Here’s what you missed if you did not attend our 2015 event – please stay tuned as we update our program for 2016!

2015 Conference Agenda at a Glance and Exhibit & Sponsor List – download PDF here.


9:00AM – 8:00PM  Registration
Please pick up your Registration Goody Bag and Badge. A badge is your admission to the conference program, breakfast, lunches, and receptions.

blog_clinic-15-but-1.120Don’t forget to sign up for your free blog clinic which is included in your registration. By appointment only – sign up onsite at the registration desk.  You will also have the opportunity to get your website and blog evaluated at the Blog Clinic…Learn More

1:00PM -5:00PM  Exhibitor Set-Up for Garden Bloggers Conference

All attendees are invited and all activities are included in your registration package.

2015-ADAC-Digital-Day-event-rev4-40010:00AM – 2:00PM DIGITAL DAY at ADAC
All bloggers are welcome to attend!  Learn more.

Enjoy complimentary shuttle service between the Grand Hyatt Hotel (Lower Lobby Circle) and ADAC from 9AM-10AM. At 2:00PM buses will leave ADAC for a special excursion to Phipps Plaza.

2:00PM – 5:00PM LUXURY LIVING SHOW & OUTDOOR DESIGN AT PHIPPS PLAZA Sponsored by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles

3:30PM – 4:30PM  Special Guest and Presentation at Phipps Plaza by Alexa Hampton

alexa-hampton-photo-501A perennial member of Architectural Digest’s AD100 and House Beautiful’s Top Designer list as well as a member of Elle Décor’s A-list, Alexa Hampton’s work is classic, traditional and eclectic. Her involvement in design goes far past her position as President and featured designer of Mark Hampton LLC; she is…. read more.

5:00PM Last buses depart from Phipps Plaza and return to the Grand Hyatt Buckhead Hotel for Garden Bloggers Welcome Reception.

5:30PM – 7:30PM  Welcome Reception at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead Hotel Sponsored by Benjamin Moore
Join your fellow bloggers and speakers for a get-to-know-you cocktail reception. Please wear your Garden Bloggers Conference badge for admission.

8:00PM  Official Wednesday After Party Sponsored by Sunbrella
Join Sunbrella and Traditional Home for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to kick off the Conference and see the latest iteration of the groundbreaking Sunbrella design program, Perspective New York.  Location: BJORK STUDIO,  1200 Old Chattahoochee Avenue NW in Atlanta.  Complimentary bus service will be provided to and from The Grand Hyatt in Buckhead starting at 7:30 pm.


All  Thursday Conference sessions held in Grand Ballrooms 1 and 2

7:30AM – 6:00PM  Registration
Please pick up your Registration Goody Bag and Badge. A badge is your admission to the conference program, breakfast, lunches, and receptions.

7:30AM – 8:30AM  Coffee with Sponsors and Exhibitors

8:30AM – 8:45AM  Welcome and Introductory Remarks

adam_japko-new_266Adam Japko
Garden Bloggers Conference and
Design Bloggers Conference
CEO, Esteem Media

 Read Adam’s full bio.

8:45AM – 9:45AM  KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Nate Berkus


Photo credit: Target

Nate Berkus is a decorator, product designer and author. His interior design firm, which he founded in 1995, designs interiors across the country and around the world. In Fall 2012, Nate brought his branded line of home goods and accessories to Target stores nationwide, and his fabric collections are available at Fabricut, Calico and Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores. Read more.


9:45AM –10:30AM  KEYNOTE ADDRESS: How Content Marketing Can Build Traffic, Loyal Readers, Your Brand, and Your Bottom Line
With more and more bloggers, and more and more content, standing out from the crowd and building your online presence is harder than it has ever been. In this highly interactive and fast-paced session, popular speaker Marcus Sheridan will explain specific ways you can create content that will not only generate more traffic and loyal readers, but will also help brand you as a thought leader with a unique approach and a top go-to source for gardening information.

Marcus_Sheridan_photo200pixMarcus Sheridan – Marcus is the founder of The Sales Lion, one of the internet’s fastest growing marketing websites focusing on the transformational powers of inbound marketing on small businesses. Known for his contagious enthusiasm and boundless energy when on stage, Sheridan has since become a popular speaker and has been called the ‘Gary Vaynerchuk of the Swimming Pool Industry.’ …Read More

10:30AM – 11:00PM Networking Break/Interaction With Sponsors and Exhibitors Sponsored by ADAC

11:00AM–12:00PM  YouTube Marketing: Learn How to Expand Your Brand into Video and Gain a Global Presence
Beth Le Manach, VP of Programming for Kin Community, YouTube’s #1 Lifestyle Community, and host/creator of “Entertaining with Beth” and the newly formed “In Beth’s Garden”, will show you how to take your brand to the next level, by expanding into video. Learn why YouTube is an ideal platform to build a video presence, best practices for building and sustaining an audience, basic equipment needed to get started, strategies for monetizing your content, and why the timing for launching a video brand, for design and garden professionals, couldn’t be better than right now! You’ve figured out Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instgram. In 2015 learn how to master YouTube.

rob-ciampa-photoRob Ciampa
YouTube-certified, award-winning innovative CMO & entrepreneur @Pixability. Passionate & wickedly opinionated about sales, marketing, startups, food, & wine. Ciampa is the co-author of Pixability’s Top 100 Global Brands On YouTube, one of the most comprehensive and data-intensive studies of YouTube ever conducted. A dynamic spokesperson for the company, Ciampa is known not only for his sharp criticism of viral video promises and faulty digital video advertising, but also for his prescriptive YouTube strategy, content marketing, and advertising work with brands. He is YouTube-certified…Read More

beth-lamanach-photo-256Beth Le Manach
VP Programming, Kin Community and Host, Entertaining with Beth
Beth is a home cook that has refined her cooking skills by cooking, constantly; as well as producing over 500 episodes of food content for both cable and online networks. She is inspired by her French husband and their many trips to France where she has learned how to cook his favorite French foods, directly from her in-laws. She is also an avid gardener and her extensive vegetable garden serves as the basis for many of her favorite recipes…Read More


12:00PM– 12:45PM  Wine, Branding, and Social Media
These two speakers were inspired by their passion for wine to leave the corporate world to take the lead in wine education and branding in the U.S and Asia. Brett and Jonathan will lead us through some practical understanding about enjoying wine, their personal stories, how to think about wine and design, why they use social media and content marketing to build personal and business brands, and then share some of their finest and favorite beverages.

brett_vankoski-267Brett Vankoski, Vice President and Co-Founder, Latitude Beverage Co., Ninety+ Cellars. Sitting in his cubicle one day in 2007, Brett realized that all he could expect to measurably accomplish in another decade of corporate confinement was a few more totally awesome PowerPoint presentations.Not satisfied with this vision of the future, he left the corporate world to pursue his MBA. Brett’s Masters in Beverage Appreciation consisted of compiling a small wine collection…Read More

Jonathon-Alsop-photo-172Jonathon Alsop is founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School and author of The Wine Lover’s Devotional: 365 Days of Knowledge, Advice & Lore for the Ardent Aficionado published by Quarry Books. Jonathon started life as a wine writer covering wine, food & travel in 1988. He is author of the wine column In Vino Veritas by Jonathon Alsop as well as many articles for the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, and many others…Read More

12:45PM – 2:15PM  Luncheon Break with Sponsors and Exhibitors
Buckhead Ballroom and Azalea Ballroom.

2:15PM – 3:00PM  Keynote Address

bunnywilliams_2014-377Bunny Williams
By day, Bunny is one of New York’s most successful interior designers, a woman whose hours are filled with high-powered meetings, magazine photo shoots, and detailed consultations with clients. But when the week shades into Friday evening, Bunny can be found in the idyllic retreat of her Connecticut garden, the emotional center of her life and the source of perhaps her greatest creative efforts…Read More

3:00PM – 3:30PM  Networking Break/Interaction With Sponsors and Exhibitors

3:3oPM– 4:00PM  The Ultimate Blog Platform?

lisa sabin-wilson-photo-501Lisa Sabin Wilson is Chief Operating Officer and Co-owner of WebDevStudios, a design and development company specializing in customized WordPress themes and plugins, and the author of WordPress For Dummies. As the “For Dummies” brand franchise author on all things WordPress she’s also written several other WordPress-related books geared toward the beginner to intermediate level user of the WordPress platform. Read More

4:00PM– 4:30PM  Creating a Safe and Secure Website Experience For You and Your Readers
These days the threat of getting hacked is very real to every website owner. While impossible to give you all the security you require in this session, we’ll explore a number of things that you can act on immediately to help improve and reduce your overall security risk. Security is not an absolute, and while a real threat, education and awareness around today’s security challenges is the first step to improving your website’s security posture.This talk will focus on the things that you should be thinking about when it comes to security and your website, while providing you best practices and giving you some actionable steps you can take. The worst thing you can do when creating a website is not think about security and potential impacts of getting hacked. We have a responsibility, as website owners, to ensure that those visiting our sites are safe online. This presentation will provide the foundation to achieve this.

tony_perez-500Tony Perez is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sucuri, Inc. He believes that usability and website aesthetics should be built on a strong foundation of secure design. Tony has invested the better part of 5 years analyzing and assessing the state of security within the realm of websites. Read more.

4:30PM – 4:45PM  Dwell With Dignity and Lisa Robison and Kim Turner

4:45PM -5:30PM   What You Need to Know about Pinterest and Instagram
Hear the fascinating story on how Nick amassed 2 million Pinterest followers in 6 months and captured the attention of the founder of Pinterest along the way. His success continues with 3.4 million followers and growing partnerships with a focus on mastering Instagram now. But there are things that Nick will not do on his journey.

nick-mccullough-466 Nick McCullough is an ALPD-certified Designer, who has won numerous awards including Young Professional Of The Year from the Perennial Plant Association. His social media presence of over 3 million Pinterest followers makes him a standout in the industry, and a sought-after public speaker. Author of the “Thinking Outside The Boxwood” blog, Nick has also been a featured writer for publications such as Garden Design magazine. Read more.

allison-mccullough-331As the head of marketing for McCullough’s Landscape & Nursery, Allison McCullough ensures that the brand is known for thoughtful communications and special touches that can only come from a family-owned business. Read more.


5:30PM – 7:00PM  Networking Reception at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Sponsored by Pirch
Join your fellow bloggers, exhibitors, sponsors, and speakers for a warm get-together reception. Please wear your Garden Bloggers Conference badge for admission.

7:00PM – 10:00PM  Official Thursday After Party Sponsored by Pirch with Co-Sponsors Consentino and Gessi
What better way to wrap up your day than at an Italian masquerade? We know that a blogger’s work is never done but here is a fun opportunity to relax, imbibe, nosh, and enjoy! Festivities include a red carpet welcome,  an Italian masquerade, signature cocktails and bites, violinisits, contortionists, and more! Buses will leave Grand Hyatt at starting at 6:30PM for the Pirch After Party at Lenox Marketplace.


7:30AM – 9:00AM  Coffee with Sponsors and Exhibitors

9:00AM – 9:30AM  A Special Presentation by Adam Japko

adam_japko-new_266Adam Japko
Garden Bloggers Conference and
Design Bloggers Conference
CEO, Esteem Media



9:30AM –1o:30AM  Branding and Maximizing Revenue for Your Blog and Website
The prevalence and importance of social media marketing can’t be overstated and is not going away! It’s time to discover how to gain ROI and brand recognition by generating a successful and sustainable social media campaign. Social media is a digital asset that grows every year – over time it can provide huge leverage and marketing independence. Jan and Shawna with share how to take your business to the next level with powerful social media strategies and tactics!

Jan_Bills-150x150Jan Bills – In 2006, she developed her business plan and strategy to exit corporate America to start her business. In 2008, she replaced her corporate high heels with Wellies and never looked back! Today she is living her dream and mixing business with pleasure! Founder of Two Women and a Hoe®, a full-service indoor/outdoor sustainable landscape design, installation and green garden management company. With over 173,000+ Fans on her business Facebook page and a robust social media presence, Jan is anxious to share her strategies with othersRead More

shawna-coronado-440Shawna Coronado – As an experienced spokesperson with green lifestyle living, organic gardening, social media, and eco content creation, she campaigns for social good online and speaks internationally on building community, simple living, and green lifestyle tips for the everyday person. Shawna’s social media expertise has propelled her far within the online industry…Read More

lisa-steele-523Lisa Steele – Lisa is the founder of Fresh Eggs Daily, currently the largest online natural chicken keeping resource. In five short years, her Facebook page has amassed nearly 400,000 likes, and her blog which she has been writing since the beginning of 2012, was named one of the Top Ten Garden Blogs for 2014 by Better Homes & Gardens magazine…Read More


10:30AM– 10:45AM  Conference Scholarship Awards Sponsored and Presented by Bonnie Plants

10:45 AM –11:15AM  Networking Break/Interaction With Sponsors and Exhibitors

11:15AM – 12:00PM  The Power of Personal Branding for Professional Success
Branding isn’t just for companies. Your personal presence is one of the most critical marketing assets to boost business. Learn how to manage the brand called YOU to build your credibility, visibility and sell-ability. With the right personal branding strategy and small marketing steps, you can make big strides to achieve a more competitive edge and reach a larger audience.

Personal Branding and Marketing expert Lorrie Thomas Ross, MA will teach:
•A simple formula to define, refine and grow your personal brand
•How to use the power of online marketing to optimize your brand identity
•Tips on how to develop authority, easily create content and establish personal style

lorrie_thomas_ross-546Lorrie Thomas Ross (aka The Marketing Therapist®), is a marketing expert, educator and author. She is the CEO of Web Marketing Therapy, Inc., a digital marketing agency and training company that gets…Read More      


rochelle-greayer-429Rochelle Greayer is the author of Cultivating Garden Style (Timber Press, September 2014) as well as the founder and editor of Pith + Vigor, a literary newspaper and online magazine for garden enthusiasts. In addition, she is the creator of the popular blog Studio ‘g’, named one of the top ten gardening blogs by…Read More.




12:00PM –12:45PM  Posts With Staying Power: Crafting Your Content to Make It Searchable, Shareable, and Sticky

Blog posts are a dime a dozen. What makes yours stand out in a saturated market full of other bloggers, authors, and experts? The secret to writing posts that remain relevant weeks, months, and even years from now is making them sticky. Sticky content is the stuff that’s liked, pinned, and shared over and over again. It’s easily searchable, makes an excellent source of organic traffic, and builds your credibility as a blogger. Learn what makes a memorable post, why post titles are key, and how to incorporate keywords into them.

CSA CookbookLinda Ly is the voice behind the award-winning blog Garden Betty, a lifestyle website devoted to gardening, homesteading, sustainable living, and inspiring a meaningful and adventurous life. The blog began in 2010 as a personal project and soon earned the title of “Best Gardening Blog” from Country Living magazine. As a gardening expert for HGTV,  read more.

Finding  and Leveraging Opportunities to Build a Brand

How did Sara land a hosting gig on the DIYNetwork show, the inside scoop on working in television, what it has done for her career, featuring products on the show and how Sara is using social media and marketing to build her brand and shape her career.

sara-bendrick-photo-347Sara Bendrick, as a landscape designer with a passion for being involved with her projects, hosting the DIY Network’s ‘I Hate My Yard’ was the perfect fit! Sara Bendrick loves to interact and help homeowners realize the opportunity in their exterior spaces. With a DIY attitude her crew and Sara tackle tough backyards with the help of the homeowners to keep the budget in check. She guides the homeowners through the renovation process by tasking them with fun, creative and aesthetically pleasing projects to take back the yard once & for all. Read more.


12:45PM – 1:00PM  Garden Bloggers Hall of Fame Awards Sponsored and Presented by Proven Winners
Our annual Hall of Fame Award Winners will be announced.

1:00PM – 2:00PM  Lunch Sponsored by Pirch


2:00PM – 2:45PM  iPhone-ography: The Best Asset for Your Blog Just Might Be in Your Back Pocket! Tips and Tools for Creating Compelling Images with Your Mobile Device
The session we have been waiting for! Here a few of the key takeaways from this session:

  • Why images matter when building a following
  • How using images communicates your point of view – both literally and figuratively
  • Photography basics – subject matter, light, and composition
  • Enhancing images with filters and gadgets, captions, and as a reflection of your brand
  • Controlling images and tips to make them better without photoshop or expensive equipment; using functions on your smart phone camera; do’s and don’ts; and before and after examples
  • The power of images like words they make you FEEL something and in your social media channels

Kelly-Fitzsimmons-493Kelly Fitzsimmons  has been a photographer for more than half her life. Her work spans many genres, including portraiture, fine art, editorial and event photography, all with a focus on documenting moments and subjects with the goal of display and preservation. Using natural light, unexpected perspectives, artistic post­production techniques, and enthusiasm for seeing the beauty in all things, Kelly creates images that are timeless yet uniquely captivating.

Kelly’s work has been featured in many publications… Read more.


2:45PM – 3:30PM  Social Media Analytics
Speaker: TBA

3:30PM -4:00PM  Community Building in “Beta Brooklyn”
Brooklyn, NY has become host to a hotbed of aggressive digital start ups. Some of America’s finest young talent in online community building are nurturing businesses and new brands with aggressive and thoughtful social media and content marketing strategies. These two speakers are some of the brightest minds now operating in Brooklyn. There will be astounding takeaways for your design business’ digital marketing success!

Kika_Gilbert-photo-newKika Gilbert
Head of Community at @Tinybop
Kika spent a few years working with artists and art startups before taking a year to immerse herself in the NYC public school system as a …read more.


bekka-palmer-photo-419Bekka Palmer
Former GM of Tattly with 9 million Pinterest followers, Bekka works with many digital companies on content and production. Read more.




4:00PM – 4:15PM  Critical Takeaways from Garden Bloggers Conference 2015 and Special Announcements