Last week, I immersed myself in the vibrant atmosphere of NorthernGreen, our local Landscape conference, a gathering that brings together the diverse facets of the green industry. From landscape design and construction to turf, irrigation, garden center, maintenance, tree care, and golf – it was a hub for like-minded individuals to delve into their shared passion for plants, discuss the latest hardscape trends, and network with favorite growers.

At NorthernGreen, I had the privilege of leading two design panels, one for a regional audience and another for our local designers. Crafting and presenting a set of questions allowed us to uncover insights into the distinctions in project types, materials, and approaches used by designers in different regions. The positive reception and detailed Q&A sessions were not only gratifying but are now shaping next year’s learning events.

Making time for confrences

In the landscape industry, we embrace a “season for learning,” typically coinciding with the off-season in Minnesota. For nearly 30 years, I have prioritized attending events like NorthernGreen in January, relishing the opportunity to connect with fellow green enthusiasts. The off-season provides the perfect window for many to appreciate the broader significance of such gatherings.

Fortunately, NorthernGreen is not my sole source of inspiration and education. I am also an active participant in the National Association of Professional Landscape Designers, which hosts conferences, albeit during my busy season. Despite the scheduling challenges, I make time for these events, recognizing the value they bring in terms of connection, inspiration, and growth for me as a business owner and designer.

Attending conferences like NorthernGreen and those organized by the National Association of Professional Landscape Designers allows me to dive deep into my industry, gaining fresh ideas and a clearer vision for the future. These experiences become invaluable tools that enhance my business acumen and personal growth.

Poised for growth

Understanding the intricacies of each industry may not be an expectation for everyone, but I appreciate the diversity and connections that exist within any industry. Without connecting to professionals in adjacent spaces, we would lack the knowledge needed to be forward-thinking and impactful. Regardless of the industry, active participation in the greater community fosters connections, enabling growth and improvement beyond what can be achieved alone.

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