Big Things In Store

Big Things In Store

Friday, August 17, 2012

New ideas, new products, new excitement at IGC 2012 - you’ve never seen anything like it!

Spring sprang - and sprang big. Now garden center owners, managers and staff are making big plans for the world’s largest trade show and educational resource for independents this summer as the IGC Show returns to Chicago’s spectacular Navy Pier, August 21-23. With so much new to see and do - including a full 53 hours of the highest-quality education focused on proven profit strategies - IGC is the talk of the industry.

“Registration is through the roof,” says Jeff Morey, IGC Show Co-founder and Publisher of IGC Retailer magazine. “This is going to be the most comprehensive meeting of the minds we’ve seen yet. Garden centers are revved up from this season’s record results, and they’re ready for fresh strategies and products to continue that momentum in the year to come.”

Four high-profile keynotes, a concert from Dennis DeYoung, lead singer and songwriter of mega-group Styx and a myriad of networking opportunities - all at no cost to show-goers - are drawing registrants from around the world. More than 3,000 IGC retailers are expected on-site.

In response to buyer demand for more time to shop IGC’s 1,000-plus vendor booths, the trade show is opening two hours earlier this year, at 12 p.m., Tuesday, August 21. The show floor will remain open until 6 p.m. that day, for a total of six full hours to shop thousands of products displayed across 5 acres at Navy Pier. Show hours on Wednesday, August 22, are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and on Thursday, August 23, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The extra time will allow IGC buyers to check out the show’s New Vendor Zone, a newly dedicated section featuring 100-plus exhibitors hand-selected for their creative or innovative offerings not typically seen at other industry shows or marts. Located in the peak-visibility area connecting Navy Pier’s main trade show floor to the Grand Ballroom, where the free keynotes and special events are held, the New Vendor Zone is exclusive to companies that have not previously exhibited at garden center shows.

“IGC 2012 will have even more new vendors and new products to inspire buyers, and we want to make sure they have the time to take it all in,” says Cheryl Morey, IGC Show Co-founder and Publisher of Garden Chic magazine.

IGC Know2Grow Retail Conference

Delivering the very latest actionable ideas for independent garden retail success, the IGC Know2Grow Retail Conference rolls out a roster of new speakers, new tracks and new sessions this year. During seven all-new tracks, six sessions in each, track leaders will present their own sessions and welcome two dozen industry experts, all revealing best practices, emerging trends, and innovative strategies to make garden center businesses more profitable. 

This year’s lineup of independent-focused tracks includes “Using Scent to Sell & Compel” with Russell Brumfield, “Winning the New Consumer” with Rick Segel, “Our ‘Buy Local’ Advantage” with Judy Sharpton, “IGC Retailing in a Digital World” with Kyle Lacy, “IGC Trend Spotting” with John Connel and Kevin Waters, “The Future Is Now” with Robert Hendrickson and “Management that Makes More Money” with Tom Shay. 

“You’d pay many thousands of dollars to hire this braintrust - if you could,” Jeff says. “And they are all here for attendees at the IGC Know2Grow Retail Conference. That’s 42 sessions and in-depth workshops - all in one place, all in three days.”

More to See & Do

Before the start of the show, on Monday, the Chicagoland Garden Center Tour offers attendees a daylong opportunity to network with fellow garden center professionals and energize their business with fresh retail strategies found at the IGC retailer stops along the way. Participants will sit back as the tour’s on-board moderators reveal the best practices that put these stores on top in their market, then see for themselves what makes them so special with their own look. The buses will return in plenty of time to enjoy dinner and nightlife in downtown Chicago. The tour, conducted in conjunction with The Garden Center Group and IGC’s Clint Albin is known for selling out; early registration is encouraged.

Wednesday evening, the IGC Show Classic Rock Concert Series welcomes Dennis DeYoung, a founder of the legendary rock band Styx, to the Grand Ballroom Stage at Navy Pier. “Dennis DeYoung: The Music of Styx” will showcase the band’s greatest hits spanning the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, performed live by DeYoung and his six-piece rock band. They will rock the IGC Show crowd with top 10 hits including Lady, Babe, Come Sail Away and Too Much Time On My Hands, plus classic rock anthems The Grand Illusion, Renegade, Blue Collar Man, Suite Madame Blue, Rockin’ The Paradise and more. 

“Back in my rock journalism days, I did a three-and-a-half-hour interview with Dennis after a gig in 1978. He is a huge talent and personality,” Jeff says. “Those were indeed the best of times, thanks to the musical genius of talents like Dennis who shaped the music of the day. These are the hits you’ll continue to hear on the radio 20 years from now. We’re thrilled to have Dennis at the IGC Show this year.”

For more information or to register for the IGC Show, visit online at