How I Do It: Selling and Creating Showstopping Seasonal Displays - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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How I Do It: Selling and Creating Showstopping Seasonal Displays

Photo: Borst Landscape & Design

Seasonal displays can provide a pop of color and cheer when most of the landscape is becoming dull during the fall and winter months.

Learn what companies offering this service have to say are the major selling points and how they avoid creating the same old display year after year.

What Sells Seasonal Displays?

Photo: Duke’s Landscape Management

Aaron Williams, a production manager with Duke’s Landscape Management, based in Hackettstown, New Jersey, says when selling to corporate clientele you should emphasize employee satisfaction.

“These displays are by no means a permanent fixture, but employees do enjoy being surprised with them when they arrive to work,” he says. “Especially in these recent times, going to work is becoming a tougher task than in years past. Being a company that cares about their employees and wants them to enjoy their time goes a long way. A seasonal display can brighten anyone’s day and that one boost in mood is contagious.” 

When selling to HOAs highlight how the displays are something that people can flock to.

“Talking about how the community would really interact with a display and look forward to it helps sell to property managers,” Williams says. “Creating a vision and passing that along to your client is always a rewarding part of the process, especially when you bring that vision to life.”

Photo: Borst Landscape & Design

Mark Borst, LIC, president and owner of Borst Landscape & Design based in Allendale, New Jersey, says many of their seasonal display business comes to them, but they do send out regular e-blasts reminding customers when it’s time for a new seasonal look.

“I would say it’s mostly the visuals in the email saying here’s some samples of what we’ve done that sells it,” Borst says.

“Displays are easy to install and will separate you from your competition,” says Matt Chapman, a manager with Morin’s Landscaping Inc., based in Hollis, New Hampshire. “They are a value add service that lasts 5-6 weeks. In the Northeast, fall flowers have a short window and are expensive. They often have the budget for the seasonal flowers. You are saving them money and giving them a product that will last longer.”

What Goes Into a Display?  

Seasonal displays provide an opportunity for your team to be creative. Duke’s fall displays typically consist of a hay bale base and a cornstalk backdrop. The size will depend on the area they’re working in.

“We have used all different kinds of pumpkins, gourds, flowers, crates, benches, and animals to create one of a kind displays,” Williams says. “I enjoy walking through fall sections of different stores and looking at the different offerings there to get my inspiration. I may come across something I hadn’t even thought of and build my concept from there. I like changing up the materials and theme from year to year so it doesn’t become routine. I want our fall displays to be something people love every time they see because it’s new and different.”

Photo: Duke’s Landscape Management

Williams says he tries to incorporate pops of color on corporate campuses and interactive displays for residents and kids at HOAs to enjoy.

“That may consist of more hay bales and some funny scarecrows that the kids can take pictures around enjoy,” he says. “I don’t want to just install a seasonal display just to have it exist, I want it to be something people will really enjoy and look forward to.”

Borst says their clients with younger children often want Halloween décor with witches and similar spooky specters. Meanwhile for Thanksgiving displays, they will utilize pumpkins and hay bales.  

“We often try to replace mum plantings in the fall with seasonal displays,” Chapman says. “Hay bales, pumpkins, corn stalks, gourds, scarecrows, and a few fall mums. The displays last longer than the flowers and are a better bang for the buck!”   

Photo: Borst Landscape & Design

For winter and Christmastime displays, Chapman says they target mostly their commercial clients and HOAs for these. Their displays consist of garland, lights, wreaths, reindeer, sleighs and more.

Borst says they customize their own greens, build their own wreaths and do very detailed lighting work, wrapping the branches of trees rather than the trunks.

Williams says they like to use holiday trees as a focal point as they can change out the bows, lights and garlands year to year but still keep the same base product.

“Using pine branches around the base with pines cones, colored sticks, and lights also helps tie the whole concept together and give the display a warmer feeling,” Williams says. “If the space allows, we can also use wreaths, lawn decorations and even inflatables to really bring home the holiday spirit.”  

He adds that winter displays are harder to make interactive because of the colder temperatures.

“Installing lights and garland and bows on the main entrance signs really gives a great holiday pop from the road as well,” Williams says. “All in all, we really try to highlight the focal points of our properties and locations that will be seen or visited most.”

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.