What Did You Learn at #GWA2018?


By Carol Michel

It’s been almost four months since the annual conference was held in Chicago.  Looking back, have you used anything you learned there?

I can emphatically answer “Yes” to that question.  The one session I marked on the list and made a point to attend was “So You Want to Have a Podcast” with C. L. Fornari and Ellen Zachos.

In the same style as their podcast Plantrama, C. L. and Ellen  bantered back and forth and gave us the inside scoop on their real live experiences of launching their podcast over a year ago.

Looking over my notes, I see that I underlined Who Is Your Audience and wrote it in all capital letters.  C. L. and Ellen said their audience is more interested in plants than gardening.

I underlined Consistency Matters. They told us to make sure we publish new episodes on a consistent schedule to help engage and build an audience.

I also underlined “The Riches are in the Niches.” I’m still thinking over what that means but I have a pretty good idea. To me it means carve out your own niche, be yourself.

As with most presentations at the conference, C. L. and Ellen did not hold back. They gave us their recipe for how they record their podcasts. They shared their secret sauce.  Plan, Record, Edit, Drop.  They told us the brand of microphone they use, the software they use, and their entire process from start to finish.

It was one of those sessions you didn’t want to miss. One of those sessions where you wanted to take notes and then refer back to those notes again and again. One of those sessions you could put to practical use right away.

Dee Nash and I are doing just that with our newly launched podcast, The Gardenangelists.  We have miles to go and much to learn, but with C. L. and Ellen’s advice from their presentation and their offers of assistance whenever we need it, we are launched.

What have you used from the annual conference to further your garden communications career? Let us know! Write a blog post about it and send it to me at Indygardener@gmail.com and we’ll share it in the weeks ahead.

And by all means, reserve the dates now for the next annual conference in Salt Lake City from September 4 – 7, 2019.  You never know what session next year is going to launch you off into something new and exciting.

Meet the Author


Carol Michel is the author of Potted & Pruned: Living a Gardening Life, which received the 2018 Garden Media Gold Award for Best Overall Book from GWA: The Association of Garden  Communicators, Homegrown and Handpicked: A Year in a Gardening Life and a new children’s book, The Christmas Cottontail. She is a lifelong gardener with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Purdue University, an avid collector of old gardening books, and claims to have the largest hoe collection in the world. A popular speaker, Carol regularly writes for her award-winning garden blog, http://www.maydreamsgardens.com.

Want to write a blog post for GWAGrows? Please contact Carol Michel at indygardener@gmail.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.

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