MANTS draws highest attendance in 10 years
BALTIMORE — (Feb. 13, 2018) The Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show was held on Jan. 10-12, and attracted a diverse group of green industry professionals for the show’s 48th year.
It was the highest attendance in 10 years.
More than 11,500 total registrants, including exhibitors, representing 46 states and 15 countries came to do business, network and research.
At mid-morning during the Thursday exhibit day, incoming attendees reported no available parking at the stadiums or anywhere downtown.
Future attendees are advised to park for free at one of the outer light rail stations and take the rail in to the stop right at the Baltimore Convention Center.
There were 963 exhibiting companies spread out over 1,536 booths — covering more than 300,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space. Beyond the exhibitors, 3,659 non-exhibiting/buying companies were represented on the show floor.
“In addition to our increased registration, it was incredible to walk the show floor and feel the energy and excitement our colleagues already have for this season,” said Vanessa Finney, executive vice president of MANTS. “Business was booming at MANTS this year, too. 81 percent of our attendees were designated as final decision-makers by their companies and it showed; many exhibitors commented about the quality of the attendees and the amount of business conducted during the show’s three days.
“We are so glad MANTS continues to be a valuable asset to the industry.”
A good deal of business was done off the exhibit floor as well with several well-attended evening receptions and meetings.
Gatherings included the “Emergent: A Group for Growing Professionals” on Wednesday evening at the Pratt Street Ale House.
The mission of this group is to make changes to raise awareness and appreciation of gardening for future generations.
There was a high level of energy and enthusiasm among the under-40 crowd for the future.
On Thursday morning, the garden media met at the press room off the Charles Street lobby to hear presentations of new products and trends presented at the show.
Among the presentations was a discussion of biochar by Organic Mechanics Soil Company’s founder Mark Highland.
“Biochar is a highly porous carbon that improves nutrient adsorption and provides a practically permanent home for beneficial soil biology,” Highland said. “Proper use will boost yields and increase the effectiveness of your growing mediums.”
While the use of biochar is not new, the latest research into applications for both agriculture and horticulture is encouraging for the future of plant nutrient management.
Another promising new products featured was CaliperRFID, a cloud-based app to automate the calipering process for tree nurseries, and a unique raised vegetable planter for urban, small-space growing from City Farmer USA.
MANTS 2019 is scheduled for Jan. 9-11 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
For the latest information, visit www.mants.com or call 410-296-6959.
In 2020, MANTS will turn 50 and there are reportedly some big plans afoot for that event.
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