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Proven Winners IGC Webinar Series

While we can’t see you all in person, we’d love to have you join the Proven Winners team for our FREE virtual Roadshow series. If you missed some of the sessions, you can access the recordings below and see our upcoming schedule.


2023 Proven Winners Spring Retail Webinar Series:

Thursday, February 23, 2023 at 2pm ET

SMS Supercharge for IGCs
Katie Elzer-Peters- The Garden of Words, LLC
So, you have an SMS program started and you're ready to take it to the next level. During this session you'll learn how to use SMS-specific features (offered by virtually every SMS platform) to grow your SMS list, segment the list so you're offering relevant information, allow customers to set communication preferences, and how to use transactional SMS messages to support in-store events.

Register Here


PREVIOUS 2023 Proven Winners Winter/Spring Webinar Series:

Production Tips from the Pros: How To Grow Stunning Crops of
Heart to Heart® Caladiums

Clay Wallace and Chad Harrison - Classic Caladium LLC

Growing caladiums can be a breeze, with the right support. Join Classic Caladium Horticulture Manager Clay Wallace and Key Account Manager Chad Harrison for tips on optimizing the Proven Winners Heart to Heart®    caladium growing process from Spring to Summer and even Christmas crops. They’ll help you take the guesswork out of growing this amazing collection of Caladiums.

Recording Link


Get Started with SMS: The low input - high reward marketing solution for Spring
Katie Elzer-Peters- The Garden of Words, LLC

SMS or MMS (Text message) marketing is quickly becoming the channel of choice for consumers to get information from their favorite retailers and brands. For consumers, SMS provides brief, timely information they can immediately act on without cluttering an email inbox.  For IGCs, SMS is faster to implement than email, with a higher return on investment, and is still 100% customer permission-based marketing. Learn how to get started with SMS this spring to keep your core IGC customers engaged and to help new customers be successful gardeners. We'll cover how to choose an SMS service, SMS terminology, ideas for SMS campaigns, and answer questions about frequency and metrics.


Recording Link



Previous 2022 Proven Winners Retail Webinar Series:

Create a Business of Experiences
Anne Obarski – Merchandise Concepts
The consumer behavior shifts we’re seeing today are not a blip. They are likely to stay with us for a long time, some likely forever. Right now, an experience renaissance is afoot – one that has businesses willing to organize their whole company around the delivery of exceptional experiences. From face-to-face connections, in-store experiences, and vendor relationships these connections are the way of the future to generate business growth.

Recording Link


Through Your Customers’ Eyes

Dr. Bridget Behe – Michigan State University
Research conducted by Dr. Bridget Behe’s team shows how customers see our stores and displays. Bridget will share results about how customers shop, how they view our displays, and what attracts their attention on signs. Dr. Behe will provide practical applications of those research results to help you better connect to your customers in their shopping journey.

Recording Link


Reinventing Houseplants with leafjoy

Does your houseplant department need a facelift?  If so, the new Proven Winners leafjoy program might be the perfect fit!  Join Proven Winners and the team from The Plant Company to learn more about this innovative program and how you can easily add it to your store this season!

Recording Link


A Checklist to Grow Your Business in Spring, 2023
Clint Albin – Albin Consulting   

In order for your Independent Garden Center (IGC) to stay competitive, you need to start preparing now to open the most dynamic plant store experience in 2023. This means thinking outside the box and taking advantage of all the new opportunities and technologies that are available today.

One way to do this is by using merchandising displays to create an immersive shopping experience for your customers. With the right displays, you can make it easy for customers to find what they're looking for and encourage them to explore your entire selection of plants. So don't wait any longer – start planning your expanded plant shopping experience today!

Join Clint Albin and Jessica DeGraaf as they share checklist ideas for a more dynamic Proven Winners store within a store, winning at digital advertising, and the persona that will be shopping in your store.

Recording Link


Story-telling Tips From a Theatre Nerd – Why Retail is Theatre and It’s Time to Play
Liz Lark-Riley – Rockledge Gardens
From "casting" to scripting to setting the stage, retail and theater have more in common than you might expect. Join Liz, a garden center Managing Director who came to her role with 15 years of experience in the performing arts, to learn how she translates the principles used to create captivating performances for the stage into unforgettable experiences in a retail environment. From communicating your IGC’s unique story and marketing with meaning to creating an environment your customers will want to visit again and again, you’ll learn how to engage your core audience in a way that will have them giving you a standing ovation.

Recording Link


Creative Strategies and Tips for Leveraging TikTok At Your Garden Center
Kristina Howley – Spring Meadow
TikTok isn’t a fad, and it’s not going away! Learn useful tips and tricks on how to leverage TikTok as a part of your social media strategy in 2023.

Recording Link


Must-have annuals for spring, 2023
John Gaydos & Kevin Hurd – Proven Winners
Learn more about the top new annuals you’ll want to be sure to sell at retail in 2023. Even better, John Gaydos will provide growing tips and tricks to ensure that you’re successful! 

Recording Link


PAST Proven Winners Retail Webinar Series:

Quick Ways to Drive More Leads to Your Business with Dayna Springfield

Taking the time to constantly update your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) can seem daunting—especially with so much to do around the garden center! But with a few simple hacks, you'll be able to consistently highlight your company, without putting in a great deal of time each week. Join Dayna Springfield of Garden Design as she shares post ideas and scheduling tips, plus how to encourage more reviews from customers.

Recording Link

Handouts (PDF):  Q & A   Google Business Profile - Getting Started


Take Back Control: The Importance of Driving Trends Instead of Chasing Them: Leslie Halleck

When it comes to keeping up with trends, are  you in the driver’s seat or a passenger hanging on for dear life? Keeping up with trends in the marketplace can feel like riding a roller coaster. By the  time you react and start to tap into a new gardening or houseplant trend, your  customers may already be moving on. Would you rather let social media  influencers determine what you need to sell then chase down that product…or  would you rather control that conversation from the start? As new and  inexperienced gardeners search for guidance and inspiration, now is the time to  take charge and lead from the front. Leslie will dig deeper into this idea and inspire you to quit chasing trends, and take the wheel as trend setters.

Recording Link

Creating Culture of Attraction: John Kennedy

The current work environment has been more challenged than ever to attract top talent to the green industry businesses, along with many other industries in North America. Join John as he explores what employees are looking for as they seek new employment or look for a career change from their existing jobs. Knowing how to build a culture of attraction is an inside job, and having your current employees become your most raving recruiters is vital to the success of building a world-class team.

Recording Link


Creating a Culture of Retention: John Kennedy

Studies show that what motivates employees today is not what motivated them just five years ago. Knowing the right approach and mindset to the retention of top talent is vital to your ability to reduce turnover, enhance longevity, and retain the great folks that swing for the fence each day for you and your business. Also important is the ability to weed out the underperformers and make room for the achievers to grow. Strong leadership and accountability are a few of the many qualities John will address in this customized workshop.

Recording Link

Creating a Culture of Engagement: John Kennedy

Alignment of employees towards a common goal or objective is the key to creating a culture of engagement. Whether it’s driving the average transaction, reducing your labor/sales ratio, or improving upon your Five Star Commitments to your customers, “Creating a Line of One Culture” will bring your employee engagement results higher and higher which in turn will allow you to hire and hire!

Recording Link

If the Shoe Fits: Anne Obarski

We are all part of a $1.5 trillion economy, that is one click away from being tempted by the competition. Consumers used to be much more forgiving, often giving 3 strikes before you were out.

Now your customers can leave you with one mistake, one blunt conversation or a slow website response! What is your company’s touchpoint score? Are you aware of where you must put your focus to avoid any and all parts of your customer service delivery falling through that lethal crack?

Recording Link


Get Ready for Spring with Judy Sharpton

There’s still time. But not much! You can still make some important changes to your store that will make it more professional and efficient.
Beyond those advantages, these changes are really customer service enhancements that will make your store more shoppable for new and returning customers.

We’ll discuss three changes you can make on a budget in the 24 days leading up to March 20. Join Judy Sharpton, bring your beginner’s mind and get ready to make some plans for spring!

Recording Link

Retail Marketing Trends from the “Road”

Proven Winners retail account manager Jessica DeGraaf are on the road—or these days, on ZOOM—visiting and communicating daily with IGC customers across North America. In this webinar, they will share trends they have spotted, so you can be on top of your game with the best
on-trend products and services for spring.

One easy way to stay on top of your marketing plan is to take advantage of the Connect+ marketing subscription service. Maintaining a strong social media presence will continue to trend into the new year and Connect+ benefits make it easy to run Facebook ads and create engaging posts. Popular topics like pollinators, native plants, and creating a backyard sanctuary are available in readymade PowerPoint presentations. And retailers can start to stock up now on the plants that will be featured in our popular Gardener’s Idea Book.

Recording Link

Tips from the Pros: Creating Social Media Connections

How do you continue to build relationships with customers and motivate them to shop at a time when they are nervous about leaving their house? You must meet them where they are, acknowledge the times we are living through, and help them find a way to keep on growing what they love.

As huge numbers of new gardeners enter the market, reaching them through social media is of critical importance as it is often the first place they seek advice. In this webinar, our 3-person panel of social media specialists will share their tips on how they have built meaningful connections with customers, give practical advice on managing the workload, and advice on best practices. Special focus will be given to Instagram as it continues to see exponential growth and holds great potential with the next generation of plant enthusiasts.

Panelists include:

  • Jenny Simpson- Owner, Creekside Nursery
  • Susan Martin – Proven Winners Instagram Specialist
  • Stacey Hirvela, Marketing Manager, Spring Meadow

Recording Link:


3 IGC Stories of Success from Spring 2020

What a year it has been for retailers! Unprecedented times called for heroic efforts by IGCs across North America this spring. While many stores quickly got their inventory up to take orders online, their staff also devised creative ways to conduct curbside pickup and delivery services, in many cases for the first time ever. In this webinar, we’ll hear from four IGCs:

  • Clint Albin, Homestead Gardens
  • Jennifer Moss Cornelison, Moss Greenhouses
  • Valery Cordrey, East Coast Garden Center

These panelists will share their stories of what worked and what didn’t, and which new practices they plan to continue with in 2021. Come prepared with questions!

Recording Link

Dress Your Store for Success with a Proven Winners Destination

Could creating a Proven Winners Destination bring a boost to an underutilized space in your store and help you generate more dollars per square foot? We’ll share examples from a number of retailers across North America who have implemented this program and have been hugely successful.  In addition, hear from Sandra Richter of Sandy’s Back Porch in Belleville, IL.  Sandy has implemented this concept in her garden center and you’ll have the chance to ask her all about her experience.

Whether you are looking to simply dedicate a prominent endcap or power island to Proven Winners product, or you’re ready to become a Destination for our full product line, Jessica and Heather are ready to work with you.

Recording Link

Fostering Positive Company Culture to WOW Your Customers

We know, you just got through the busiest, craziest year yet and now it’s time to start planning for Spring 2021! For our first webinar of the new year, Jessica will be joined by Anne Obarski of Merchandising Concepts. Anne is a speaker and author who works closely with organizations who want to become CONTAGIOUS….on purpose! She is the founder of Merchandise Concepts celebrating her 36th year in business. Anne works with top level managers to frontline personnel teaching organizations to consistently deliver remarkable retail customer service experiences that become their defining advantage. Anne will discuss some of the new challenges retailers face in 2021 and how to best address those when it comes to hiring, managing and delivering a unique customer experience.

Recording Link


Social Media, Diving Deeper

Following the great attendance, interaction and feedback of our fall webinar “Tips from the Pros: Creating Social Media Connections”, we are pleased to offer another social media webinar: “Social Media: Diving Deeper” which delves further into ways to put Facebook and Instagram’s tools to work for you and grow your presence and engagement on those platforms this spring. Please note this webinar will last 90 minutes. We know that is longer than usual, but we have a lot of great content to share and want to be sure we have ample time to answer questions from the audience. We will be joined Susan Martin, Instagram specialist for Proven Winners, Kristina Howley, Horticulture Content Specialist at Spring Meadow who will focus on Facebook tips and tools for this webinar and Joe Williams, SEO and PPC Specialist also from Spring Meadow. Joe will share information on data tracking, optimization and analytics for both Facebook and Instagram.

Recording Link


5 Merchandising Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

We are pleased to welcome back Anne Obarski of Merchandise Concepts to discuss some key things you want to avoid when it comes to your store displays and merchandising this spring.

Recording Link


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