A while ago, we told ourselves we would always “walk the floor” of a trade show before we exhibited at it. And, after being burned several times, we would never, ever exhibit at a brand new trade show.
Then the AmercanHort Production Technology Conference came along, and we decided that “always” and “never” were pretty strong words.
The newest addition to AmericanHort’s GrowPro Series, the Production Technology Conference is coming up next week from Oct. 9-11 in Dallas. And, yes, you can see Practical Software Solutions — and Grower Vertical — at Booth 404 on Oct. 10 and 11.
It wasn’t hard to go back on our promise to ourselves, especially for this conference. As a technology vendor in the horticulture industry, we wanted to make sure an event like this succeeds.
Software at the Production Technology Conference
For years, we’ve been championing the use of technology in the industry, especially in the form of integrated business systems. Over the years, we’ve noticed growers are ready, willing and able to upgrade tangible technology, such as transplanters and environmental controls. When it comes to upgrading intangible technology, such as software, it’s a different story.
In a way, it makes sense for growers to see software through a different lens. Ironically, it’s because there’s nothing to see when you implement new software — not even a CD or a box. Even the smallest business software titles like QuickBooks Online or Sage 50 (formerly known as Peachtree) are rare sights.
When a new business system is purchased, implemented and used, it should disappear into the background. That’s not to say everything should go perfectly no matter what system you have. Software is just another tool that helps employees do their jobs better and more efficiently. You just can’t see it doing its job like you can with a transplanter.
So when we found out there was going to be a software track at the Production Technology Conference, we knew we had to go all-in. Not only are we exhibiting at the trade show, but also we’re sponsoring the software track and participating in a session. That’s how important we think this is.
What to expect at the Production Technology Conference
The Production Technology Conference kicks off with the Technology in Action Tour, which takes place all day Monday, Oct. 9. The tour includes stops at the Hort Americas Greenhouse, Seville Farms, and Southwest Nursery.
The Technology in Action Tour is a great concept. Where many horticultural tours focus on the plants, this tour will focus on how each of these three different operations use technology. It’s one thing to talk about how a certain piece of technology works, but it’s so much better to see how something works in action.
Then, the conference shifts indoors for the next two days as the trade show and educational sessions begin on Tuesday, Oct. 10. We’re really excited there will be several events taking place on the trade show floor.
On Tuesday from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and Wednesday from 9 to 9:15 a.m., coffee will be served on the trade show floor. On Tuesday, there will be no sessions taking place during the coffee break, so it’ll be a great time to start your day and get to spend time with exhibitors. Lunch will also be served on the trade show both days.
The same goes for Tuesday evening, when the Reception with Exhibitors takes place from 5 to 6. Usually at trade shows, educational sessions take place at the same time the trade show is open. At the Production Technology Conference, there will be several opportunities for attendees to meet with vendors without missing classes.
The event wraps up with a three-hour Drone Workshop. Drones may look like child’s play, but these tools can provide serious help for horticulture. The session will cover the different types of aircraft, sensors, image processing workflow, and how drones can be used in horticulture production.
Sherry Johnson from AmericanHort said there were a couple of spots left for the Technology in Action Tour and several spots open for the Drone Workshop. There are extra costs associated with the tour and the session. Click here for more information.
We are excited to see so many quality technology sessions and programs set to take place for the Production Technology Conference. We hope it will be a success and be a permanent fixture on the horticulture conference circuit.