Today marked the first day of LANDSCAPES 2020: The Virtual Experience. While it was certainly a different event than our traditional in-person one, the learning and networking opportunities still abounded.
NALP CEO Britt Wood kicked off LANDSCAPES with the opening session. He announced the news of the NALP Annual Meeting dates and locations as well as the new board members and executive team.
Along with past president Andrew Ziehler, he reflected on how COVID-19 has impacted the industry and NALP’s steps toward diversity and inclusion.
Wood also chatted with Shayne Newman, the new president of NALP Board of Directors, who shared his goals for the association.
Andrew Bray, vice president of government relations, shared NALP wins during the government relations update, including ensuring lawn and landscape companies are considered essential.
Attendees could choose between three focus sessions on Tuesday delving into how to respond to a crisis, how to implement diversity and inclusion and how to grow your company to the next level.
During the Focus on Crisis Response: Building Resilience through the COVID-19 Pandemic, panelists Paul Fraynd, Jeff Rossen, Maurice Dowell and Jennifer Lemcke discussed how they first responded to the pandemic and where their companies are now.
Fraynd and Rossen say they both reached out to their network of peers for ideas and advice through the initial period of confusion and fear. Lemcke notes she was able to talk to her major competitors and work together.
“There’s room for all of us and just knowing that the only thing we were worried about is our employees and getting out to our customers and helping each other,” Lemcke says. “I would consider every single one of my competitors in our space a friend of mine now.”
Dowell advises that companies should put together contingency plans now as winter is coming, and a shutdown could happen again with COVID spikes.
“Review your cash situation,” Dowell says. “What’s your AR? How’s your AP? Do you really need that new ZTR? Think about it, this is not business as usual. How many times can you be shut down and still thrive?”
Later in the day, NALP hosted peer-to-peer specialty discussions for services including design/build, irrigation, landscape management, lawn care and snow & ice management.
In the snow and ice management specialty discussion, attendees discussed different topics such as insurance rates relating to slip and fall cases, the tricky nature of finding a happy medium when preparing for a storm and the various weather report providers they use. They also talked about brine and some of the mistakes to avoid.
Virtual social hours hosted by the Young Professionals Network, Women In Landscape Network and Latino Landscape Network were also held this afternoon.
If you missed any of these sessions, or haven’t registered for LANDSCAPES yet, there’s still time to view this content with the 365 Day All-Access Pass.
Also, there are still some spaces left to attend great Zoom with Champions Sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. Click here to purchase or add tickets to your registration!