Early registration is approaching

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Keep an eye on your in-box.

What you’re looking for is an email from Bobby Hensley in the Office of Continuing Education at Western Carolina University announcing the opening of early registration for the 2019 Cullowhee Native Plant Conference. As a reminder, conference dates are July 17-20.

The goal is to open early registration April 1. To do that the conference agenda has to be finalized and posted by the end of March. Setting the agenda has been a little more difficult than usual this year because some invited speakers have had to decline for various reasons.

Luckily, the Steering Committee has deep contacts in the native plant community. We’re reaching out to those contacts to fill in gaps where they’ve opened up on the agenda. Hopefully, we fill those gaps in time for early registration to open on April 1 as planned. If not, registration will open as soon after April 1 as possible.

The email from Bobby will be the signal to register and get ahead of the rush for field trips. The latter is important because some field trips tend to fill up quickly. So, keep an eye on your inbox!

The blog follow challenge

We’re at 72 followers on the blog. As spring weather arrives and gardening energy rises, let’s see if we can push that number up.

Let members in your gardening community – native plant societies, gardening clubs, community gardens, heck, even your great Aunt Mildred – know about the blog. Speak up at meetings. Ask newsletter editors to put the blog link in their newsletters. Post it on their websites.

Let’s see if we can get followers to 100.

Then 125. And then … well, you get the idea!

A 2019 attendance challenge

By publicizing the blog we’re also doing something else: We’re promoting the Cullowhee Conference.

Which brings up another challenge. Will every attendee commit to inviting one new person to the 2019 conference? Remember how many first timers we had last summer? Wasn’t that great?

Not every invitee will attend, of course. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could push attendance in July to 400? Last year’s attendance was 304. The last time conference attendance was more than 400 was in the 1990s, at least 20 years ago, according to Bobby.

The effort to boost attendance can begin anytime. But the real signal to begin the big push for 2019 will be when the early registration form lands in your inbox. Keep an eye out. It’s coming!

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