January 2018
Eight Seconds By Abby Kleckler

Humans have a shorter attention span than goldfish. I overheard this statement a few weeks ago from the opposite side of a bus, and naturally, I had to grab my smartphone and look it up for myself.

Sure enough, multiple articles pointing to research done by Microsoft Corp. two years ago stated that in 2000 people’s average attention span was 12 seconds, but it has since dropped to eight seconds. Goldfish, on the other hand, have an attention span of nine seconds.

When you think of the world we live in of headline reading, 10-second Snapchats and short social media posts, this makes sense.

The statistic, however, also got me thinking about how people constantly look for the next new thing. Especially where I live in Chicago, there’s always talk of visiting the newest pop- up bar or restaurant, since it’s only there for a predetermined amount of time.

I’m writing this around the holiday season when Macy’s is having dinners with Santa, the Lincoln Park Zoo is hosting ZooLights, the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel has built a roller skating rink and Wrigley Field has introduced its own Christkindlmarket.

No matter how many times I’ve shopped at Macy’s, I’m going to go on that one particular day so my friend’s nephews can see Santa. And I could say the same thing about the other three events.

We constantly talk about how to get customers into the garden center, especially during the shoulder seasons.

So many of you are doing great events, and I’ve heard that even more of you are looking for inspiration about the next thing to add to your calendar.

For this reason, we’ve started a new column called Event Central. Each month you’ll find one event from one garden center that really hits it out of the park. From food truck feasts to farmers markets and fall festivals to epic workshops, keep your eye out.

This month, flip to page 118, to read about one event that has hit its 25th anniversary at McDonald’s Garden Center in Virginia, and how they keep it fresh year after year.

You’ll also find some easy workshop ideas from Auburn Pointe Greenhouse and Garden Center in Ohio on page 16.

The Now Generation

I have something that should definitely keep your attention span for more than eight seconds.

Each year Lawn & Garden Retailer’s sister publication recognizes 40 individuals under the age of 40 who are really making a difference in the horticultural industry.

You’ve heard from many of them in our Fresh Perspectives column of the magazine, and now it’s your turn. Nominations are open at www.gpnmag.com/40-under-40-awards for the Class of 2018.

Anyone in the industry under age 40 (as of Jan. 31, 2018) can be nominated. There is always a good representation on the retail side of the industry, so let’s keep that going.

Also, you can flip to page 86, to find this month’s Fresh Perspectives column from Jennifer Boldt, who is a research horticulturist for the United States Department of Agriculture. She takes a good look at how her hobbies outside of work have really helped foster other people’s exploration of gardening.

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Abby Kleckler

Abby is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected]


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