15 green industry events to mark on your calendar

Updated Jan 11, 2019
GIE+EXPO is just one of the events you can attend this year. Photo: TLCGIE+EXPO is just one of the events you can attend this year.
Photo: TLC

As your landscaping company starts scheduling meeting with clients and booking projects, your year can be snapped up in a hurry.

There may be times where you wish you could attend events to network, visit trade shows or go to educational sessions, but often you hear about them too late and can’t clear out the time to go.

Below is a list of 15 different green industry events you can put on your calendar ahead of time so you can go ahead and plan around that event if you’d like to attend. Click on the name of the event to learn more.

Green & Growin’ 19

When: Jan. 14-18

Where: Greensboro, North Carolina

This event presented by the North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association is right around the corner and attracts professionals from the plant nursery, landscape, irrigation and horticulture industry and across the country. Green & Growin’ includes an educational portion from Jan. 14-16 with more than 50 classes available that provide CEU credits. Two speakers will deliver keynote speeches and on Jan. 17-18, the Marketplace exhibition will open. The Marketplace provides an opportunity to view vendors’ products and network. 

Leaders Forum

When: Jan. 24-26

Where: Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino

An executive-level education and networking event hosted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), the Leaders Forum is an annual destination meeting. Owners, managers and industry experts gather to discuss matters affecting the landscape industry mixed with fun activities designed for team building.

Gulf States Horticultural Expo

When: Jan. 30 – Feb. 1

Where: Mobile, Alabama

A show that is open to green industry professionals only, the Gulf States Horticultural Expo allows attendees to find new products and suppliers, network and learn about industry issues. The educational sessions include topics such as irrigation troubleshooting and employee engagement.

The Work Truck Show

When: March 5-8

Where: Indianapolis, Indiana

Billed as North America’s largest work truck event, this show is hosted by the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA). Attendees can see the newest industry products, find solutions to technical issues and talk shop with peers at special events and receptions. Some of the session topics this year include integrating alternative fuels into a conventional fleet and technology success stories for fleets.

National Collegiate Landscape Competition

When: March 20-23

Where: Fort Collins, Colorado

An annual event for landscape and horticulture students from around the U.S. to gather and put their skills to the test, this will be the 43rd NCLC. During this event put on by NALP, there is a career fair where landscaping companies can reserve a booth space and network with potential future employees.

Snow and Ice Symposium

When: June 25-28

Where: Grand Rapids, Michigan

While registration doesn’t open until Friday, Feb. 1 at 9 a.m., this is an ideal event for those who offer snow and ice management services. The Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) has been hosting the symposium for 22 years. Over 140 companies attend to provide products, programs and services for snow and ice management industry professionals. The symposium includes three days of education and two days of trade show.

Cultivate ‘19

When: July 13-16

Where: Columbus, Ohio

According to AmercianHort, Cultivate has been running strong for 90 years and has over 120 relevant professional sessions. The event is open to those who work in the nursery, greenhouse, garden retail, interior plantscape or landscape industry. Sessions will cover everything from dealing with plant pests to measuring financial success. Early bird registration opens Feb. 11-22.

Deep South Turf Expo

When: Oct. 1-3

Where: Biloxi, Mississippi

Despite the name suggesting it is for Southerners only, the Deep South Turf Expo welcomes turf managers from far and wide to attend this event, though most are from the southeast. There are educational sessions for all sections of the turfgrass industry, as well as a trade show full of turf products. The expo is rather young, with its first gathering held in 2015.


When: Oct. 15-18

Where: Louisville, Kentucky

LANDSCAPES 2019 is NALP’s educational and networking event for landscape and lawn care professionals that is held in conjunction with the GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America (HNA) trade shows. NALP presents over 40 educational sessions on topics such as emerging trends and pressing concerns. LANDSCAPES is designed to be a learning experience for everyone from the owners to the sales team to the technicians and crew members.


When: Oct. 16-18

Where: Louisville, Kentucky

The trade show that every landscaper has at least heard of, if not attended, at least once, GIE+EXPO is the industry’s largest showcase for outdoor power equipment. The event has 500,000 sq. ft. full of exhibitors and 20+ acres of outdoor demo area for attendees to test equipment.

Hardscape North America

When: Oct. 16-18

Where: Louisville, Kentucky

Hardscape North America (HNA) is co-located with GIE+EXPO and has a dedicated area of the floor to all things hardscaping. Aside from having the opportunity to view new hardscaping materials and products, attendees can watch hardscape demonstrations for different types of projects. There is also the Hardscape North America Installer Championship, which tests the skills of hardscape contractors from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.


When: Nov. 7-9

Where: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Created in 1990, TCI EXPO’s goal has been to bring tree care companies, equipment and product providers and industry professionals together. It is sponsored by The Tree Care Industry Association and is the largest tree care industry conference and trade show. Attendees can evaluate products and view live demonstrations and participate in the Skills Arena. Additionally, there are giveaways, forums and seminars. Registration opens in the summer.

ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO

When: Nov 15-18

Where: San Diego, California

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) hosts the Annual Meeting and EXPO for landscape architects to be able to learn and network. Over 130 educational courses are offered, and attendees can earn up to 24 professional development hours. There is also the trade show aspect that allows a hands-on experience with new technology and a chance to talk to the people behind various design solutions.

Irrigation Show & Education Conference

When: Dec. 2-6

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada

Put on by the Irrigation Association, the Irrigation Show features educational classes on real-world applications of irrigation systems, certification exam and irrigation seminars. There is also its technical program that presents the latest research covering a number of irrigation topics. Attendees can also connect at various events during the show like the opening night party or certification lunch.

Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS)

When: Jan. 8-10, 2020

Where: Baltimore, Maryland

Last, but not least, is MANTS. Although you might have missed the show for 2019, which was Jan. 9-11, you can go ahead and mark your calendar for 2020 if you want to attend “The Masterpiece of Trade Shows.” Sponsored by the state Nursery and Landscape Associations of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, MANTS was started in 1970. It is known for being the marketplace for finding plants and nursery stock, tools and heavy and light duty equipment.

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