At the beginning of April, our account manager Tarah and I packed our bags to head over to Watsonville, California to get a first-hand account of one of our favorite events to work on, the California Spring Trials (CAST). This annual west coast event brings together leading plant breeders, growers and suppliers to show off their best and brightest stars.
BatesMeron has had the creative pleasure of contributing to our clients’ presence at the California Spring Trials over the past few years by working on theme concepts and other marketing pieces. This CAST work sits near and dear to our hearts because it’s an opportunity to work really closely with our clients in a wholly creative way. Plus, their products are beautiful flowers—and you really couldn’t ask for a more inspiring subject matter.
These pansies at Benary were especially vibrant
Despite having worked on CAST for several years, this was the first time out for Tarah and me, and a wildly colorful opportunity to see how everything comes together in real life. We sat down to talk about what we discovered on our trip.
Tarah: We should start by telling readers what Camp Perennial is.
Melissa: Camp Perennial is a lavish, adventure-filled garden brought to the 2017 Trials by the dynamic duo, Pacific Plug & Liner and BatesMeron. The theme itself was dreamed up and designed by our creative team of plant and camp lovers, and brought to life at the event by CAST visionary (and Pacific Plug & Liner Marketing Manager) April Herring-Murray.
Tarah: It really was as delightful as it sounds. Melissa, take us through the biggest highlights of our stay there.
Melissa: Ohhh, where to start? First of all, it’s always cool when clients really latch onto the creative and take it to new heights. April clearly wins camp MVP for her work here. That was a major highlight. We had the chance to score merit badges, attend a weenie-roast and take in all the sights.
Melissa: We also got the treat of a behind the scenes tour of the PP&L facilities, which was totally fascinating.
Melissa, April & Tarah cheesing hard for our 2017 camp photo
Melissa: Tarah, tell us the truth, did you purposely plan your outfit to match the event design work we did for Camp Perennial?
Tarah: I can honestly say I did not. The anticipation of 70-degree weather had me thinking of nothing other than the sun, but I think it is clear that my subconscious was definitely at work when I chose the marigold dress for that day.
Scenes from behind the scenes at Pacific Plug & Liner
Melissa: It definitely felt like Camp Perennial was a hit. What else did you love seeing at CAST?
To this, Tarah and Melissa sang together in unison “Make new friends but keep the old…” as they swiped through photos of old plant friends they saw on their trip:
My, what a pretty face you have (BLACK pansies at Benary)
Melissa: At Benary, we met with Jennifer Calhoun for a crazy fun and futuristic virtual reality tour of their plants. We were also completely stoked to get our hands on Be Inspired, the DIY pansy-focused magazine that our team worked so hard to produce at the beginning of the year.
Tarah and Jen getting Inspired
Tarah: And then there was this…
We took to the skies at Benary. We were a little excited.
Melissa: So, what surprised you most about attending the California Spring Trials?
Tarah: I think what surprised me the most was how extravagant each site is. One of our clients referred to CAST as “fashion week for plants” and I really couldn’t agree more! What about you?
Melissa: Right, we have a handful of clients that we’ve worked with on the event but it was neat to see how many other growers and suppliers participate and how they set up and feature their plants.
Melissa: What was the best part about your time checking out California Spring Trials Tarah?
Tarah: Aside from finally getting the opportunity to meet our wonderful clients in person, my favorite part was seeing some of our work at BMSD come to life, or “out in the wild” as one might say. I get to see how diligently our designers and copywriters work on projects on a day-to-day basis, but to see our finished projects in all their glory was a great reminder of the impact our work can have!
Melissa: Yeah, the helicopter ride.