Our Environment - Your Backyard - Conference '13

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Common themes among conference speakers were the need to have a vision and a plan, embracing and adopting to change, and measuring and refining what you do.

... so heard some 175 NGINZ and Landscaping New Zealand delegates gathered in picture-perfect Queenstown just a week after June's polar blast.  The latter made for some stunning scenery, cold mornings, clear days and great snow for those able to arrive early, or stay late, and who headed to the slopes.

Huge thanks to delegates, sponsors, speakers, organizers and helpers, and congratulations to award winners.  Irrespective of location and programme, without the support and participation of all involved, we'd not have a conference – arguably bloomingly-well obvious!  The gathering provided time to relax, do business, natter, network and think outside of the box.  Again thanks.

A perspective ...

It was over far too quickly, but Queenstown nevertheless left its mark on the 175 delegates who attended our joint conference with Landscape New Zealand.  The weather was kind, the southerly the week before left Central picture post card perfect, provided ample R&R for those to choose to arrive early or leave late and made for some crisp mornings and beautiful days…

Wednesday’s keynote speakers each covered important areas of industry and business engagement with our ever-changing market place – some take home thoughts

  • Michael Barnett – better economic times are just around the corner, what’s your plan, there’s a housing boom and that translates into a gardening boom … or at the very least an industry opportunity.
  • Robert Guyton – the environment needs care, it needs us to ease back on our impact and we need to be conscious of just how we use natural resources.
  • Dr John Guthrie – the “old” business model of the market being producer driven has been turned on its head.  And the consumer driven market awaits those who can craft their business to deliver just what the consumer wants.
  • Chris Beytes - Our industry provides a solution to climate change, our products and services add value to people’s lives, their homes and communities.  

In the afternoon Allan Dippie spoke of his work in his backyard – from small beginnings landscaping though to garden retail, nursery production, land, housing and commercial development … and motor sports!   An enthusiast, Allan’s one of the drivers behind Cromwell’s Highlands Motorsport Park – check it out www.highlands.co.nz.

Several members then discussed the things that make their backyard tick – Steve Burton talked of his staff and the development of his new site; Andrew Bowman has taken an innovate approach the most from the iPad; Rhys Gibbs spoke of daring to be different and prepared to swim upstream; Peter Wayman talked of the importance of adapting to change, understanding consumer motivation, measuring and differentiation; and Glen Forgie highlighted the contribution people and data make to Tui.

John Liddle spoke of several key NGINZ projects – industry data, retail and nursery training, May’s member survey, plant trolley developments, recruitment, and the nursery production farm management system.  Steve Sheppard followed highlighting his new work around industry marketing and promotions, Greenlife Matters, and member and media engagement.

As usual, Robert Prince from NGI Australia wowed us with their work – and invited us to their 2014 conference; “Blue Sky Thinking Real Green Living”, Sydney 1-13 March 2014.

Thursday’s Sector meetings and Association AGM brought discussion around prison nurseries, subscription fees and …
Also on Thursday we ran through just what makes a great marketing campaign, Michael Scott highlighted his time at Hillier’s and support for his trip from the Sir Victor Davies Foundation, and Board Chair, Andrew Harrison spoke Governance and his first eight months in the role.

The afternoon brought R&R for some – for the record NextGen beat OldGen at the luge – but only with the former resorting to some older ring-ins to just to get them to the line!  Others visited Cromwell and Nichols’ newly developed flagship store. 

Social times – where does one begin?  Jelly beans proved the downfall of some on Ellerslie’s Wednesday night birthday party! … and the Daltons’ sponsored awards dinner drew things to a fitting close.

Again, a huge thanks to delegates, sponsors, speakers, organizers and helpers, and congratulations to award winners.  See you next year - Conference 2014 – Tauranga, 25/26 June 2014.


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