Contributing to the focus on innovation this year, overflow standing-room-only crowds gathered at the Continuing Education @ IGC stages right on the show floor. From houseplant displays and Grab & Go container planting demos to new ideas on how to serve today’s customer and retaining employees, the topics were timely and engaging. Extending the educational focus, IGC Show’s three morning keynotes got attendees pumped for the day with new ways to look at their businesses. In the IGC Retail Lab, a new retail symposium and interactive design forum on the show floor, Garden Center Makeover Expert Judy Sharpton got attendees thinking and talking about the most impactful ways to sell trends in the gathering spaces at their stores. Now with the new centralized layout, networking was at its best. In the IGC Networking Lounge, Dr. Bridget Behe’s bonus breakout session on store signage after her Tuesday morning keynote teemed with ideas from the large crowd that gathered. Wednesday evening’s concert with Jefferson Starshipcontinued the networking after the show floor closed for the evening. “There’s a back story to this one,” says Jeff Morey, IGC Show Co-Founder and CEO. “We had originally booked the band Starship with Mickey Thomas. Then I got the call Monday as I was on the plane to Chicago that Mickey was on the surgical table for a slipped disc and had to cancel. Thankfully, our longtime concert coordinator Rae Nicks jumped in with the offer from Jefferson Starship, with co-founding member David Freiberg and longtime drummer Donny Baldwin, to fill the slot.”April Sherburne, Buyer at Farmer John’s Greenhouse, Farmington Hills, MI, says, “The band did a great job - they were just awesome. It’s amazing it was on such short notice!” IGC Show returns to Chicago’s Lakeside | McCormick next summer, August 11-13, 2020, with a special laser focus look at the future on independent garden center retailing. Stay tuned for many more exciting details right here in the months ahead.