, reach out and set up a time to talk at the show ● From APLD to SIMA, virtually every accrediting organization offers CEU credit at GROWS. Plan your time wisely and you can take away enough credit to cover all your recertification needs. ● Take advantage of the Speakers Unplugged program that allows for one-on-one time with industry experts. ● • Shake things up (e.g. designers go to installation talks, hardscape guys head to plant talks, IPM folks go to pruning sessions). This idea opens the mind and stretches thinking. Everyone has an assignment. Split up your team and charge everyone with coming back with at least one great idea. EXPO TIPS ● Trade shows are not the same-old, same-old any more. Every supplier wants to talk to you and has something unique to offer – including great deals. ● Do your homework. Don’t just wander through the show. Check the online exhibitor list in advance. Look at who is offering new products that can improve your efficiencies and bottom line. Compare your current suppliers against their competition. Get to know the people behind the brands. ● GROWS participants often comment that it takes a couple of days to really get through the show. Make the time you need to do just that. ● Divide and conquer. Task your team members with making key connections. Then meet up, exchange information, and circle back to close the deal with vendors. NETWORKING TIPS ● Step outside your comfort zone. You can literally meet thousands of green industry colleagues at GROWS. What an amazing opportunity to spark conversation, make new connections, and find out how others are dealing with similar challenges! ● Reach out. Turn to your neighbor in a conference session, or in the coffee line, with an opening question ready, like: “what was your top take away from that last program?” or “I’m look- ing to upgrade my management software, any advice?” or “how long have you been in this crazy business?” ● Stay for a while! Don’t jump in your truck and head back t FRff6RBBVRW"GW7G'&RvVvf 6&rf&FBFV27F6&VBBvw2RRfV&R6F7BFBv6''RvV&WBFR6fW&V6RvFFRvFR'&b'GVFW2VFVB&fRFP&vvW7B֗7FR( fR6VV2( G'rFFB( &R7FVF&R7G&FVv2WFƖRW"v2F&vWBW"&V2b66W&FW"&W6V&6FVFgvRvBF6VRB6WBWFW2FVWBFfFRB6VW"FVvfRW'6VbFRFWW&V6RWfW'Fru$u22FffW"eDU"DR4dU$T4P)xVWBWvFW"FVVFW"BFR6r"&6BFP6WfW'R6&W2vBR"6RV&VB6W76FBFVvWG2FVw&FVBFFR'W6W72f"FR6֖pV")x6V6FW"vVW&VW7F2ƖSvBFBRV&vv2B'FCvBG&VG2FBR6VSvBF@RV"g&FW'3rFW2B6&RFvBv^( &PWW&V6rW&RBW"6琮)xFVG&FvF7&gB7F"VvvVVBvFVW7F2ƖSv2vrF6F7BFB7V6f2fVF#rFvR7FFV6vF&fW76"6֗FF&VvWBFPV#v2vrFvWBFB7GVFVB&7V7BW&Rf"FW "FW&66vR66f6RW"F6Rv&f"W36vf6B6vRV267FrvFRWBB7G&WF6rWrv2&FW"F&VƗRFRgVFVFbu$u2&Vv7G&Ff"u$u22V&Vv7FW"V&ǒb6fRW7F6FR&V6W'Ff6FB6FVrVGV6F7&VFG2g&&fW76&v旦F2&Rf&PB6W762f"FRgV66VGVR"F&Vv7FW"f6@WtVvDu$u2&pUu2u$u2VFF#r