How industry events like the LM Growth Summit can offer you a different perspective on business

(Photo: LM Staff)
(Photo: LM Staff)

Steve Bousquet has always loved landscaping and lawns. From this love came American Landscaping and Lawn Science, a company he established 40 years ago in Norwich, Conn.

The company offers residential lawn care and landscaping services throughout eastern Connecticut. What started as a one-man mowing company today has a team of 27 people and serves 2,500 customers.

Last November, Bousquet was invited to meet fellow members of the lawn care industry at the LM Growth Summit in Orlando. He says above everything else, he appreciated the opportunity to network.

“It was great because it gave me a different perspective on the business,” Bousquet says.

Trying new things

Held annually at Reunion Resort in Orlando, the Summit is a small mix of lawn care company leaders, industry sales representatives and the LM magazine staff — about 75 people. The group spends 2 1/2 days attending boardroom presentations, one-on-one meetings with the suppliers, viewing equipment demonstrations and networking. The LM Growth Summit gives attendees the opportunity to see some of the latest products.

Steve Bousquet
Steve Bousquet

One supplier Bousquet met with was Albaugh Specialty Products (previously known as Prime Source). Albaugh specializes in fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and PGRs for the turf and ornamental markets. Bousquet says he has been using their weed control products since learning about them at the LM Growth Summit.

Bousquet says he also appreciated hearing the correct ways to utilize the latest control products in person, over reading labels, which sometimes are unclear.

“Being at the Summit, I learned a lot,” Bousquet says. “For example, FMC was there. They were explaining the different rates of a certain product that we used. That was very helpful to understand how to use it at different times of the year, depending on the growth rate of the plant.”

Plenty to appreciate

On top of all of the products Bousquet learned about at the Summit, he says the meeting was enjoyable and moved quickly.

“While I was attending, there was a lot to enjoy,” Bousquet says. “The meals were really good. The music was nice. And you were always moving.”

Each attendee of the LM Summit gets a unique schedule to ensure every attendee meets individually with every partner. Bousquet says the schedule makes the time go by fast.

“It kept things moving,” Bousquet says. “With everything that was happening, you didn’t realize how much time you had spent with the vendors. The sessions could have gone on for an extra 10 minutes and I wouldn’t have noticed.”

Comparing the experience to speed dating, Bousquet says he enjoyed the opportunity to meet formally during the day, then, during social events in the evening, he could ask any follow-up questions he had.

“It is about just getting a more in-depth education about what is available, who is around, along with what products and tools are ready,” Bousquet says.
Bousquet says he hopes to return to the LM Growth Summit in a few years, citing it as both an educational and fun time.

“I think that the Summit is all about getting these vendors and industry people together to have real discussions,” Bousquet says. “I got to talk to a lot of good people, such as (fertilizer supplier) The Andersons. Meeting people there and having the availability to continue talking to them after the Summit makes it all feel deeper. That was the biggest benefit of attending.”

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