Back for the first time in four years, SNA 2013, held August 5 – 7 at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta, Ga., proved to be an overwhelming success based on comments from both exhibitors and attendees. The first event since 2009 for the Southern Nursery Association (SNA), SNA 2013, was a clear indication that this regional marketplace has been missed and the timing is right for this new SNA event. The mood and spirit of both attendees and exhibitors was remarkably upbeat and positive – some even commenting that this year’s event far exceeded their expectations.
The new location at the Georgia International Convention Center was well received. Conveniently located adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and easily accessible from I-85 and I-285, the newest and second largest convention facility in Georgia offered state-of-the-art meeting space and ample exhibition space with room to grow.
SNA 2013 attracted an impressive list of exhibitors and quality buyers, and serious business was conducted during this two-day event. Some exhibitors reported strong interest in their products and writing large orders before noon on the first day of the show. There were numerous new products to see and get excited about. Robert Hendrickson, The Garden Center Group, hosted the SNA Retailers’ Choice Awards presented to:
Applied Polymer Systems, Woodstock, GA – Pond Zinger
Briggs Nursery, Elma, WA – David Austin Rose Program
Hackney Nursery, Greensboro, FL – “Ebony Fire” Crape Myrtle
HIP Labels, Greensboro, NC – “Hip Clip” Large Label Attachment
Jackson Nursery, Belvidere, TN – “The Rising Sun” Redbud
Oldcastle Lawn & Garden, Anderson, SC – Jolly Gardener Tree, Shrub & Rose Soil
Roseville Farms, Apopka, FL – Clematis Plants
Season2Buy, Carbondale, IL – $eason2Buy Budgeting System
Skagit Gardens, Mount Vernon, WA – “Merlin” Helleborus and “Ascot Rainbow” Euphorbia
Southern Palms & Plants, Steinhatchee, FL – “PomNatural” Pomegranate
Walters Gardens, Zeeland, MI – “Cranberry Crush” Hardy Hibiscus
In addition to the SNA Retailers’ Choice Awards Jackson Nursery, Belvidere, TN, received Best in Show/Green Goods and HIP Labels, Greensboro, NC, received Best in Show/Allied Products.
The Southern Plant Conference saw a standing room only crowd very excited about seeing and hearing the 15 plant experts featured this year. This was the first time the conference was held in conjunction with the SNA marketplace and plans are already underway for the 2014 conference to be held during SNA 2014.
The Educational Sessions were stocked full of takeaways and proven strategies to benefit growers, landscapers and retailers. The SNA Stage, located on the show floor, featured action-packed sessions presented by leading industry experts providing attendees a chance to see the most innovative new products, get a better perspective on the state of the economy, and gain new insight on factors impacting their business.
The 58th Annual SNA Research Conference saw strong participation from horticultural researchers presenting the latest in research as the event returned to Atlanta after being held in Mobile, AL during the Gulf States Expo for the past four years. A total of seventy-one titles were submitted for inclusion in the research proceedings publication that will be available later this fall. John W. Olive, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, was presented the Porter Henegar Memorial Award by his research colleagues. Nine students received cash awards for their presentations in the Bryson L. James Student Research Competition, and the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund awarded a total $18,000 in scholarships to twelve students from across the Southeast.
Officers of the Southern Nursery Association who will service for the 2013 – 2014 year were elected during the 114th SNA Annual Business Meeting. The complete slate of officers is as follows:
Jeff Howell, President, Rocky Creek Nursery, Lucedale, MS
Richard May, Vice President/Treasurer/Director Chapter 2, May Nursery, Havana, FL
Eelco Tinga, Jr., Director Chapter 1, Tinga Nurseries, Castle Hayne, NC
Michael Hobbs, Director Chapter 3, Warren County Nursery, McMinnville, TN
Dusty Knight, Director Chapter 4, Plantation Tree Company, Selma, AL
William Boyd, Immediate Past President, Flower City Nurseries, Smartt, TN.
“Producing an event after being out of the picture for four years is not an easy task, but we feel SNA 2013 confirmed the relevance of a regional marketplace to the horticulture industry here in the Southeast,” said Karen Summers, SNA Executive Vice President. “This comeback demonstrates the resilience of one of North America’s oldest horticultural trade associations and the overwhelming support from our industry. I am confident we now have the momentum we need for 2014 and beyond,” she added.
“An association reflects its membership and the industry it serves. It’s been a long, hard road for many of us these past few years and as we rebuild the SNA we are committed to helping the industry rebuild and a big part of that is bringing our industry together to find new business and more profit through a strong regional marketplace,” said newly-elected SNA President Jeff Howell.
Sponsors of SNA 2013 included Today’s Garden Center, Georgia Green Industry Association, Martin’s Nursery, R.A. Dudley Nurseries, Nursery Supplies, Empire Turf, GreenForest Nursery, Haviland Plastic Products, Plant Development Services, HIP Labels, Bennett’s Creek Nursery, and Lancaster Farms.
SNA 2014 is scheduled for July 22 - 24 at the Georgia International Convention Center, Atlanta, GA. The Southern Plant Conference will be held on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The SNA Research Conference will be held on Tuesday, July 22 and Wednesday, July 23, 2014. The SNA Marketplace will be held on Wednesday, July 23 and Thursday, July 24. More details of SNA 2014 will be released in the coming weeks.
Founded in 1899, the Southern Nursery Association is a non-profit trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southeastern U.S. SNA provides member services to wholesale growers, brokers, retailers, landscape contractors, landscape architects, grounds maintenance contractors, interiorscapers and allied suppliers. The SNA strives to unite and advance the horticulture industry through educational, research and marketing efforts.
For more information on SNA, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the SNA website at www.sna.org.