Why We’re Going to Buffalo: GWA’s Membership Committee Speaks Out

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By GWA Membership Committee

The final countdown to GWA Buffalo has begun. Members are getting ready for the garden communicator’s event of the year – and that’s no exaggeration. In this post, the GWA Membership Committee shares what they love about this premier gathering of the GWA family.

Kate Copsey – I’m going to Buffalo because it’s great to catch up with friends. It is also a

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Creative exhibitors find fun ways to interact with writers at the conferences. Here I got to know the folks at Star Roses and their picture frame.

chance to update contacts with companies for images or even for work assignments. Last year I picked up two contracts – one of which not only gave me extra income but it also gave three other writers some work. When I network at the GWA conference, I get work and project ideas that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. The exhibitors don’t necessarily know what you can offer. That face-to-face contact is the first step to getting work from them.

Kate Copsey, garden writer, author, and speaker. Find out more at www.katecopsey.com

Eva Monheim – I am going to the GWA conference this summer! I haven’t missed one since I started attending in 2003. This year it will be in Buffalo – a great region for private gardens and botanic gardens. I usually take about 500 photos a day when I go. I can use the photos for my classes at Temple University or for articles. The best part? There are so many other people who enjoy visiting gardens and networking. Making connections is a huge part of why I go – of course having fun too! It’s the social event of the season. Hope to see you there.

Eva Monheim is Assistant Professor at Temple University in horticulture and landscape architecture. She also works at Longwood Gardens and teaches for the Professional Gardener Program and the Continuing Education Department.

Brie Arthur – Attending the annual GWA conference is a priority for me as it provides me the chance to network with influential garden industry communicators, publishers, and sponsors. Through the years, I have had many employment opportunities arise from my interactions with GWA members, including working on the PBS TV show Growing a Greener World and meeting my publisher, St. Lynn’s Press. The GWA includes a dynamic collection of professionals, making the annual conference an excellent opportunity to

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Brie Arthur presenting Katie Dubow of Garden Media Group with the inaugural Emergent Communicator Award at the GWA 2016 conference in Atlanta, GA.

expand your horizons as a garden communicator.

Brie Arthur is an author, horticulturist, and speaker living in Raleigh, NC. She is a correspondent on PBS’s Growing a Greener World and author of the best-selling book The Foodscape Revolution. You can follow her adventures across the world promoting gardening at BrieGrows.com.

Louise Clarke’s Top Five Reasons to Attend the GWA Buffalo Conference:

  1. Learning from my communication peers – from new plant introductions, to social media tips, to polishing writing skills, to photography techniques and video production, there are always more education sessions I want to attend than is possible. My advice: bring a clone!
  2. Networking events galore – I reconnect with nationwide friends, make new ones, and find job opportunities; on the bus, in the lobby, at coffee breaks, at meet and greet sessions, on the trade show floor, and at meals.
  3. Visit cities and gardens I might not otherwise see – Do you want to pass up the opportunity to see Garden Walk Buffalo, the country’s largest garden tour? Over 400 gardens participate, and GWA members will get insider access! I’m already giddy thinking about it.
  4. Get great resources for my work – Generate photos and story ideas that I use in speaking and writing throughout the year. I transport audiences to places they may never get access.
  5. Recharge my batteries – Even though the conference days are jam-packed, I return home feeling energized and enthusiastic! It’s so filled with great events that every year I bring my swimsuit for the hotel pool and never unpack it.

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    From the GWA 2013 Quebec conference – Montmorency Falls, with Louise Clarke, Leslie McDermott, Eva Monheim, & Kathy Jentz.

Region II Director Louise Clarke is employed by the Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia. She shares her passion for plants by writing for Seasons and Washington Gardener Magazine, and presenting garden lectures.

Randy Schultz – I attended my first GWA conference in 1997, in San Antonio. Since then, I have only missed two annual conferences. This event is, by far, the best networking and business conference that I attend all year. This alone would be enough to keep me coming back. But along the way, the GWA conference also became like a family reunion for the extended family I always wish I had. The best part about this “family” is that everyone welcomes you with open arms—especially if you’re a newbie. If you’ve never attended or it’s been a while since you’ve been to a GWA conference, please come to Buffalo. We promise to treat you like family.

Randy Schultz is president of Schultz Communications and content editor for HomeGardenandHomestead.com.

Author: GardenComm

GardenComm, formerly known as GWA: the Association for Garden Communicators, provides leadership and opportunities for education, recognition, career development and a forum for diverse interactions for professionals in the field of gardening communication. GardenComm members includes book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. No other organization in the industry has as much contact with the buying public as GardenComm members.

2 thoughts on “Why We’re Going to Buffalo: GWA’s Membership Committee Speaks Out”

  1. Thanks for this great ‘pump up the volume’ post!! I’m so happy that I’m going for the fist time. The Conference will get me the chance to meet a lot of people that I admire and had follow for the last few years, like Suzy McCoy from Garden Media Group. Also, I’m excited because I’ll have the chance to learn about trends, products and new resources for garden lovers. I write for a Spanish speaking audience and sharing my experience and learnings will be a great deal! So, I’ll see you there! (definitively in the first timer’s meeting, lol!!)


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