We arrived in Columbus on Monday evening filled with excitement and anticipation at attending our first American Public Garden Association conference and finally meeting face to face the people from the American gardens, with whom we had had previous contact. With the generosity and friendliness we experienced at the Eurogard VI congress in Greece still fresh in our minds, we revelled in the famous North American warmth and hospitality. It is obvious from all our meetings over the last weeks that plant people are a very nice breed.
We would like to thank the APGA and the organizing committee for putting together a fantastic conference. The hospitality received at the host gardens, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, The Dawes Arboretum and The Ohio State University Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens was exceptional. Thank you so much. You have all created a memorable experience that we will cherish for many years to come
I would personally like to thank all of you who took the time to visit our booth at the exhibition on Tuesday and Wednesday and the people I got to meet during the sessions and excursions. It is always very valuable to us to hear your thoughts and questions regarding our product and the work we do.
What did we learn?
Our experience from EuroGard VI was in many ways repeated at the APGA conference.
- The research and development we have invested in IrisBG in the last few years have paid off. We believe we have found the right balance between scientific rigour and usability.
- Everyone wants maps, but very few (if any) have the resources to record map coordinates for every single plant in their collection. With our approach to mapping, we make it possible for gardens to get the immediate benefits of maps and the flexibility to introduce precision gradually, according to the requirements and resources available.
- Publishing the plant collection data online is high on the wish list for most gardens. With our Web Solution, Garden Explorer, gardens can reach all their visitors on PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone through one solution, in a convenient and cost effective manner.
- We discussed our cloud database option with many of you and it looks as if this is going to be a popular choice.
I found Thursday’s session regarding The North American Plant Collections Consortium (NAPCC) very interesting. Especially with regards to multi-site collections like the “Magnolias”, which cover so many different climate zones. A possibility to explore these collections online would be amazing and we hope we can contribute in some capacity to assist the consortium in the important work they do.
I did not have time to join all the excursions, but the ones I did join were excellent on every level, very well organized, and filled with great food and superb company. The conference in Columbus inspired us both on a professional and personal level. Again, thank you so much.
Our introduction to the gardens of North America was a great experience for us. We look forward to talking and working with some of you in the near future.
We are already looking forward to the APGA 2013 conference (The Garden Evolution Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, May 20-24, 2013).
If you did not have a chance to talk to us at the conference, please get in touch directly by email, telephone or with comments through the blog.