Cultivate'16




Attendees came from 34 countries and represented all 50 U.S. states, culminating in nearly 10,000 attendees. A record number of emerging professionals - over 1,000 - were in attendance. Additionally, numerous industry groups such as Garden Writers Association, ECGC Distributors, Society of American Florists, America in Bloom, Royal Netherlands Embassy, CropLife America Group, and CalPoly Alumni convened at Cultivate. Over half of those attending Cultivate are major decision makers in their company, making Cultivate the perfect opportunity for the discussions and decisions that drive the industry forward. Twenty percent of attendees made purchases onsite, while 55% left with the intention to purchase in the next 6 months.

Besides networking, doing business, and exploring new products, seeing new varieties was top of everyone’s list. More than740 new varieties made their debut at Cultivate - from annuals to trees to tropicals. The 130+ education sessions were well attended and praised for their relevancy, engaging speakers, and strong takeaways. In addition, attendees earned continuing education credits for pesticide applicator licenses (for 40 states), LA CES credentials, and Landscape Industry Certified credentials.

Cultivate’16 was not without its external challenges. The Greater Columbus Convention Center is in the midst of a $125 million dollar renovation. The renovation adds over 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, multiple session rooms, and additional parking. The redesigned center will celebrate local artists through art showcases and will feature local food vendors in the Food Court and Cafe. “The convention center expansion has perfect timing. Cultivate’16 featured 623 companies and had a wait-list of companies wanting to exhibit,” says Sherry L. Johnson, CEM, CMP, AmericanHort Vice President of Knowledge and Business Development. “The expansion will allow more companies to participate in this industry-wide event, enriching the experience for everyone who attends. With the event going on its 87th year, it’s important to us that it keeps bringing the entire industry together.” The convention center expansion will not only allow for a larger exhibit hall but will provide space for each industry segments to gather, network, and share ideas.

Additional new features include a new product pitch stage, a centrally-located Member Center, increased meeting space, and upgraded New Products and New Varieties Zones. Ken Fisher, AmericanHort President & CEO, who experienced Cultivate for the first time this year, was impressed by the industry at large. Already looking forward to next year’s event, Fisher shares, “Cultivate’17 is the industry event that brings the entire professional community together to make an even greater impact. The horticulture industry -- from retailers, to producers, to installers, and suppliers -- is a powerful force.” Cultivate’17 is July 15-18 in Columbus, Ohio. Registration opens March 2017

Walk the show floor virtually or browse the session catalog and download handouts.


Cultivate'15

Participants from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and more than 20 other countries representing Africa, Asia, Central America, Europe, Middle East, Oceania, and South America gathered in Columbus, Ohio for Cultivate'15 on July 11-14. The largest all-industry horticulture exposition and convention in North America recently concluded with approximately 10,000 attendees. This year, attendees saw more exhibitors, an expanded collection of business-building programs, and the presentation of several industry initiatives.


The programs and activities this year included a larger "Retail District" to accommodate more companies to exhibit products and services for local garden and floral retailers, and related hands-on workshops. The "Live for Growers" pavilion offered multiple lectures and demonstrations for growers. Three all-day tours were organized on the first day for participants to visit model garden centers, greenhouse facilities, and nursery production sites. Specialized educational tracks and exhibitors were also arranged for florists.


Premiered at Cultivate'15 was the AmericanHort SHIFT initiative. Along with the Horticultural Research Institute, the two organizations are conducting research and developing strategies to propose how the industry needs to react to a new generation of consumers. A 3,000 square foot exhibition was constructed, and it included insights and strategies that are an introduction to forthcoming programs and resources for the organization's member companies. The association also brought visibility to its "Grow Wise. Bee Smart." A campaign with numerous presentations on sustaining pollinator health and increasing the use of pollinator-friendly plants. As a founding member of the National Pollinator Garden Network, AmericanHort offers resources for growers and retailers on the subject.

Attendees were inspired by the keynote speakers, which included Curt Steinhorst of the Center for Generational Kinetics. Steinhorst offered a humorous take on the Millennial generation, yet he provided a serious perspective on how employers and our service strategies must adjust to meet changing consumer demographics. The other keynote speaker was Nancy Fire, a consumer expert and consultant to some of the leading and well-known brands, including HGTV. She reinforced Steinhorst's message and shared trends in color, fashion, and furniture. She reminded attendees that horticulture is setting trends with the beauty and functionality of horticultural products, and that the industry needs to capitalize on this to remain relevant.  

Every corner of the Greater Columbus Convention Center was stunningly decorated with horticulture products contributed by AmericanHort members. More than 100 volunteers also donated their time over the course of nine days by assisting with the setup, teardown, and onsite logistics. At the conclusion of the convention, the remaining plants, trees, and hard goods were distributed to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions, including City of Columbus Recreation & Parks, Columbus Parklet Project, Franklin Park Conservatory, Habitat for Humanity, Homeport, and the Ohio State University Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Garden.

Looking for an exhibitor or speaker who was at Cultivate'15? Click here to walk the show floor virtually or browse the session catalog.

Cultivate'14

The inaugural year for the event "Cultivate," it proved to be an exciting time for attendees and exhibitors alike. With the debut of the new organization AmericanHort (the consolidation of ANLA and OFA) and the rollout of the new event name "Cultivate" (replacing "Short Course"), Mark Foertmeyer, the Chairman of the Board for AmericanHort, said, "This is not your grandfather's trade show. In fact, Cultivate is more than a trade show. It is a dynamic experience designed to offer interactive learning and community building, and it celebrates all of horticulture."
Amid greenhouse and garden center tours, a great music and outdoor eating event "Bloomapalooza," and the ever popular "Unplugged" event, Cultivate'14 concluded the show with more than 10,000 attendees, the event's best attendance in more than a decade.
Every corner of the Greater Columbus Convention Center was elaborately decorated with horticulture products donated by the association's members. More than 100 volunteers also donated their time throughout the four days by assisting with the setup, teardown, and the onsite logistics. At the conclusion of the convention, the remaining plants, trees, and hard goods were distributed to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. These included the Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens, Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, Franklin Park Conservatory, Habitat for Humanity, Homeport, Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, and the University of Cincinnati.

Looking for an exhibitor or speaker who was at the 2014 event? Click here to walk the show floor virtually or browse the session catalog.



2013 OFA Short Course

The last year to be called Short Course, the 2013 event debuted exciting news of an expansion: an additional 50,000 square feet of exhibit space for the Retail Terrace will be open at Cultivate'14.
Along with all the excitement going on at the Convention Center, we also included a full-day Garden Center Tour to the Toledo area, which included Hoen's Garden Center, Black Diamond Nursery, and Oak Park Land & Water.
The event was named the 147th largest trade show among all industries by the annual ranking by Trade Show News Network. This acknowledges Cultivate as the largest trade show in North America for garden center retailers, greenhouse and nursery growers, landscapers, florists, and interior plantscapers, and other industry sectors.

Looking for an exhibitor or speaker who was at the 2013 event? Click here to walk the show floor virtually or browse the session catalog.

2012 OFA Short Course

The 2012 OFA Short Course had everything good our members expect, including new plant introductions and fun exhibits like the living chess set and bloomin' bus from Meadow View Growers. But it also had a focus on doing good, as shown through a Pyramid Game that pitted trade magazine editors against one another and raised more than $8,000 for charity; The Burpee Home Gardens Grow Anywhere Tour Van that gave away 39,000 pounds of fresh vegetables and 13,000 vegetable plants to people living in “food deserts;” and the introduction of new Pink Ribbon plants to support breast cancer research.

Looking for an exhibitor or speaker who was at the 2012 event? Click here to walk the show floor virtually or browse the session catalog.