Taking Nature On The Road Again – Trade Shows Are Back


One more positive sign we are turning the corner from the coronavirus pandemic: Trade shows are back!


It’s your Eco-Warrior team of Dan Summers and Jim Mumford at a trade show near you!

In the past month, Good Earth Plant Company set up a display booth at several trade shows. First, we participated in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) San Diego event. Next, we set up at the International Facilities Manager Association (IFMA) and Building Owners and Manager Association (BOMA) joint San Diego Chapter trade show. Our Business Development expert Dan Summers joined me here.

We also partnered with our clients and colleagues GMBi and BKM at the International Interior Design Association show. We didn’t have a booth ourselves, but we did attend and enjoyed the interaction.  The booths our colleagues displayed combined the approach to creating the office space of the future: open, as comfortable as a living room, and filled with light, color, natural elements, and of course, plants!

In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a socially outgoing person. I enjoy professional conferences and gatherings of smart professionals in the design and building industry. It has been a long time since we had the chance to meet and share information and ideas.

There is no good substitute for the opportunity trade and industry shows provide. Research backs me up on this.

Why we love trade shows

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the top three reasons people attend trade shows are Discovery, Networking, and Education.

We collaborated on this display to show what the post-pandemic office space of the future could look like.

Discovery: People want to see the latest products and trends. They want to find the “new.” In a CEIR survey, 92% of trade show attendees say this is the main reason they attend. They gravitate toward the novel. In our case, we’re showing off the latest ways to use moss walls and our ability to customize projects for our clients, like the recent 3D printed living wall we created for a Malibu home.

Colleagues Shane Pliska, Jan Goodman, and yours trulyJim Mumford in pre-pandemic times meeting in 2018. Hope our good advice helps you!

Networking: Zoom meetings kept us going, and they’re here to stay. But they can’t completely replace the value of getting together with people. It’s just nice to hear a friendly voice and see a smiling face. The human connection goes a long way. In the CEIR survey, this is a way people stay on top of industry trends – and compare products.

This was my favorite part of the past couple of weeks. I got to see clients and friends I hadn’t seen in two years. I got to meet new friends too!

We are getting back on the Lunch and Learn schedule. This session was our first after the pandemic started back on January 29. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend a noon hour or any hour.

Education: This is excellent news. According to another survey by the magazine Trade Show Executive, two-thirds of people who attend trade shows say they go to be educated about products and services. We love educating people about the power of nature to improve our lives. Our entire reason Good Earth Plant Company exists is to enrich peoples’ lives with plants. A close second is educating people about how and why plants and nature improve our health and wellbeing on every level. I love to talk with people every chance I get about biophilia and biophilic design.

Because of the pandemic, this is more urgent than ever. If anything good came out of the last 18 months, it is the way more people recognize the importance of creating healthy spaces, maintaining our mental health, and finding ways to make our surroundings more comforting, comfortable, and supportive. No more cubicle farms, no more soul-crushing open office plans that cram people into smaller and smaller spaces. If you’d like to learn more about this, download and read our white paper, The Nature of the  Post-Pandemic Workplace.

The post pandemic office will be filled with light and plants when employees return in 2021. Phjoto: Valeria Boltneva plant stylist

The post pandemic office will be filled with light and plants when employees return in 2021. Phjoto: Valeria Boltneva

We have a golden opportunity to make change happen. Workspaces need to look and feel as comfortable as working from home in 2021 and moving forward. There is no reason they can’t. Space, comfort, and nature make it possible. And it’s not expensive. It’s the price of a cup of coffee per day. How much is your wellbeing worth? Mine is worth at LEAST this much.

Maybe I was a teacher in a past life. I genuinely enjoy sharing whatever I know with people. I always look forward to presentations like our Lunch and Learn discussions. It’s hard to stop at just 60 minutes! Shameless plug: if your organization wants to learn more about biophilic design, The Well Building Standard, how to design a living wall or green roof, or any other topic, get in touch, and let’s get together! Email me at jim@goodearthplants.com

If you’d like to have Good Earth Plant Company participate in your next trade show or industry get-together, we would like to hear from you. Use our Contact Us page and pass along the information.