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Re: Subject: marketing ...and publicity

From: "R. Dennis Hager" <rdhager@dmv.com>

> A TB that was close to everblooming, could compete in the border with
> plants, and had a reasonably attractive flower would become very popular
> with the general public but it would be hard to get it noticed by AIS,
> which seems to me to focus on the show bench.

Bill is right on this one. Just look around at all those mass plantings
of the daylily 'Stella d'Oro'. Personally, I don't like "Stella", but I
still use it simply because it blooms and blooms. 

When Terry Aitken addressed the International Japanese Iris Symposium in
'97, he emphasized that popularity of a plant is directly proportional
to its length of bloom. If we really want to market irises, we should
all be paying attention to extended and repeat bloom. That extended show
is what will put irises in every garden! 

> How do other clubs handle
> publicity for shows and sales?  How do you all bring in non club/AIS members to these events?

Just as in real estate, location is VERY important. The busy, successful
malls rarely have space for flower shows and sales. Horticultural
centers offer some of the best facilities, but rarely draw new faces.
Last year, the Diamond State Beardless Show was held in a huge open-air
produce stand/greenhouse/garden center.

A Bohemian friend of mine commented that it seemed to be an
inappropriate site, especially with all those "Junior League Social
Garden Club" types.

It was a great success. Foot traffic was heavy and hundreds of people
noticed Japanese irises in bloom for the first time in their lives! 

One judge complained that he didn't like judging without air
conditioning. Oh well....

R. Dennis Hager
on Delmarva

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