2018 GWA Annual Conference & Expo at IGC '18

Aug 13, 2018 01:00pm -
Aug 17, 2018 09:00pm
Chicago, IL

Event Description

GWA invites you to join us in Chicago for our 70th Annual Conference & Expo, co-hosted with the 2018 IGC Show, August 13-16 at historic Navy Pier. Enjoy amazing garden tours, thought-provoking education session, unbeatable networking and incredible access to the IGC Show.

#GWA2018 will be co-locating with Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago! Our registrants have the opportunity to attend exclusive IGC events, including big name key note Daymond John of ABC's hit television series, Shark Tank. Not only that, but you won't want to miss out on IGC's Reception and Concert with the Marshall Tucker Band Tuesday night! Registrants are also invited to walk the IGC Show floor on Wednesday, August 15 from 10AM-12PM. 

Join garden writers, bloggers, photographers, speakers and communicators from across the world for special events designed to make new connections and reconnect with old friends, including networking events and receptions, all culminating with the 2018 Annual Awards & Honors Dinner. And don’t forget to head to the #GWA2018 Expo for a colorful showcase of new varieties, products and services from exhibitors changing the horticultural landscape.

This year's education schedule will be jam-packed with insightful sessions from leaders in the industry, focusing on horticulture, writing, technology, business, publishing and much more. Back by popular demand, roundtable topics will feature exciting short-format sessions made to inspire and inform.

This year's tour line-up will feature Chicago's finest gardens, covering a wide array of techniques and trends. Enjoy special access to amazing public gardens as well as exclusive tours of beautiful private gardens.

Gardens & Tours • Travel & Accommodations 
Exhibitor Information • Sponsor Information 
Frequently Asked Questions


Monday, August 13

11:30AM - 7:00PM


12:00PM - 4:30PM

Exhibitor Move-in

1:00PM - 2:00PM

Regional Meetings

2:15PM - 3:15PM

First-Time Attendee Meeting

3:30PM - 4:30PM

Roundtable Topics

4:30PM - 8:00PM

#GWA2018 Expo

5:30PM - 7:00PM

Reception in Expo

8:30PM - 9:30PM

President's Sponsor & Exhibitor Reception

Tuesday, August 14


7:00AM - 8:00AM

Early Morning Photo Shoot

8:00AM - 12:00PM

Story Tour & Lunch


Downtown High Life: From the Lurie Garden to the Lakefront 
Lurie Garden in Millennium Park 
McCormick Place Rooftop Farm 
Shedd Aquarium Gardens

12:30PM - 6:00PM


1:00PM - 2:00PM

Keynote: Jacqueline Van der Kloet
Magical Mixes

2:00PM - 6:00PM

#GWA2018 Expo

4:00PM - 5:30PM

Reception in Expo

6:00PM - 8:00PM

IGC Reception & Concert: The Marshall Tucker Band

Wednesday, August 15

7:00AM - 12:00PM

Exhibitor Move-Out

7:30AM - 1:00PM


8:00AM - 8:45AM

Annual Membership Meeting

9:00AM - 10:00AM

IGC Keynote: Daymond John from ABC's 'Shark Tank'

10:00AM - 12:00PM

IGC Show

12:30PM - 4:30PM

Story Tours & Lunch


Farm to River: Urban Farming, a Riverfront Park and a Glorious Glass House 
Garfield Park Conservatory 
Farm on Ogden 
Ping Tom Memorial Park

Thursday, August 16

7:00AM - 8:00AM

Morning Reboot with Chris Freimuth

8:00AM - 12:00PM


8:30AM - 9:30AM

Breakout Sessions (5)

9:30AM - 9:45AM


9:45AM - 10:45AM

Breakout Sessions (5)

10:45AM - 11:00AM


11:00AM - 12:30PM

Lunch & Learn (5)

12:30PM - 4:30PM

Story Tours


North Side Jewels: Historic Home Gardens & Lincoln Park 
Wicker Park 
Lincoln Park Conservatory 
Lincoln Park Zoo's Nature Boardwalk

South Side Saga: Private Gardens and a World's Fair Gem 
Garden of the Phoenix 
Burnham Wildlife Corridor 
Hyde Park Private Gardens 
Midway Plaisance and Jackson Park

6:15PM - 7:00PM

GWA Awards & Honors Reception (Cash Bar)

7:00PM - 9:00PM

GWA Awards & Honors Dinner
to be held at The Mid-America Club, a premier venue with a stunning panoramic
view of Chicago!
Must have previously registered for this event & have ID to attend

9:00PM - 11:00PM #GWA2018 After Party

Friday, August 17

8:00AM - 9:00PM

Post-Conference Tours

West Suburban Delightful Delicacies (Full Day)
Beard Private Garden, O'Brien Private Garden,
The Morton Arboretum, McVay Private Garden, Gardens at Ball 

8:00AM - 8:00PM North Suburban Distinctive Designs (Full Day) 
Chalet Nursery, Fulmer Private Garden, Kurtis Conservation Foundation
and Mettawa Manor, Camp Rosemary Posy
Krehbiel Garden, Chicago Botanical Garden
8:00AM - 12:45PM Food and Community in the City (Half Day) 
Edible Treasures Garden at The Field Museum, Peterson Garden Project 
Pop-Up Victory Garden, Global Refugee Training arm,Uncommon Ground

Registration Deadlines

  • Early: Friday, June 1, 2018
  • Regular: Friday, July 20, 2018
  • Late: Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Not a GWA Member?
New this year, we are offering non-members a special combination rate! Receive a GWA Regular Membership and #GWA2018 base registration for just $575! (a $230 savings) To take advantage of this special offer, please contact our office at (212) 297-2198 or info@gardenwriters.org.

Payment Plans 
Payment plans for registration are available. Registration MUST be paid in full by July 20, 2018. Please call 212.297.2198 for more information.

Miscellaneous Registrations  
Single GWA Awards & Honors Dinner tickets are available. Please call 212.297.2198 for more information. 

Cancelation Policy 
Cancelation requests received in writing by Friday, June 29, 2018 will be subject to a 25% cancelation fee, which will be deducted from the refund. No refunds will be made on or after Friday, June 29, 2018. Substitutions will be permitted with no penalties. 

Having trouble logging in? 
On the log-in screen, click "Forgot your Password?" and enter your email. A link will be sent to you allowing to set or reset your password. Use your email as your username. For issues logging in, please call us at 212.297.2198.

Event Type:Education
Category:Annual Conference & Expo
Early registration ends on Jun 01, 2018.
Regular registration starts on Jun 02, 2018 and ends on Jul 20, 2018.
Late registration starts on Jul 21, 2018.
(GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)