The Fall Event is all about sharing, learning and growing, and this year's event is packed full of incredible networking and learning opportunities. Our speakers are leaders in the industry – thought leaders that embody The Group spirit of ingenuity and entrepreneurial drive. These powerful presentations by inspired thinkers can shape your future in the ever-evolving world of garden retailing. Be ready to dive in, share and learn!

Although The Fall Event Program officially begins at 1:00pm on Monday, August 30, 2021, you have the opportunity to participate in other sessions Monday morning. For a list of POS User Group Meetings see The Fall Event 2021 Schedule.

Take a look at a short video compilation of our Service Provides sharing their excitement about The Fall Event!



Learn more about 
Steve Kendall

9:30am - 10:30am

Raise the Bar with Your Inbound Digital Marketing Strategy
Steve Kendall, The Design Works and Brett Callegary, Gauge Digital Media

In this session we will dive into how you can position your business to capture demand that already exists. In today’s digital world, your business needs to be easily found online when a potential consumer searches for your product or service. Topics covered will include search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search engine marketing (Google Ads).

Learn more about 
Brett Callegary

11:00am - 12:00pm

Get the Word out with your Outbound Digital Marketing Strategy
Steve Kendall, The Design Works and Brett Callegary, Gauge Digital Media 

Your future customer might not need your product or service now, but when they do you want them to know who you are! In this session we will discuss how to place your brand in front of the right people at the right time. Topics covered will include paid and organic social media marketing and email marketing.

Each session will include the importance of well thought out content creation including:

  • Messaging and copy writing including headlines, tag-lines and supporting copy.
  • Visual mediums including video, motion graphics and photography.
  • Viewer conversion through landing pages, call tracking, and e-commerce.

Steve Kendall from The Design Works and Brett Callegary of Gauge Digital Media have developed a partnering collaborative relationship to bring Gauge Digital Media’s full suite of digital marketing services and expertise to the Group. The goal of these two sessions is to give you an opportunity to have a deeper understanding of the in’s-and-outs of digital marketing. Brett and some members of his team will be on hand to present and answer questions you might have on your digital marketing efforts.

Gauge Digital Media is a full service digital marketing agency offering professional web design & development, SEO, social media marketing, and pay-per-click marketing. View the Gauge Digital Media company overview video here. Or download the Integrated Digital Marketing Solutions Overview.


Learn more about 
Danny Summers

1:00pm - 1:30pm

Welcome Session
Danny Summers, The Garden Center Group

The Fall Event is all about sharing, learning and growing, and this year’s event is packed full of incredible opportunities. Danny will set the stage for this distinctive, open forum loaded with powerful presentations by inspired thinkers that can help you shape your future in the ever-evolving world of garden retailing. This year’s focus is on RAISING THE BAR...  it’s time to analyze, shift, refine and create an effective plan to achieve your goals! This opening scene is a must-attend spotlighting your next 3 days in Wilmington!

Let's begin Raising the Bar with learning how to capture all of the inspiration, creativity, and tap into the wealth of information and knowledge this Fall Event has to offer!

1:30pm - 2:30pm

Beyond the Bar of the P&L Study
Steve Bailey & Tim Quebedeaux, RetailKPI Consulting

The Annual P&L Study is an industry exclusive and the most comprehensive profit and loss study of its kind. While the WDR Report focuses on sales and margins by category and transactions on a weekly basis, the Annual P&L Study includes sales and expenses and compares percent of sales for the garden center to both Best Practices/High Achievers Group – and the group as a whole. This study also includes Inventory Turns, Margin targets by category and the resulting Gross Margin Return On Inventory Investment (GMROII).

2020 was certainly a year of challenges and, as we discovered, a year of opportunities. The large rise in Revenues increased Profitability, but did it improve management capabilities that will carry into future years?

To answer that question and others, Tim and Steve will dive even deeper into the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) from The Group’s 2020 Profit & Loss Study. Therein lies your ability to seize the opportunities measured, that you can now manage, in order to increase your Center’s Profitability for years to come.

Even if you didn’t participate in the 2020 P&L Study, you can benefit from Steve and Tim's analysis of the numbers, ratios and trends. Everyone is invited to join this discussion that can help move your center to a higher level of success.

You can Raise the Bar by gaining a better understanding of the 2020 P&L Study – whether you participated or not!



Learn more about 
John Kennedy

8:15am - 9:15am

Raising the Bar of Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving
John Kennedy, John Kennedy Consulting

Critical thinking is imperative to success and requires careful examination, effective communication, creativity and innovation, problem-solving, objectivity and open-mindedness.

Join John as he helps explore this vital skillset and challenges your preconceived notions, including confirmation bias, as they relate to your decision-making, judgement, problem-solving and thought process.

John will raise the bar on developing critical thinking skills and offer actionable steps to immediately implement in your business in 2021 and beyond. This is a great morning coffee conversation starter and a great way to kick off the day!

Raising the Bar is a Critical Step to Success!


Learn more about 
Sid Raisch

9:15am - 10:15am

See It to Believe It!
What EXACTLY Will Be Above Your Bar in 2022?
Sid Raisch, Horticultural Advantage

“Raising the Bar” can be a hollow cliché, a wish, a dream or something you fall short of. This PRACTICAL working session will not leave you reaching into the abyss with blind hope, and half-hearted ambition, fear, and lack of confidence. You’ll be guided through six steps to envision and create a daring yet more likely future reality where you’ll envision exactly what you will do to create the future you want. 

  1. Listen to one of the new guard leaders of retail that is blazing the trail to the future no one has seen before.

  2. Critically evaluate YOUR present situation. Get grounded in reality that is now being defined.

  3. Acquire the strengths that will be required of you to meet your “Above the Bar” future.

  4. Discover why and how you will disrupt yourself before you become disrupted and end up below the bar.

  5. Discover 8 Critical Strategies to systematically create greater value for yourself now, your future self, and those who take your business where it will be going.

  6. Attack a plan of attack that you’ll take home and act upon with bold confidence (if you have the guts).

You’ll receive a preparation packet in advance of this session, and the optional opportunity to involve your entire team in an after-session to get everyone on board and excited about making THEIR dreams come true ABOVE THE BAR.


Learn more about 
Jean Seawright

10:45am - 11:45am

Raising the Bar in HR
Jean Seawright, Seawright & Associates

From mandated paid sick leave laws to essential handbook policies, new employer HR risks, must-have recruiting tactics, shifting government agency philosophies, and post-pandemic workplace trends—it’s a new day in HR!

To help you future-proof your workplace, the Garden Center Group’s own HR Consultant, Jean Seawright, will get you up-to-speed on the latest HR issues and will provide solutions for HR challenges facing garden centers. With a passion for sharing HR wisdom that helps businesses grow and thrive, Jean is sure to provide you with practical ideas, useful tips, and vital knowledge to help you minimize HR risk and Raise the Bar in your HR practices.

Raising the Bar in HR is vital for your business!


1:30pm - 2:30pm

Raising the Bar with Business Transitions
Robert Hayter, LCG Engineering

Business transition planning is an ongoing process that should be prepared for long before transitioning your business. Whether the transition is to grow, step back from, or exit the business, it is critical to design and implement tactics and strategies to support the transition.

Your business has been successful enough to have provided you and many employees a way of life for many years. No doubt you have committed significant time, energy, and money into your business from its beginning. You likely think of your business as an extension of yourself and can’t or don’t think of it without you. So, a natural question is:  Now that I have built this business, what’s it worth? Or more importantly, is the business positioned to “sell” ? At this point in your thinking, the value of your business is not on the financials alone! Ownership Transition value requires thinking differently about value.

Robert Hayter is a Master of strategic planning and implementation and he's ready to help you Set the Bar at the right height for Ownership Transition!


 3:00pm - 5:00pm

Raising the Bar Breakouts
Facilitated by Thought Leaders

Sharing and collaboration is at the heart of The Group, and The Fall Event is the perfect time to team up with our experts, other garden retailers and vendors to share new ideas, explore solutions to your biggest challenges, and tap into a wealth of knowledge 

During this two-hour session, we will open the gates to freedom of choice and allow you to pick and choose the topics of most interest to you. 

More details on topics and moderators coming soon!



8:30am - 8:30pm

The Fall Event Tour

This year’s tour day is jam-packed with garden retailing and horticulture at it's best! We’ve put together a full day tour of two of the Wilmington area's best retail garden centers, two of the industry's premier growers and a visit to Longwood Gardens – one of the world's premier horticultural display gardens. 

So hop on board and be ready to enjoy a beautiful fall day of discovery in the Brandywine Valley! Buses depart curbside from Hotel Du Pont Lobby at 8:30am and will return at 8:30pm. It will be a long day but one you won't soon forget!

Click here for details of Tour Stops.


Learn more about 
Danny Summers

8:15am - 9:00am

Setting the Bar for 2022
Danny Summers, The Garden Center Group

Join Danny as he reviews the past three days of intensive learning, stretching the mind, and expanding the vision to reach new heights in 2022. As he explores the many opportunities presented at This Fall Event, you will discover there’s plenty of ‘takeaways' to wrap up and take home!

You’ll be challenged to set new goals, take action, and Raise the Bar in 2022 and beyond. And speaking of next year, you’ll be the first to know which road will lead to The Fall Event in 2022!

But the morning doesn't end here! Next, you'll hear a familiar story backed by research but told in a very personal way... a valuable story worth repeating; a story worth reinterpreting for today.


Learn more about 
Florence Williams

9:00am - 10:00am

The Nature Fix
Florence Williams

Florence Williams traveled the globe learning about the cutting edge science behind why being in nature makes us happier, healthier, and more creative. From the horticulture therapy gardens of Denmark to the forest-therapy trails of Japan, what she learned holds many lessons for interacting with the natural world in good times and bad. 

Florence Williams is a journalist, author, and podcaster. Her most recent book, The Nature Fix, was an Audible bestseller and was named a top summer read by J.P  Morgan. She is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and a freelance writer for the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, The New York Review of Books, Slate, Mother Jones and numerous other publications. She is also the writer and host of two Gracie-Award-winning Audible Original series, including The Three-Day Effect. She also makes podcasts for Outside Magazine. A fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature and a visiting scholar at George Washington University, her work focuses on the environment, health and science.


Learn more about 
Robert Hendrickson

Learn more about 
Tom Kegley


10:30am - 11:30pm

Leveraging "The Nature Fix" Story
Robert Hendrickson, Robert Hendrickson Consulting & 
Tom Kegley, Kegley Communications

The Nature Fix story is a familiar story – a story that's been told in many different ways. We are all aware of the benefit of plants. Studies show plants improve mental health, improve your productivity, improve your learning ability, improve your relationships, boost your immune system, improve air quality, add more humidity to the home... the list goes on and on. We have the data, we see the proof – in fact, we saw evidence of the need for nature through this recent pandemic as thousands of new customers flocked to your Centers for their "fix".

In previous years, we've crafted messages of hope, joy, oasis, and paradise, but is there a better message we can tell to a much larger audience who is now listening? How can we make our customers understand that although plants have beautiful and captivating features that add visual interest to their home, first and foremost we need plants in our life. They are our closest and most convenient link to nature for a quick "fix".

Florence's research and personal experience will lay the groundwork for this creative session as our two storytelling experts, Robert Hendrickson and Tom Kegley, help you craft a story – a story to take home and put to use!


Learn more about 
Danny Summers

11:30am - 12:00pm

The Fall Event  Wrap Up
Danny Summers, The Garden Center Group

In this final wrap up, Danny will highlight the past three days of intensive learning, stretching the mind, and expanding the vision. As he explores the many opportunities presented at The Fall Event, you will discover there's plenty of takeaways to wrap up and take home!

You'll be challenged to set new goals, take action, and Raise the Bar in the year ahead. And speaking of the year ahead... you'll be the first to know which road will lead to The Fall Event in 2022!



The Fall Event 2021 QuickLinks:

The Fall Event 2021 - MAIN PAGE
The Fall Event 2021 - REGISTER
The Fall Event 2021 - SCHEDULE
The Fall Event 2021 - TOUR

The Fall Event 2021 - HOTEL & TRAVEL
The Fall Event 2021 - BEST OF WILMINGTON

The Fall Event 2021 - SPONSORS

The Fall Event 2021 - BROCHURE (Flip page with hyperlinks for viewing)
The Fall Event 2021 - BROCHURE (PDF with hyperlinks for viewing or printing)
The Fall Event 2021 - BROCHURE
 (3-Panel PDF format for viewing or to download or print)