MANTS draws more than 11,600 registrants
BALTIMORE — The Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show was held on Jan. 9-11 and attracted a wide universe of green industry professionals to gather at the Baltimore Convention Center for the show’s 49th year.
It was another highly attended event with more than 11,600 total registrants (including exhibitors), the highest attendance in the last 11 years.
Attendees from 48 states and 16 foreign countries had the opportunity to visit 956 exhibiting companies, spread out over 1,550 booths. They came to do business, network and learn.
“We’ve been coming to MANTS for 22 years and wouldn’t give it up. We were attendees before, so when we decided to go into business for ourselves, it wasn’t rocket science that we knew we had to exhibit” at MANTS, said John and Maureen Murphy from Murphy John’s Inc in Sudlersville, Md. “We get new customers from MANTS every year, and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.
“But this show is more than just about selling. It’s also networking with other companies. It gives us a place to share ideas and promote the industry. And that’s what MANTS does so well — promote the industry.”
The positive energy was very apparent to all attendees and exhibitors. “We rate the show each year on a 10 point scale,” said Mark Highland, president of The Organic Mechanics Soil Company in Modena, Pa. “MANTS 2018 was 7/10. 2019’s show was 10/10. The number of overall attendees seemed up, the traffic in our booth seemed up, and the overall show vibe seemed positive about the 2019 economic outlook.
“Honestly, I didn’t get to walk the show this year as it was so busy in the booth.
“I’m happy to see MANTS return to the attendance levels and excitement we were seeing four years ago. “
In addition to the increased registration, business was thriving at the premier green industry marketplace once again this year.
More than 87 percent of MANTS attendees were designated as making or influencing purchasing decisions. 3,671 non-exhibiting/buying companies were represented on the show floor, and it showed according to MANTS exhibitors:
“I do every show from here to Portland, and this is the ‘Show of Shows’ — the very best. MANTS has been quite successful for me,” explained Brian McCall, sales manager for Bobbex in Monroe, Conn. “I’ve been meeting new customers and writing new business.
“I’ve been exhibiting for at least 15 years, and I look forward to coming back every year.”
New products and plant introductions were a big attraction for many attendees looking for that “it” item to stock.
Among the plants many expressed excitement about were the boxwood blight-resistant NewGen Boxwood,the “Annual of the Year” from Proven Winners, Lemon Coral Sedum, and the seed-sterile Amazel Basil Ocimum hybrid with amazing Downy Mildew resistance
For the urban and small space grower, there was the the AUTOCROP LF-ONE (www.autocropusa.com), a complete automated growing system.
Its price tag (about $1,200) puts it out of reach for many home gardeners, but it may be a promising alternative system for commercial vertical farms or home and small business.
MANTS 2020 is scheduled for Jan. 8-10 when it returns to the Baltimore Convention Center.
In 2020, MANTS will turn 50 and there are some big plans promised for the annual event.
Founded in 1970 with 64 original exhibitors, MANTS is now one of the largest private trade shows serving the horticulture industry and the premier green industry marketplace for finding plants and nursery stock, landscape and garden items, heavy and light duty equipment, tools, furniture and hundreds of other allied industry products.
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