“Next Level Conference a Huge Success”
“The Next Level Conference was a huge success on all counts,” says OFA President Mike McCabe. “We had four goals for this event,” McCabe, owner of McCabe’s Greenhouse and Floral in Lawrenceburg, IN, continues, “Strong attendance, a solid mix from both OFA and ANLA’s core communities, and a successful collaboration between the volunteer leaders and staffs of our two associations. Number four was to take our industry’s education events to the next level.” The inaugural event, the first, full partnership effort between the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and OFA - The Association of Horticulture Professionals, was held January 31 - February 2, 2013 in Nashville, TN at the Gaylord, Opryland.
“The Next Level, designed with the help of a national adult education expert, met our goal of nearly 300 attendees,” says ANLA President Bob Terry, owner of Fisher Farms in Gaston, OR. Terry also reports that the event brought together a solid mix of both ANLA and OFA’s traditional audience. “Our industry gets very siloed,” says Terry. “Breaking people out of their traditional schedule and communities was a big hurdle to overcome.”
ANLA Landscape Division board member Scott McAdam, states, “It was great to see so many old friends but also enjoyed meeting and spending time with many OFA members. I was able to take back some valuable information from my peers to address the issues I brought with me to the Next
Level.“ OFA board member Susie Raker-Zimmerman, from Raker in Litchfield, MI affirms, “The networking made available at the Next Level conference showed that no matter the type or size of business, the issues we are all dealing with our all very parallel.”
“Next Level also represented a big test of the partnership between OFA and ANLA,” says Michael Geary, CAE, chief staff executive of both ANLA and OFA. “This was the first time our volunteer leaders and staff teams came together to produce an event. It was a very successful collaboration and speaks well to the planned consolidation of our two organizations scheduled for January 1, 2014.”
What’s next for the Next Level? “We were waiting to see how our attendees reacted,” confides Geary. “Following our success, we’ll be ready shortly to announce our plans for 2014.”
For more information on the 2013 Next Level event visit www.yournextlevel.org.
To learn more about the collaboration between ANLA and OFA visit www.OneVoiceOneIndustry.com.