You could say the event business is in Terry O’Loughlin’s blood. As a third generation show producer and co-owner of the Portland based O’Loughlin Trade Shows, Terry has been working in trade shows for over 30 years. With his two brothers, Bill and Peter, the company’s staff produces twelve shows each year. When Terry discovered that the Northwest Flower & Garden Show was up for sale in 2009, he jumped at the opportunity to produce the renowned show, the second largest garden show in the country. By all accounts, the 2010 show was a huge success for both the attendees and the company, and continues to be beloved by the gardening community.
Terry grew up in Portland, Oregon, and is an Oregon State University graduate. He and his wife, Karin have two active school-age children, Garrett and Ceanna. The family spends most weekends outdoors enjoying the duck lake, boy scouts or some other activity, along with lots and lots of extended family. Terry has always been a “people person,” and that is his favorite thing about the event business – the people. He loves all the different creative people that come together to make it all happen. For Terry, it’s all positive energy; something new and exciting every year. The people who work on the shows become family too. During move-in you can sometimes find him deftly maneuvering two push brooms at once, pitching in along with everyone else to get the show ready in a mere 72 hours.
Terry is proud of his own garden, with its raised beds overflowing with vegetables. His tomatoes and hydrangeas have done especially well. He enjoys walking around the show to get ideas, marveling at how much information and education you can get at the show, whether ogling the show gardens, browsing the exhibitors or sitting in on a seminar. Terry credits his mother’s love of gardening for giving him a passion for the garden show. He understands that with its 29-year history, the gardening community has a strong feeling of ownership of the show. He respects its rich traditions while also working on making the show better and better every year, for both well-seasoned attendees and people experiencing the marvels of the show for the first time.