Q&A: Learn More About the Virtual Garden & Landscape Expo – Register Today!
December 16, 2020 Leave a Comment
For the past three decades, the PBS Wisconsin Garden & Landscape Expo has brought a touch of spring-like warmth and lots of gardening and landscaping inspiration to the middle of the cold Wisconsin winter.
In 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 28th annual Garden & Landscape Expo will offer that same inspiration – and warmth of spring – in a free online-exclusive, virtual experience Feb. 20-21. Expo attendees will enjoy gathering together online for a robust and engaging online experience. Free online registration is available now at wigardenexpo.com.
Virtual attendees of the free event will enjoy two full days of live and interactive educational sessions, a live online exhibitor mall, virtual garden tours and more!
Registered participants can start exploring the full schedule and planning their experience online now. Guests will be able to participate in the free event on their personal computers, phones and tablets.
In advance of February’s Virtual Garden & Landscape Expo, we spoke with Kristin Korevec, Special Events Manager at PBS Wisconsin, about the virtual experience.
What can “attendees” expect with the virtual Garden & Landscape Expo?
Kristin Korevec: PBS Wisconsin’s Garden & Landscape Expo is a beloved community event with a 27-year history. It has always been about bringing people together around a love of gardening, and providing inspiration and educational opportunities. This year we hope to accomplish those same goals through an online experience, Feb. 20-21 at wigardenexpo.com. The main components include interactive educational presentations, virtual garden tours, a live online exhibitor mall, and Q&A forums with experts from Wisconsin Horticulture Division of Extension. We’ll also have special activities for kids and families and a garden photography competition exhibit. Participation is free and accessible to all, though we are encouraging donations to help support PBS Wisconsin. We hope to bring participants a touch of spring-like warmth and lots of gardening and landscaping inspiration in the middle of the cold Wisconsin winter!
Tell us about the process of turning an in-person event into a virtual event.
Korevec: We learned a lot from transitioning The Great Wisconsin Quilt Show to a virtual event in September. Drawing on that experience, we thought a lot about how to create the most celebrated elements of Garden & Landscape Expo within a digital space. We especially wanted to move beyond passive content and inspire connection, participation and mutual exchange. Once we had a vision and framework, we engaged our digital team, who rebuilt the website for the virtual experience. Many other people at the station are involved: producers are capturing and editing pre-recorded video presentations, engineers are planning for the livestream presenter Q&A, and scenic designers are building the virtual garden tours. It’s truly a station-wide effort and a very exciting challenge!
What are some of the unique opportunities you are able to offer in the virtual space?
Korevec: I’m most excited about the virtual garden tours. Our team used a special 360-degree camera to capture video footage of several community gardens at the peak of the summer and autumn seasons. Participants will be able to explore these beautiful spaces from their homes during the middle of winter. We’ll also be live-streaming educational presentations and Q&A on both Facebook and YouTube, as well as at wigardenexpo.com. The videos will be available to watch on demand afterward as well. There are several other unique opportunities within the virtual space. For example, we’re hosting a live online exhibitor mall. For two hours each day, exhibitors will livestream video content such as product demos, tutorials and store tours. Participants will be able to chat with exhibitors and move from one exhibitor’s stream to the next, much like booth-hopping at a physical exhibitor mall. I’d love to continue offering some of these digital innovations even when we’re back to an in-person event as they allow us to reach a wider audience.
How can attendees best prepare for this virtual experience?
Korevec: We recommend that people go to wigardenexpo.com, complete the simple registration form and start exploring. There are several things that participants can do now — contribute to a virtual community garden, explore exhibitor profile pages, view the event schedule and even set calendar reminders for the presentations they’d like to watch during the virtual event!
What do proceeds from the event support?
Korevec: Garden & Landscape Expo is one of PBS Wisconsin’s largest annual fundraising events. The funds we raise from the show help support PBS Wisconsin programs, events, education and community outreach. In this unique situation, however, we have chosen to provide a free and accessible experience. Our goals are to unite the gardening community, provide educational opportunities and help sustain our exhibitors. We want the event to come back even stronger next year, though, so we’re asking participants to consider donating what they can at wigardenexpo.com/support-us.
How can event attendees stay updated on the expo?
Korevec: The most up-to-date information is available at wigardenexpo.com. By registering for the virtual experience, you’ll be added to our email list to receive additional updates.