Tuesday, February 12, 10am-4pm EST

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Morning Session: Focus on Work-Life Balance

10AM – Welcome

Erin Grajek, Chair, Marketing and Communications Community

10:10AM – Nature Rx – (Re)Connecting Humans with their Native Habitats

Presenter: Don Rakow, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Description: Researchers have repeatedly shown that people spend more time indoors looking at screens than outside enjoying nature and our health is suffering as a result. Public gardens are in a unique position to provide a remedy for this imbalance, but are we brave enough to create programs that address this need? Hear from Cornell University Associate Professor Donald A. Rakow on how they are answering that question with a series of Rx-like programs, and their attempts to encourage participants to push competing priorities aside and embrace the simple enjoyment of being outdoors.

11AM – Finding Balance Across Departments at Multi-Attraction Gardens

Presenters: Joe Rothleutner, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, Illinois; Jim Salyards, Filoli Center, Woodside, California; John Berryhill, Botanic Garden at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
Description: Many of our institutions are much more than gardens: historic estates, zoos, university campuses, event spaces, and sculpture parks. Within any organization, having a diverse set of attractions can potentially lead to confusion about mission or become a point of conflict as departments compete for resources. However, when cooperation is cultivated, the results can strengthen the impact of the organization's mission and improve constituents’ experiences. Stretching internal collaborations across departments and attractions can be a challenge that requires endurance and creativity, but finding and maintaining the working balance is worth the effort. In this session, we will examine cross attraction relationships within gardens, including successes and ongoing challenges.

Afternoon Session: Focus on Marketing to a Diverse Audience

1 PM – National Public Gardens Week

Presenter: Richard A. Doran, Marketing and Communications Manager, American Public Gardens Association
An introduction to the expanded National Public Gardens Week and some of the marketing and fund-raising opportunities available to you from the Association.

1:30 PM – Morton Arboretum: Starting a Diversity and Inclusion Council

Presenter: Anna Cosner, Director of Retail and Events at The Morton Arboretum
Description: The Morton Arboretum formed its first Diversity and Inclusion Council in 2016 following several years of planning and staff training. Working with an experienced consultant, we created a D&I strategy, recruited Council members, and began the process of making the Arboretum a more welcoming and inclusive place. This presentation will explore the steps the Arboretum’s took to begin this journey and offer some insights on the experience of crafting a D&I initiative from scratch at a large organization.
Anna Cosner oversees the Special Events, Facility Rental, Food Service, and Retail departments at The Morton Arboretum and has also chaired the Arboretum’s Diversity and Inclusion Council since its inception in 2016. The D&I Council is composed of interested staff from all departments who work together to enact the Arboretum’s D&I strategy and create a more welcoming and inclusive space for visitors, staff, and volunteers.

3 PM – The Me, Me, Me Generation: Understanding Millennials from a Millennial Perspective

Presenter: Ryan McEnaney of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.
Description: Connecting with the future generation of gardeners and public garden visitors is a major strategic initiative throughout the industry, but there is a lack of understanding in how to communicate to and with Generation Y, also known as the Millennials. What excites, interests and inspires them? What attracts their attention versus turns them away? What is important in their everyday life? Understanding the motivation behind Millennial purchasing decisions and overall decision making helps craft smart marketing and communications campaigns to attract a younger demographic, while also not alienating your core visitor and sponsor base. Attracting visitors in their 20s and early 30s not only is necessary for the future of your attendance numbers but lays the foundation for a donor collective that will support your bottom line. This presentation looks at how to communicate with the Millennial generation through research and data on Millennials' relationship with the home and garden industry.