For the first time since COVID-19 broke out, Garden Connect has managed to resume its Meetup program.
The Garden Connect Meetup program was introduced in 2019 and the goal is to help garden centres understand how to get more out of their websites and webshops. “We’re glad we were able to resume our Meetup program since a lot happened in the last 18 months. Being together to share ideas is very beneficial and helps to find solutions,” explains Edwin Meijer of Garden Connect.
The Meetups were hosted in Eindhoven, Utrecht (the Netherlands) and Athlone (Ireland). “It was challenging to make this happen and to comply with the local COVID-19 restrictions, but we’re glad we pushed it forward,” Edwin added.
One of the trends discussed was about online plant sales as Edwin explains. “Consumers all over the world discovered the ease of buying plants online. Research showed that 43% of them will keep buying plants online post-COVID-19. But how can you benefit from this change in shopping behaviour? An important topic to consider for every garden centre, small or large.”
The benefit of a Meetup is the interaction between attendees: “With 12 like-minded people sitting together, there’s always someone who’s already doing things. Having this information is valuable and helps to grow independent garden centres.”
The Meetup in Utrecht was focused on loyalty marketing and partner NedFox joined this session as well. “Many garden centres want to get more out of their loyalty card but are unsure how to make that happen. During this session we gave insight into models and the maturity of loyalty programs.” explains Edwin Meijer. “We had a very fruitful discussion among attendees. Some of them are still considering implementing a loyalty program and this helped them to give input on what we and NedFox have to do to help them in the years to come.”
The Garden Connect Meetups are open to everyone. “Our Meetups are open to everyone. Our goal is to share knowledge and to help independent garden centres to understand what’s happening online and how to benefit from it. If the garden industry is thriving, we will thrive as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re using our platform or not.” explains Edwin Meijer.
The Meetups are free to attend, and lunch is provided by Garden Connect. Due to the exclusivity of the data shared, it’s only accessible for independent garden centres with a limit of 15 attendees per Meetup.