Columbus, Ohio ? This year’s OFA Short Course was the largest since 2008, with more than 9,100 attendees from more than 25 countries.
The Association of Horticulture Professionals says that the increased attendance is the result of increasing confidence in the economy.
This year, OFA Short Course was recognized by Trade Show News Network as one of the top 25 fastest growing trade shows and the 150th largest show in the country among all industries.
Results of post-event surveys showed that people attend the convention to see new products and plant varieties, to find new vendors, learn business and production techniques, and network with other professionals.
The keynote speakers included TV personality Joe Lamp’l and White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor Sam Kass. Lamp’l shared strategies on how to reach today’s consumers and what to say when you do. Kass focused his remarks on how gardening can lead to healthier lifestyles and the success of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign.
The convention was also an opportunity to publicly celebrate the joint venture activities between OFA and the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA). Hundreds of ANLA members attended, and the organization hosted its annual governance meetings in Columbus. Along with the OFA Board of Directors, ANLA’s board voted to pursue organizing with OFA a new horticulture trade association that will replace OFA and ANLA in 12 to 18 months. Details on the new organization will be released by the organizations as progress is made.
The next OFA Short Course will take place on July 13-16, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio, USA.