NurseryWorks – Kansas State University's first professional conference for nursery crop retailers and producers – will debut June 15-16.
Any of the nation's nursery fans can attend, either online from their own computer or in person at K-State's hometown – Manhattan, the "Little Apple."
All will see and hear the same NurseryWorks speakers, plus be able to vote electronically to find group opinions and answers. Those with an online connection will be able to ask questions and join distant conversations via entries on Twitter, Facebook and/or Google Moderator. Their comments will immediately show up in the campus conference room, projected on large screens.
"These kinds of social media are the new frontier for sales, marketing, and staying in contact with customers and colleagues across the country. We're hoping participants will use the conference as an opportunity to learn about and practice using these real-time media. Who knows? Maybe they'll find some new plants or contacts, too," said Cheryl Boyer, co-director and K-State Research and Extension's nursery crops specialist.
By including communications technology, NurseryWorks is likely to be more interactive than typical conferences, said Jason Griffin, co-director of the conference and director of K-State's John C. Pair Horticulture Center near Wichita.
"Plus, we're bringing in nationally known speakers to discuss today's best practices and techniques in terms of production, business and marketing. On campus, we're also offering hands-on workshops, tours, exhibits, a plant auction and a catered barbecue dinner in the KSU Gardens," he said.
The fees for those who register during May are $75 for the nursery people and educators who'll attend in Manhattan, $50 for students, and $30 for those who'll participate online. (Businesses registering five or more people get a discount.) Registrations received after June 3 will cost $15 more.
A full description of the conference, its activities and speakers, and the available options for registering are available on a NurseryWorks website at http://www.dce.k-state.edu/conf/nursery-works/.