Sharing and collaboration are at the heart of The Group, and The Fall Event is the perfect time to team up with our experts, other garden retailers, and vendors to share new ideas, explore solutions to your biggest challenges, and tap into a wealth of knowledge. These Breakout Sessions are the perfect time to have authentic conversations with peers, providers and vendors... conversations you can't have anywhere else.


See The Fall Event 2023 Schedule or the Speakers & Sessions page for a complete list of Speakers and Sessions.


"Power comes not from knowledge kept but from knowledge shared."

~Bill Gates

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Building Bridges Breakouts
Facilitated by Thought Leaders

During these two hours of Breakout Sessions, we will open the gates to freedom of choice and allow you to pick and choose the topics of most interest to you. There will be room to run with big ideas and reap the benefits of connections and conversations within The Garden Center Group Community. No doubt, you'll find new energy fueled by creativity and entrepreneurial spirit!

The first hour will consist of expert-led topics facilitated by our Service Pros. In the second hour, we will be tackling topics from all aspects of garden retailing based on crowd-sourced topics we gather from you before and during the event. Facilitators will remain in the same room for the second hour.

We’ve broken these expert-led topics into 7 sessions with 7 facilitators (see rooms below):

  • Robert Hayter          Salon M
  • Tom Kegley             Salon BC
  • Steve Kendall          Hall of Mirrors
  • John Kennedy         Salon HI
  • Jean Martin             Pavilion Ballroom
  • Sid Raisch               Salon FG
  • Tim Quebedeaux     Salon DE

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Hilton Cincinnati
Netherland Plaza

Salon M

Learn more about Robert Hayter

Improve Your Customer's Experience Through Your Shopping Environment Design
Facilitated by Robert Hayter, LKC Engineering

Robert offers site planning, evaluation, and renovation services for independent Garden Centers. He has spent 35 years helping garden center owners develop or enhance the function, appearance, physical security, and shop-ability of each site and its facilities. His goal is to achieve the optimum sales potential, create ease of shopping, improve operations, and produce a pleasant and attractive location for your customers. Emphasis is placed on the sales areas of the garden center to create product-merchandising flexibility, ease of stocking, and better customer access.

Robert also offers solutions in areas of parking, arrival, layout, receiving, and product display fixtures. He is available for on-site consultations with The Garden Center Group clients addressing new or redo properties and facility upgrades.

Your shopping environment design can make all the difference... Don't miss this enlightening session as Robert Hayter shares his vast knowledge and expertise to help you improve your customer's experience!

Participants are encouraged to bring details of their site challenges, their ideas and, of course, questions for Robert's review!



Hilton Cincinnati
Netherland Plaza

Salon H/I

Learn more about Tom Kegley

Who Are You? Laying the Foundation of Your Brand
Facilitated by Tom Kegley, Tom Kegley Communications

Your garden center brand is a sum total. It is the melding of multiple facets of your company and conduct of business. It is an ongoing process.

As a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, building your brand starts with articulation and creation of basic elements of identity.

This session will be a guide to establishing the first tier of your brand identity which can include defining the nature of your business, fitting name, supporting tagline, visual ID (logo, color, typography). From this tier you can launch into marketing, no matter the platform or vehicle, with uniformity and consistency that enhances brand.

This session will be useful for new/young garden centers as well as established centers that need a restart/refresh.


  1. Brand: What It Is and Isn’t
  2. Defining Your Business
  3. Position Statement
  4. Company Name
  5. Tagline
  6. Logo
  7. Colors/Fonts
  8. Consistency
  9. Building on the Foundation

Tom will offer examples for each step and provide worksheets for takeaway to implement as soon as you get back home!



Hilton Cincinnati
Netherland Plaza

Hall of Mirrors

Learn more about Steve Kendall

Knowledge from Within:  Collecting 52 Weeks of Marketing Ideas from Your Team

Your business is a series of seasonal events repeatable from year-to-year. Documenting your team’s knowledge of these events can give you a year’s worth of marketing ideas and topics to use in developing your marketing message to engage your audience.

Harness your team’s collective knowledge to establish your marketing content foundation. Why rethink the basics every year when all you need to do is tweak and update?

• Identify your topics
• Develop your content
• Define your market
• Create your message
• Select your media
• Implement your delivery
• Engage your audience
• Measure your results

Join Digital Marketing Master Steve Kendall as he shares his personal experience and insight on this systematic approach to organizing Knowledge from Within!


Hilton Cincinnati
Netherland Plaza

Salon BC

Learn more about John Kennedy

Working Smarter: GroupSpace Intranet Platform for The Busy Retail Garden Center
Facilitated by John Kennedy, BoomerWrangle

Discover how every Garden Center Group Member can have big business solutions for their small to medium-sized business and budget! 

www.YourGroupSpace.com is a customized yet affordable intranet platform that houses all of your operational & organizational needs in one single, easy-to-navigate location.

Scheduling. Employee Engagement. Ordering. Communication. Training. Marketing. Reporting. Strategic Planning. On-boarding. Benefits. HR.

With over two dozen customized workplace solutions and applications included in this platform, it’s easy to see why nearly 20 Garden Center Group Members are already working smarter, not harder! 

So if you are an existing GroupSpace user who’d like to learn about all of the new upgrades, or an interested garden center who’d like to learn about the platform, join the team at BoomerWrangle and learn to Work Smarter! 

Hilton Cincinnati
Netherland Plaza

Pavilion Ballroom

Learn more about Jean Martin

The Top Five HR Trolls Under the Bridge for Owners to Avoid
Facilitated by Jean Martin, Seawright & Associates

Join Jean Martin in this special "Owners Only" session to learn about the riskiest aspects of managing your human resources today, how to be the G.O.A.T. of compliance and best practices to get past the trolls!

You can rely on Jean to share her keen observations and valuable insight to help you stay on track with your HR challenges!

This session is 1 hour and will take place in the Pavilion Ballroom immediately following the Break & Sponsor Showcase. Then you can pick and choose which other breakouts you want to experience from 4:00pm - 5:00pm.


Hilton Cincinnati
Netherland Plaza

Salon DE

Learn more about Tim Quebedeaux

Seasonality of Inventory - Seasonal Inventory Control
Facilitated by Tim Quebedeaux, Retail KPI Consulting

Many Garden Centers have improved the ebb and flow of their inventory to match "revenue seasons", but mastered it they have not…. What does it mean to truly have Seasonal Inventory Control? Does your Garden Center’s Inventory levels exhibit seasonality? Learn seasonality and how you can improve your Garden Center’s profitability by implementing Seasonal Inventory Control. 

Tim Quebedeaux has become the leading financial expert in garden retailing. Don't miss this session as he shares his knowledge that can help you master inventory control to become more profitable!


Hilton Cincinnati
Netherland Plaza

Salon FG

Learn more about Sid Raisch
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A Wild Ride:  Building Your Bridge to the Future with New Paradigms
Facilitated by Sid Raisch, Horticultural Advantage

We’re living on borrowed time with old marketing paradigms and practices that have become ineffective. There are new and improved solutions available that will become even better over time because of integrations and generative AI.
Join Sid to learn how to Build your Bridge to Your Future:
  1. What new paradigms are being established by leading organizations?
  2. Which ones apply to garden retailers? 
  3. What Castles in the Sky can we build? 
  4. What are the building blocks to the foundation below the Castles we wish to build? 
  5. How can we build and lead our teams to change paradigms?
Sid has become the "Swiss Army Knife" of The Garden Center Group. He has been inventing and reinventing the way things "don't get done" into "get it done" strategies for years that increase profit-ability, market-ability, oper-ability, and owner-ability of garden centers, landscape operations and a few wise suppliers of plants and products. When you read Sid's articles or hear Sid talk "put your ears on" listen up and get ready to think and implement changes that will take you and your company to new heights and new places.
Don't miss this eye-opening session!

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm



Hilton Cincinnati
Netherland Plaza

Salon BC

Emerging Leaders: Developing the Leader Within You–Part 2
Facilitated by John Kennedy, BoomerWrangle

Join John Kennedy on Tuesday as he picks up where he left off from the Emerging Leaders Lunch & Learn on Monday. John will challenge the audience members in a team-building exercise that will reinforce the messaging of the initial workshop. This engaging and fun Breakout Session will focus on how to manage resources, people and time in a team environment to produce the very best outcomes for the project. From this exercise, we will open the floor to real-life challenges and issues within the retail garden center space (managing and leading people who are older or who are peers, balancing accountability and responsibility, how to influence under-performers, how to address conflict within the workplace or any other challenge you care to bring to the confidential discussion. 

The emerging leaders will leave this workshop with a deeper relationship with like-minded peers, a more focused approach to their leadership development, and a strategy and plan to begin implementing the very next week after The Fall Event!

Breakout Session 2 to be Determined Based on Crowdsourcing


Breakout Session 3 to be Determined Based on Crowdsourcing


Breakout Session 4 to be Determined Based on Crowdsourcing


Breakout Session 5 to be Determined Based on Crowdsourcing


Breakout Session 6 to be Determined Based on Crowdsourcing


The Fall Event 2023 QuickLinks:  

The Fall Event 2023 - REGISTER
The Fall Event 2023 - MAIN PAGE
The Fall Event 2023 - SCHEDULE
The Fall Event 2023 - SPEAKERS & SESSIONS
The Fall Event 2023 - TOUR
The Fall Event 2023 - HOTEL & TRAVEL
The Fall Event 2023 - BEST OF CINCY
The Fall Event 2023 - SPONSORS