The beginning of the month was a benchmark for lawn and landscapers across the country. A conference called the Green Industry Great Escape was held in the Bahamas at the famous Atlantis Resort. This event was hosted by the Professional Landscape Network, with several other noteworthy sponsors like Caterpillar, STIHL, and John Deere. The purpose of the event was to bring in industry professionals, successful business owners, and the dedicated entrepreneur to a beautiful resort to experience key note speakers, network, and discuss how to manage for success in 2012.
Looking at the lawn and landscape business over the past few years it is hard to even imagine a conference like this to attract the little guys like myself along with 90 percent of the lawn and landscape business's around. A key note speaker Tom Oyler said, "“I hate to see people come in who can bully and buy, and they’re not innovative,” Oyler says. “They just have capital. I love the small guy." It is strange to hear this come from a conference that is being hosted at a resort that my wife and I could not even afford to go to for our honeymoon, let alone for a 3 day conference. On the other hand this island has probably one of the most complicated landscape designs and up keeps imaginable so the tour of the island with director of landscaping, Tony Burzo was probably worth the money of the trip itself. It just seems that a trip like this is directed for the big wigs, and the industry leader with money, and not for the "little guys" that Tom loves.
A conference of this magnitude would have such an impact for the little guys if it was affordable to attend. It is obvious that in our city and with this economy the lawn care business has resulted to a mass undercutting of your competition and taking anything you can get. Tom Oyler, also discussed at the conference the positives of pooling your different talents and resources together instead of just being focused on acquiring your next client. These are the items that small business need to hear and be educated on for the success of their business in the future, which is why conferences like Green Industry Great Escape should possibly think about having more accessibility to their conference for the "little guys".
Ultimately I have read that this conference was a huge success which allowed people in the states to follow along with their twitter hash tag #GIGE2012. Maybe next year, if Professional Landscape Network decides to host this event in another exotic location they might want to look at video web casting some of the key speakers on their website so people across the world can be educated on ways to help their lawn and landscape small business.