The Premier Event for Direct Marketing Professionals within the Gardening Industry!

Conference Schedule

Bios of all of our conference speakers available here.

Wednesday, January 22

8:00 AM – Noon           DGA Board of Directors Meeting - By Invitation Only
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM   Registration Open
1:00 PM – 1:20 PM Opening Remarks by DGA President Greg Key
1:20 PM – 2:55 PM

How to Create Community to Build Your Business and Brand
Lou Mongello, Second Star Media.

Learn how to take your content and brand further by fostering
meaningful, loyal, and engaged community (both on and offline),
why authenticity is the key (and future) of building your business
and brand, and how nurturing genuine relationships will boost
your bottom line.

2:55 PM – 3:15 PM Networking Break - Visit with our sponsors/exhibitors.
3:15 PM – 4:45 PM

The Most Human Company Wins,
Mark Schaefer, Schaefer Marketing Solutions.

Technology is a must for successful businesses today, but has it
caused you to lose your ‘human’ touch? Mark Schaefer, globally-
author, speaker, podcaster, business consultant and
plant geek, will
share a whole new way to think about business
and marketing, based on where consumers are today.

Click on this link for a glimpse of what Schaefer will discuss:

 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

 Welcome Back Reception


Thursday, January 23

7:30 AM – 3:00 PM Registration Open
8:00 AM – 8:45 AM Continental breakfast for all registered attendees.
8:45 AM – 9:15 AM Business meeting: All attendees should attend.
9:15 AM – 9:30 AM Presentation: 
Update on MTAC
by Rose Flanagan, DataMail or Susan Pinter, Arandell
9:45 AM – 10:15 AM Presentation: 
Green Thumb Awards,
 moderated by Randy Schultz, Schultz Communications
10:30 AM – 11:45 AM  

2019 National Gardening Survey Results,  
Dave Whitinger, NGA Executive Director

Garden Research, a division of the National Gardening Association, is a well-known and widely recognized authority on the U.S. consumer lawn and garden market. Since 1973, NGA has worked with the Gallup Organization, Harris Interactive, and now Research Now/SSI to provide market research information for the lawn, garden, and nursery industries. Whitinger will comment on results of the 2019 National Gardening Survey and share his thoughts on consumers’ attitudes and shopping behavior in the L&G industry.  

11:50 AM - 2:00 PM

Lunch & Learn Roundtable Discussions
Grab a box lunch, network while you eat and then select two of three following roundtable discussions.
Each discussion will run 45 minutes.
Roundtable topics: • 
Keeping the Customer Service Bar High in the Amazon
                                 Age - 
Moderated by Emily King, Dixondale Farms
                               • Strategic Campaigns: Driving Awareness, Engagement
Activation in the US Market -
                                 Moderated by Linda Delaney, Fine Gardening
                               • What Excites Home Gardeners Today? 
                                 Moderated by Dave Whitinger, NGA

11:50 - 12: 20 - Lunch
12:20 - 1:05 - First Round table
1:10 - 1:55 - Second Round table

2:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Do you Really Know Your Customer? Really?  
Ken Lane, Hathaway & Lane.

Think you know all there is to know about Millennials? Chances are you don’t. They are not like your base customer, and thinking that they might be could be disastrous. Applying a relentless Measure & Manage approach to helping drive ROI, and often noted for saying “It’s your data…I’m not making this up,” Lane has accumulated & compiled a treasure trove of research this past year that he will share with us.

Click on this link for a glimpse of Lane's session:

3:30 PM – 3:40 PM

Networking Break - Visit with our sponsors/exhibitors.

3:45 PM - 5:00 PM

Panel Discussion
Different Generations Working Together Successfully
Family-owned businesses have been a major part of the DGA membership through the years. Different generations working together to help a business grow and thrive is not always easy. This panel will share some of the challenges and opportunities they face. If you have specific questions you would like the panel to address, please email or text them to the DGA Office: [email protected] or 217-248-7033.
• Dixondale Farms - Brian and Emily King. Bruce Frasier will join us via
• Jung Seed Co. - Dick and Andy Zondag. Nathan Zondag will join us via
• Hoss Tools - Greg and Travis Key
Oakes Daylilies - Ken Oakes
Moderated by Val Gosset, Evergreen Marketing

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM Networking Reception


Friday, January 24

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Registration open                                               
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Coffee/Tea Bar

8:30 AM - 11:00 AM

How to Create a Sales Video using Camtasia
, Owen Video

Back by popular demand! Owen makes it look and sound so easy to create videos that will help us better market our products and services. Now he's going to actually show us how to do just! Be prepared to go away excited about your new learned and/or improved video skills.

11:10AM - 12:50 PM Brunch & Presentation
Modern Marketing for Today’s Evolving Consumers, Steve Lerch, Story Arc Consulting, LLC.

Steve Lerch is an award-winning international public speaker and consultant, and a highly respected voice in the world of digital strategy, marketing, consumer behavior, and innovation. Prior to the formation of Story Arc Consulting, Lerch spent nine years at Google crafting his unique perspective on the topics of innovation, strategy, and digital marketing. 

He'll draw on his vast experience to share with us his perspective on how our industry can market to today's evolving consumers successfully.

12:50 PM - 1:00 PM


Closing remarks, Greg Key, DGA President.