Time for Tech

Features - PCT on the Road

Next month, PMPs and landscape professionals will meet in Orlando to learn more about technology in their respective industries. New this year: A track specifically for PMPs!

July 9, 2021

The Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference is set for Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at the Omni Orlando Resort.

Last year’s Lawn & Landscape Technology Conference and Tradeshow took place at a different time in the working world. In February 2020, mass shutdowns hadn’t yet altered the way companies did business like it would in the following months. Working remotely and driving to jobsites rather than gathering at the office became the norm for a lot of companies.

The changing workplace and many other innovation- and technology-driven topics will be on tap at this year’s Technology Conference, which will take place Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at the Omni Orlando Resort in Championsgate, Fla.

“I am hopeful that more companies will be in attendance this year as more and more business owners realize that technology can solve problems in their company and create better efficiencies in their systems and processes while removing friction internally and externally,” said Michael Mayberry, chief technology officer at Level Green Landscaping and moderator of the event’s panel “Technology Today and Tomorrow.” “I think attendees will be more interested in adopting technologies that they see during the conference, whereas before, they were just attending to see what was on the horizon.”

The three-day event will feature sessions on everything from software use to drones to electric equipment and more. Most sessions will be presented by owners and employees of service companies, along with sessions presented by PMPs as part of the Pest Control Track presented by PCT. The PCT track is new this year and will give PMPs a place to learn more about how other pest control firms are using technology and software to make their operations more efficient.

“After the success of Lawn & Landscape’s event in 2020, we knew the time was right to offer PMPs the same educational experience,” said PCT Editor-in-Chief Jodi Dorsch. “The pest management track features speakers who work in our industry every day, so we know their insights will be well received.”

This year’s two keynote speeches will focus on using technology to increase efficiency while improving performance along with technology trends shaping and impacting the future.

“Trust will become one of the most valuable currencies of the future,” said Erica Orange, executive vice president and COO of The Future Hunters, whose closing keynote is called “Technology and Beyond: Reimagining the Future Landscape from a Macro Perspective.”

“Within this context, customers will pay a premium for trusted human interfaces. Technology may do the lion’s share of operational and administrative work, but human oversight and judgment will be key for fostering trust,” she said.

The opening keynote, “Operation Outsource: Master Efficiency using Technology,” will be delivered by Crystal Washington, a futurist and technology strategist. Washington says while more customers want companies to use technology to make working with them easier, companies need to avoid falling for the “shiny button syndrome.”

“If you see that there is a deficit in your business or an area where there could be improvement internally or externally with user experience and customer service, then you find a technology that addresses that,” said Washington. “Otherwise, if you’re bringing in technology because it’s new and flashy, sometimes it’s really not a good fit. You’re wasting money. You’re trying to find ways to fit it into the company. Employees aren’t using it properly because it doesn’t really have a true purpose in your business.”

The event also will house more than 24,000 square feet of exhibit hall space featuring the latest technology and software services and products. There will be plenty of time to network and pick the brains of attendees on what is (and isn’t) working in their businesses.

“Some business owners don’t want to spend the time or money to invest in technology and software,” said Lawn & Landscape Editor Brian Horn. “Even if it takes a few missteps, the companies that continue to keep an open mind are the ones who excel.”