To get a sense for what the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ (NALP) 2022 Elevate event in Orlando, Fla., was all about, all one has to do is look to the name.
With 1,700 attendees from 46 states (and several countries including Canada, India, Chana and Australia) and 141 exhibiting companies on the trade show floor, the event encompassed many elements to help elevate attendees' businesses and the green industry as a whole.
At the opening ceremony, Britt Wood, CEO of NALP, said NALP aimed to educate, entertain and inspire attendees.
Mike Bogan, president of NALP and CEO of LandCare, agreed.
“1985 was my first time interacting with this association and I got exposed to what this industry has to offer,” Bogan said. “This conference has given me so many opportunities to grow. It’s given me teachers, mentors and lifelong friends.”
To educate attendees, NALP offered dozens of sessions on a variety of topics, including efficiency hacks, recruitment practices, diversity and inclusion initiatives, battery-powered and autonomous technology and more.
When they weren’t in sessions, attendees discussed challenges, shared ideas on how to grow their businesses and walked the trade show floor to learn about the new products on the market to help them overcome their challenges.
Additionally, hundreds of attendees started their mornings at NALP’s Breakfast of Champions, a special gathering where landscape professionals discuss their favorite topics and join a discussion over breakfast with industry experts and peers from around the country.
In the spirit of entertainment, Elevate’s opening speaker Alex Banayan spoke on how he hacked The Price is Right, won a sailboat, sold it and used the money to fund his quest to learn from the world’s most innovative leaders. Over the course of his journey, Banayan interviewed Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Larry King, Maya Angelou, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Jessica Alba, Quincy Jones and eventually turned his interviews into a book called “The Third Door.”
While he encountered many roadblocks on his path to interview so many successful people, Banayan spoke on the importance of not giving up.
“You have as many at-bats as you’re willing to give yourself,” Banayan said.
The closing speaker was Joe Theismann, an entrepreneur and the former star quarterback for the Washington Redskins. Most recently, he spent the last two decades working for ESPN and the NFL Network as an NFL analyst.
To top off the entertainment, attendees visited the magical Harry Potter World for the closing party.
Among the the educational sessions, trade show floor offerings, entertaining speakers and networking opportunities, NALP’s Elevate Conference inspired attendees to tackle the challenges that lie ahead in their businesses.
As Bogan said in the opening ceremony, “What I love about this industry is how open and willing to share people are. It’s the abundance mentality—the idea that there’s enough to go around for everyone.”