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New England Grows disbands after 25 years

February 12, 2018 -  By

Boston-based regional trade show New England Grows is ceasing operations. The Grows board of directors, representing the four founding partner organizations, unanimously decided to dissolve and disband both the event and its nonprofit organization.

“The decision to dissolve New England Grows was difficult, but we all believe it is the right decision at the right time,” said Grows President Michelle Harvey of Lakeview Nurseries in Lunenburg, Mass. “Changes both within and outside of the industry contributed to the decision to close Grows, but this does not diminish the significant and positive contributions Grows has made to the local green industry over the past 25 years.”

Founded by New England Nursery Association, Massachusetts Arborists Association, Massachusetts Nursery & Landscape Association and Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals in 1993, the show’s mission was to educate, elevate and support the region’s commercial horticulture industry.

“We want to thank each and every one of the countless volunteers who worked tirelessly to produce Grows over the past 25 years, as well as the loyal exhibitors who supported the show from day one,” said Virginia Wood, executive director. “Grows was known for its world-class educational programming that brought innovative thought leaders from around the world to Boston, and we are proud to have helped bring this level of excellence to New England’s green industry.”

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2 Comments on "New England Grows disbands after 25 years"

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  1. greenway says:

    Sad, but not surprising. This show is not the same as it once was. As an attendee, the thought of fighting Boston traffic to get to an 8:30am class was daunting enough, never mind the parking fees.
    More significantly, I have spoken with several vendors who have exhibited at the show for many years. The foot traffic on the exhibition floor has slowed in recent years, and their set-up fees, and other expenses, have increased sharply. Couple this with this slim profit margins on hard goods and it’s understandable how the show has become burdensome for them. I spoke with one vendor recently and the fee structure for an exhibitor to attend the show was mind-boggling! The skyrocketing price of doing events in Boston, especially in the Seaport district, where million dollar town homes are sprouting up like dandelions, has become overwhelming.
    I also attribute this to a change in our buying habits. It used to be that equipment sales were a big reason to go to a show. With greater internet sales and on-line tutorials and demos, it’s cheaper for a potential customer to go straight to a vendor, outside of this pricey environment, to buy hard goods, or for a sales rep to travel with a demo to a customer.
    Another reason is
    This event should be held outside of the city and in a more easily accessible area. That would ease the financial and logistical burden on exhibitors and attendees alike.
    I believe there is still a need for trade shows and exhibitions such as this, it just needs to get out of Boston.

  2. Mike Lawnscaping says:

    This past fall was my first time visiting Grows since the date change. I used go most years from about 05 till the move from February to November. Went this past year mainly for the Marty Grunder seminar. Got a lot out of that and the other classes I attended. I’m the type that needs to continue to learn new things to stay motivated. Mostly attended soil health and business classes. Plus it was nice to be able to talk to equipment and suppliers without have a sale being pushed on me, or not feeling like I’m wasting their time by asking questions about products I’m not ready to buy.
    The new date was extremely difficult for me to attend. Mainly from having to be away from my very small business during the hype of the fall clean ups. Leaf removal is a big part of my business as an income source plus to get material for compost. This Fall date was mostly impossible for owners of smaller operations to attend. Plus the hotel rates seem to be fairly higher than in February. Moving because of too many years in a row being snowed out makes sense, switching to November didn’t, March would have been a better choice.