November 27, 2018
Last month I wrote about our preparations for the FIHOQ trade show which took place November 16 – 18 in Drummondville. The event was a big success, with record attendance on both the first and second days. (An early snowstorm made Friday much quieter.) Gardenzzz welcomed well over a hundred visitors to our booth, attended a selection of interesting conferences, talked a lot, ate too much, and happily shared our vision of a new model for the distribution of garden and outdoor living products to Canadian retailers and landscape professionals.
Our booth presented a selection of the products available on our website. Although we were not able to include all the suppliers whose products we carry, the products we did display drew a lot of attention. The AquaPop 50 foot extendable hose in a bag, the German-made quality cutting tools of Berger, and the beautifully designed and ecologically responsible EcoFurn chair were all well received.
We finished our first day of the show at the “super 5 à 7” for exhibitors. We enjoyed this opportunity to relax and connect with our colleagues. The Sneeboer Transplanting trowel with opener was put into use. A special shout-out to Bob from Berger (Growing media, not to be confused with Berger tools!), who made us feel very welcome by telling us about his many years at FIHOQ and sharing his drink tickets with us. We wish him all the best!
We had the opportunity to attend just a few of the many conferences presented over the course of the show. The “Top 10 des marchés à développer en 2019” presented by Judy Sharpton of Growing Places Marketing was one of the highlights. Judy, in her trademark straw hat and with her lovely southern charm, gave clear and actionable suggestions for garden centres working to grow their businesses. You can find the 2019 Garden Trends Report here. This is an Americain report which we believe has much to offer to Canadian garden retailers.
Friday dawned rather gray with the first real snow of the season. We attended the exhibitor breakfast and heard the breaking news announced by Jean-Claude Poissant, Parlimentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay, that the federal government has committed funding for a five year research project "Accelerating Green Plant Innovation for Environmental and Economic Benefit." A total of 10 research projects will be funded through a total investment of $6.8 million, including a contribution from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada of $4.6 million. After a relatively quiet day we were able to pack up our booth (in about 2 hours) and tackle the snow and traffic for our drive back to Montreal.
It was wonderful to meet so many of you and have the opportunity to hear your concerns and desires. We look forward to working together in the coming months. Happy ordering!