Online education has been available for decades, but many have turned to it for the first time in 2020. The global pandemic forced everyone to find new ways to do business, socialize and learn. The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (NCNLA) used the opportunity to fill a need for online education in the green industry.
by Cindy Whitt, Director of Marketing & Communications for North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association
Each year the association hosts an education conference as part of Green & Growin’, a weeklong event for business, networking and learning. When the event could not be held in person due to limits on public gatherings, NCNLA had access to the technology available to offer the education conference online. The association tasked its Education Committee to transition the in-person event into an online conference.
“The virtual format for Green & Growin’ education opened up new possibilities. It let us offer a wider variety of topics, which was one of the education committee’s goals,” said Shannon Currey, Marketing Director of Hoffman Nursery and NCNLA Education Committee member.
Online education offers attendees the same opportunity to gain new skills, pursue continuing education and network with peers, but with more flexibility. Anyone who registers for the conference can attend live sessions during the broadcast Jan. 11-13, 2021 or watch the recordings through April 30, 2021. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) towards North Carolina licenses and certifications can be earned at any time during that period.
The traditional Green & Growin’ education program is known for its variety each year, with courses for landscapers, growers, retailers and other industry professionals, and the online program is no different. Attendees can also take advantage of additional classes to boost skills in areas outside of their primary business functions.
“I think attendees will find it easy and convenient to access the sessions, and they’ll enjoy the mix of useful, engaging topics,” said Currey. “The hardest part will be choosing which sessions to join first!”
Leaders from across the industry are sharing their expertise on topics such as robotics in landscaping, planting for pollinators, alternative soil amendments, how to bid on projects and more. Business topics include how to use social media, teaching leadership within your organization and business implications of new tax legislation due to the pandemic. Industry companies hosting hourlong presentations include BASF, Greenius, Gregory Poole Caterpillar and Proven Winners.
Learn more about the Green & Growin’ 21 Virtual Education program at www.greenandgrowin.com/ve. Registration is open until the last day of the conference on Jan. 13, 2021.