I’ve just returned from a week in Chicago, attending both the Mailorder Gardening Association (MGA) conference and the Independent Garden Center (IGC) Show.
It’s always helpful to compare notes with industry colleagues at the MGA conference, which we did both formally through State of the Industry and Social Media panels, and informally through Round Table sessions and networking. I moderated a round table on Best Practices for Reducing Email List Attrition; let me know if you’d like a copy of my handout.
Lisa Hodgson Balch of Sargeant House Design Studio provided insightful critiques and makeovers of several members’ catalogs. Kurt Peters, Editor of Internet Retailer Magazine shared his observations on what the future of online marketing holds. I’ll write more about what we all learned in upcoming posts.
Dozens of IGC exhibitors took time out of their setup schedule to attend an MGA member panel on How to Sell to Catalogers and Online Marketers. A summary of that program is in the works, and I’d be happy to send you a copy if you like.
Not only was I elected the new President of the MGA, but I was surprised and honored to receive a Distinguished Service Award for contributions to the organization. To top it all off, we have a new name, slated to take effect in January: the Direct Gardening Association. Many of us have long felt that “mailorder” is an outdated, unclear and/or misleading term, but it took years of discussion before we could reach a consensus on the change.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the group, visit www.DirectGardeningAssociation.com. And mark your calendar for the winter conference the week of January 23, 2011 in New Orleans. We’d love to see you there!