To say it has taken the last week to recover for FutureScape 2019 is an understatement. Months of organising, preparation, worry and sleepless nights and it seem it’s all over with the flick of a light switch. However you judge it, FutureScape 2019 was a roaring success, with more visitors than ever, more exhibitors with a wider variety of products than ever and complete industry engagement.
FutureScape is a total team effort, from selling the exhibitor stands, to producing the content programme, marketing the event, visitor engagement, building the stands, producing the presentations, being the smiling face on reception – all this and lots more is key to its success.
The excitement for the FutureScape team is the buzz and excitement the event creates, it’s great to see the conversations between landscapers and suppliers, designers and landscapers, suppliers and designers – where new relationships are being formed, as well as people maximising the networking opportunity with industry colleagues and friends – FutureScape is a true reflection of what a great industry the landscaping sector is. It also amazes us that the levels people are prepared to go to help and share knowledge with each other, often those that are their competitors and rivals. It’s a great industry.
Some of the highlights for 2019 have to be the lengths some companies went to with their stands, making them inviting and inspiring, displaying a vast array of products. It’s also great to see new innovative products being launched, and of course who doesn’t like seeing the nurseries with their beautiful trees, shrubs and plants that enhance the tactile paving and decking?
The seminars and debates were outstanding this year, with standing room only on many sessions, the topics that were tackled highlighted the diverse issues and opportunities facing the sector.
FutureScape 2019 also hosted the Pro Landscaper small project BIG IMPACT Awards, which has already grown since its launch last year and attracted some excellent entries – it was very difficult to even narrow down a shortlist let alone select the overall winners. We’d like to extend a big thank you to the judging panel, I’m sure the quality of the judges made winning the award even more special.
Moving onto the evening programme, first it had the fifth Pro Landscaper’s 30 under 30: The Next Generation awards presentation, even though the winners are informed early in the month, it’s great to watch them coming onto stage to collect their awards. The future is really bright based on this year’s winners, it was heartwarming to watch them congratulate each other and network with industry leaders.
And finally, before dinner it hosted the Pro Landscaper Summit, which this year tackled the enormous topic of social conscience or more specifically what the landscape sector can/should do it influence their clients. The FutureScape team has commented on how it feel extremely privileged when it looks around and sees such a diverse representation of all sectors and associations of the industry. The topic was terrific and I guess asked more questions than it answered but what really did come across was that it’s now or never, small steps are better than none and we really are in a position collectively as an industry to have a massive impact.