50 years of Glee: Vote now for your half-century champions!

As the Glee exhibition gets set to celebrate half a century at the heart of the garden retail sector, the organising team is looking for your input. In the past 50 years, Glee has seen thousands of exhibitors pass through its doors, with hundreds of thousands of new products launched since the show’s humble beginnings in 1974. To celebrate the newness and passion that have shaped Glee and the broader garden centre market during this time, the hunt is now on to find the people and product that have driven the most change over the past five decades.

Whether advocating for sustainability or using their influence to increase the reach of horticulture, many diverse people have left their mark on the world of garden retail. They might be suppliers, retailers, industry pundits, or those who have undertaken roles across the full spectrum. Whatever their role, all of them have been integral to Glee’s growth, and their work has helped maintain gardening as one of the nation’s best-loved pastimes.

Or perhaps the best memories of Glee involve a larger-than-life character. This person may play a starring role in Glee’s memoirs, providing endless smiles, friendly advice and happy recollections from those that knew them pacing the aisles of shows gone by.

Like the people who create them, gardening products have also generated pivotal moments of change. From finally tackling an age-old problem, formulating an innovative bestseller opportunity, opening a meaningful dialogue about gardening’s impact on the planet, or simply using technology to make gardening more accessible for the modern consumer, there have been many hero products over the past half century.

Now is the time for Glee’s audience to vote for their own heroes and celebrate the people and product they think have had the most impact on Glee’s future and that of the garden retail sector.

How to vote

Working in partnership with Glee’s media partner, Garden Trade News, nominations will officially open via this weekend’s GTN Xtra and via www.gardentradenews.co.uk. The deadline for making nominations is 31st May.

Following the nominations round, a panel of judges will draw a shortlist of names and products before readers of GTN Xtra can place their final votes throughout June.

The winners will be announced onsite at Glee 2024, the 50th edition of which will run from Tuesday, 10th September, to Thursday, 12th September, at the NEC in Birmingham.

Matthew Mein, Event Director at Glee, said: “The gardening world has changed so much from the early 70s, with each decade ringing in exciting new trends and innovation. Throughout all of this, Glee has maintained a constant presence, year-after-year providing a place where the garden retail sector can come together to inspire, network and educate. Now, we want to celebrate those who have left a mark in a fun and reflective look back on Glee’s half-century. We’re excited to see the nominations, find out the eventual winners, and are prepared for a tidal wave of nostalgia and questionable haircuts!”


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