In 2014, not only will the OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals and American Nursery and Landscape Association combine, but also the OFA Short Course show will expand its showfloor by 50,000 square feet at next year’s show.
Additional educational and networking opportunities will be offered to serve the increasing attendance.
“For years, OFA Short Course has been a preferred destination for independent garden retailers, florists, growers, and installers. Our 7-acre trade show sells out every year, and it already includes numerous companies that provide products and services to retailers,” said Sherry Johnson, OFA’s trade show manager.
She added. “There is great demand for us to offer more exhibitors and activities for retailers and others.”
Michael Geary, OFA’s and ANLA’s CEO, said, “When ANLA and OFA combine, our new organization will become the world’s largest trade association of independent garden retailers. The premier event needs to reflect the make-up of our membership and the industry, and offer one-stop buying and selling for goods and services.”
The OFA Short Course currently includes exhibitors that provide hard goods, plants, and business services for growers, retailers, and installers, and comprehensive education on business management, marketing, and greenhouse and nursery production.
“The reality is that for most retailers, plants can make up as much as 80 percent of annual sales. At Short Course, attendees can see new varieties and other plants that consumers want to buy. But it’s not plants alone that retailers sell, so we also offer a wide assortment of hard goods and services to round out their inventory. In 2014, this product category will expand with the addition of another exhibit hall,” Geary said.
He added, “Retailers will get everything they need at this event along with our year-long support.”
ANLA and OFA are preparing to consolidate into one new trade association by 2014. OFA Short Course will reflect this change by also increasing the number of companies that supply the nursery and landscape markets, according to association executives.
The 2012 OFA Short Course, which is held each July in Columbus, Ohio, was ranked No. 147 on the TSNN Top 250 Trade Show list, drawing 9,100 attendees to a 154,000 net sq. ft. showfloor.