Short Course Horticulture Show Sticks Close to Home in Columbus in 2017, 2018
The largest horticulture show in the United States, Short Course Convention & Marketplace, decied to stay close to home in 2017 and 2018 when it chose Columbus, Ohio, for the site of its 2017 and 2018 events.
Columbus is home to some of the offices for a newly formed association that runs the show.
In September, two national associations representing the horticulture industry – OFA and the American Landscape Nursery Association – voted to join forces as AmericanHort, effective Jan. 1.
Next year’s Short Course show will be managed by AmericanHort and held in July at the SMG Greater Columbus Convention Center. In choosing future sites, Columbus, Pittsburgh and St. Louis were identified as the top contenders for 2017 and 2018, according to association officials.
“It was a competitive process, and the new AmericanHort board of directors agreed that holding Short Course in Columbus was the right strategic decision for the event and provides the best opportunity to serve the horticulture industry,” said Mark Foertmeyer, board chairman.
He added, “Columbus ranked favorably in all evaluated areas. Additionally, the city and hospitality community continue to make critical investments to provide a world-class experience for visitors. Columbus has made considerable investments in its downtown area to attract visitors and large conventions.”
In June, it was announced that Short Course will expand in 2014 by adding a 50,000 square foot exhibit hall to host more companies that sell products and services to garden retailers.
“With the consolidation of OFA and ANLA to form AmericanHort, Short Course is expected to see significant growth as it serves more horticulture professionals. The Columbus Convention Center has the necessary exhibit and meeting space as we aggressively plan for Short Course growth,” said Michael V. Geary, CAE, AmericanHort president and CEO.
He added, “Columbus is only a day’s drive from half of the country’s population, so it’s easy to get to Short Course. The convention center is in the heart of a vibrant arts and entertainment district, so there is plenty for members, their families, and young professionals to do when not buying, learning, and networking at the event.”
OFA Short Course (as it was previously named) that was held in 2012 was ranked No. 147 on the TSNN Top 250 trade show list, drawing 9,100 attendees and 568 exhibitors to a 154,000 net sq. ft. showfloor.