Squire’s Matt Tanner and Klondyke’s Jayne Scott, sponsored by the GCA Trust to attend the IGCA Congress, are back from their trip.
The young duo were picked for the Trust’s Dick Allen Scholarship Award Scheme. They joined 200 delegates at the 60th annual event, held for the first time in the Czech Republic.
GCA rising stars candidates
Matt, Manager of Squires at Chertsey and previous GCA Rising Stars candidate, said: “The whole trip from start to finish was fantastic.
“The standards of merchandising of houseplants in the Czech Republic has made me re-think what we are currently doing in store.
“It’s made me review the houseplant area. The use of houseplants in gift departments and cafes was something I would like to put in place.
“I felt welcomed by all the delegates. The amount of knowledge shared on the coach trips between venues was priceless.
“I can’t emphasise enough the benefits of attending the congress. I will be recommending it to my colleagues and peers.”
IGCA to come to Britain in 2019
Delegates from 16 countries attended the IGCA Congress this year. That included 40 visitors from Britain, who made up the largest contingent.
Jayne Scott, the Rising Star at the 2018 GCA conference, said of the trip: “An invaluable experience. Making connections with people from all around the world is not something you get the chance to do every day!
“From talking to each other about how we do things to seeing fresh new ideas sparks inspiration immediately!
“A week-long schedule saw us visiting garden centres, gardens, factories and much more. I am so grateful I got to have this experience.
“With fantastic merchandising especially within houseplant sections, I have come away inspired. What a week!”
The Trust is now inviting donations to fund delegates to future congresses. This is including the next one in the United Kingdom in September 2019.
Sue Allen, Trust Chairman said: “I am so pleased that for the third successive year the Dick Allen Scholarship Fund, as part of the Trust, has supported this initiative.
“It has proved to be such a valuable part of helping young staff members within GCA garden centres to broaden their horizons.”
Next year the IGCA Congress will be in Windsor from September 1-6.
Visits are already planned to some of the leading garden centres in the London and South East areas. Up to 230 delegates will attend.
For those who wish to enter for next year’s award, there will be an announcement at the GCA Conference in January.
Sue added: “to donation to ensure the future of this exciting and successful initiative, contact Iain Wylie of the GCA on 01244 952170.”
A promotional video about the 2019 IGCA Congress is here https://youtu.be/Wb6f9wpxxnI.