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Portland: FarWest 2015

Well, why WOULDN’T they call it “The Biggest Show In The West”? FarWest Show was the quintessential gathering for the nurseryman (and nurserywoman…. no no, nothing to do with babysitting little kids or pre-school education), providing everything you come to expect from a green industry expo This was the show at which to discover new nursery- and retail-focused products, equipment and services, find new popular plant varieties and network with thousands of top industry professionals in the heart of nursery country. Edibles, we learned, are all the rage; consumers have been installing raised beds, planting vegetable gardens and getting in on the “grow-your-own” movement. Vegetables were hot, as breakthroughs in breeding have indicated, but consumers seem to be demanding more — and going beyond just growing their own. This year’s Growers Showcase highlighted all of the “Edible Delights” that have been getting ’em salivating in today’s garden industry. Hot vegetables, you say? Appetizing…. #FarWest2015

Check out this fabulous video from the Bougainvillea Growers Intl:

Trade Shows: Portland – BrewExpo America 2015

Hey, listen, I’ll buy you a beer in Portland.  BrewExpo America is the premier trade show for Craft Brewers, and it claims to be the only industry event that serves brewpubs, breweries, and wholesalers alike.  With 600 vendors all in one location, BrewExpo is foamy, thirst-quenching kind of a place to shop for products and services for brewery or brewpub. The trade expo is geared to providing a show environment that allows exhibitors and buyers to work on profitable business relationships, and helps brewing and brewery restaurant professionals encounter the latest and best products and services industry vendors have to offer. The conference is quite the social event, with 10,000+ brewing industry professionals enjoying craft brews together.  In fact we challenge you to point a camera there at any time in any direction and fail to get a shot with less than two people with beer glass in hand.  Cheers!  #craftbeer #cheers

Portland: Farwest Show

Farwest Show is the sought-after ticket to the nursery and retail garden center industry. This year’s Farwest Trade Show was a biggie, whether you were a retailer, grower, landscape professional, wholesale buyer of plants or horticultural services or a supplier.  There were a host of new ideas for all, to increase efficiency, sales and profitability.  Among the 800 booths, there were trends, insights, ideas, new plants and state-of-the-art products to be found. Shortages sometimes appear in the market, we were told, and some plants have been getting more difficult to find, so the Farwest Trade Show was where frustrated buyers could meet up with hundreds of the best growers in the country, and track down that elusive plant-life product.  Okay listen, I don’t know what it’s called, but there’s this cactussy-looking thing with bluish leaves that look like toothbrushes and these really weird bulbous kind of orange-and-purple flowers….  #FarwestShow

Portland: Northwest Food Manufacturing & Packaging Expo – NWFPA

NWFPA is the Northwest Food Manufacturing & Packaging Expo and this show celebrated their centennial birthday.  Organized in 1914 as a canners’ association, the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA) supports the needs of the Pacific Northwest food processing industry (Idaho, Oregon, and Washington) in a variety of food processing and packaging segments: fruits, vegetables, seafood, dairy, bakeries, specialty, juices and more. NWFPA is one of the nation’s largest food processing trade associations, with current membership of more than 75 processor companies and more than 350 supplier members. Centennial celebration events included a cocktail reception and dinner with invited emcee Idaho Governor Butch Otter, and entertainment by Capitol Steps, a popular political satire performing group from Washington D.C, not forgetting a group photo opportunity to document the turn of a century for the industry.  Can it?  Yes we can can!

Portland: Arts Marketing Show

NAMPC is the National Arts Marketing Project Conference.   The Arts Marketing Project is a program of Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America, and dedicated to creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.  There were over 675 attendees at the Conference this year in Portland, Oregon, making it a record-breaking year. The National Arts Marketing Project produces the annual conference, hosts monthly webinars, organizes regional training programs, and provides on-site workshops on a range of arts marketing topics.  The idea in Portland was to provide information, tools, and practical ideas to design high-quality, cost-effective marketing programs and strengthen arts organizations.  There were hands-on workshops to make any arts organization’s marketing as dynamic as the art itself, and teach arts managers how to spend their limited marketing dollars more effectively.  How do they do it?  Well, see, there’s an art to these things… #NAMPC #ARTSBlog

Portland: Far West

August 22-24, 2013. The FarWest Trade Show was all about the nursery and retail garden center industry. Whether you’re a retailer, grower, landscape professional, wholesale buyer of plants or horticultural services, or a supplier, you could find a host of new ideas to increase efficiency, sales and profitability.  FarWest Trade Show presenter Suzi McCoy of Garden Media Group presented her report on 2014 Garden Trends. Titled “Finding Balance in the Garden,” the report highlighted global and market trends, including the rise of the stay-at-home dad, single women homeowners and digital detox camps. It also gave an overview of lawn and garden market stats to see what segments are growing and where.  The three-day event had 15 percent more people coming through the gate than in 2012. Apparently everything in the garden is coming up roses…

Portland: New England Made Expo

March 23-25, 2013. This show is all about giftwares and specialty foods.  Giftwares?  Well, things like bottled preserves, hand-crafted pottery, basket-weave goods, artisanal jewelry, fancy cookies (we especially liked the ones shaped like polar bears and doggie bones), games and toys (try your hand with the patriotically-decorated juggling batons) and, well weird stuff;  (we’re thinking of the wall-decorations fashioned out of old vinyl LP records… VERY 1970s…!)   NEM attracts buyers from all over New England and beyond. Buyers range from seasonal gift stores, gourmet shops and gallery/museum stores to large chains, catalog and major retailers.  The show is an opportunity to meet gifted artisans, craftspeople and owners of micro businesses, who from meeting there go on to make beautiful and useful products for the home. Buying locally in this North-East region helps build more resilient local economies, and leads to improved environmental outcomes, we heard.  Doggie bone cookie, anyone…?