Thursday, May 7, 2015

What is a Virtual Summit?

Marketing departments often weigh the pros and cons of participating in trade shows.  Shows take planning (which ones are the best to reach target markets), cost money to develop a good booth, staff time, and usually travel costs.  In addition to planning, working the show, and attending, there is the follow up after.  And, what is the return on investment? How can you measure if the new relationships will lead to business? What about existing clients and getting face time with them at the show?

As we rely more on the digital world for business, trade shows face increased scrutiny from business leaders in measuring their effectiveness.  Linda Velazquez is the creative and business arm behind, our industry supported website. I was introduced to her early in my career, when I was still in MSU's grad school program, at my first green roof trade show and conference.  Several years ago she and her team launched a Virtual Summit- a low cost and travel-free alternative to attending a trade show.

This year, she asked me to prepare a presentation of my choosing, record it, and make some videos to introduce and close the presentation.  During the summit, you can watch numerous other presenters, chat with sponsors, and enter the virtual trade show to learn more about the companies.  Cool, huh? I loved the experience of preparing the presentation, learning how to record it, and using my phone and computer to video a trailer.

My presentation is called Pollinators on Parapets.  Here’s the YouTube trailer preview. To register for the 2015 Virtual Summit, just click the hyperlink. And to follow up from the summit, Linda wrote an excellent summary of the presentation in her Sky Gardens blog!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Make it Quick!

Geum in bloom
Like many people in my industry, I love this time of year.  The roofs are waking up, we get back out to the field to explore the new growth, and evaluate any problems that might have occurred over winter. Last week I was fortunate enough to get out to five local roofs to clean up organic matter, collect soil samples, and take a few snapshots of some early blooms.

This is also an ideal installation time for green roofs! AD Greenroof is working on a small installation this week in Eden Prairie, MN. Over winter we contracted by a design-build firm in town to design a green roof - this one includes irrigation, berms, Sedum and natives. I anticipate lots of pollinators will be visiting this site, too!

Native strawberries on Target Center
Last month we were part of a 5,000 sf agricultural roof installation in Chicago. It's a wonderful project with high visibility. I look forward to hearing more about the crops they grow, what is successful and how they will use it in the restaurant they are building below.

I'm keeping this post short because it is too nice today to be stuck to a computer!