Tina Bemis graduated with a BS in Floriculture from Cornell University, and is a graduate of the American Nursery and Landscape Association’s program, Garden Center University. Tina is co-owner, with her husband, of Bemis Farms Nursery. This charming garden center in Central Massachusetts nestles inspiring displays of farm-grown plants among the shady pines and majestic oaks of a century farm. There, she is responsible for growing, purchasing, advertising, and merchandising all of the annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs. And to insure their customers get bitten by the gardening bug, she teaches 200 workshops a year on container gardening and garden-related crafts, showing how fun and easy gardening can be when you add a shovel-full of knowledge
She has spoken at state and national industry conferences on Garden Center Workshops, Displays and Events, and is author of the book BenchMarketing: 15 Ways to Increase Profits with Make and Take Workshops.
Using workshops as part of their business model has helped earned Bemis Farms Nursery a Profitability Award from The Garden Center Group for 2012 through 2014. She has served on the board of the Massachusetts Nurseryman and Landscape Association, is current President of the Massachusetts Flower Growers Association, and is past President of the Northeast Greenhouse Conference.
Garden Center Workshops: Where the Experience Economy meets Relationship Marketing. (Because Sometimes They Wanna Go Where Everybody Knows Their Name)
Does the idea of 150 additional customers purchasing your leftover tulips and daffodils on a cold, rainy Sunday in November get your heart racing? How about always selling down the last 5% of annuals, where most of your profit is? If so, then maybe it’s time to offer workshops. The secret to success at Bemis Farms Nursery is not just profiting from the workshop itself. Learn their whole strategy that will provide your customers with not only a finished product but more importantly, a newfound feeling of creativity, a fierce loyalty to your business, and a passion for gardening. Learn secrets to creating an enticing list of workshops, exciting the audience, advertising, purchasing, and much more. You will leave with tons of ideas and inspiration.
Events vs. Promotions: Telling the Story of Your Garden Center
Imaginative marketers can envisions dozens of ideas which draw people to your store. But do huge crowds come for the free food, take up parking spaces and valuable staff time, and scare your regular customers away? How do you create a balance that gets you community goodwill, free press, AND returns profit to your bottom line? Includes examples like our Scarecrows for Solutions event which raised $8000 for 32 non-profit organizations and brought in 520 families this fall, plus our Easter Egg Hunt which brings in 850 children each year. Plus our “limited time” sales that focus on buying right, and managing your “materials handling” so you can afford to lower your price without sacrificing profit. Along with the nuts and bolts of “how I do it” comes a brutal evaluation of whether hosting events is right for you.