South Park Magazine

Snapshot: Mardee Woodward

Mardee Woodward is the Executive Show Manager of the Southern Spring Home and Garden Show.
Mardee Woodward is the Executive Show Manager of the Southern Spring Home and Garden Show.

Mardee Woodward has centered her career on “connecting people to their goals and aspirations.” She currently accomplishes this goal as the executive show manager for the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, and we got an inside look at what it takes to put this extravaganza together. The show runs Feb. 29-March 4 at the Park Expo and Conference Center. To learn more, visit

As show manager, my job is to create a visually pleasing and exciting event that exhibitors want to be part of, and guests consider a “must-see.” Southern Shows, Inc. offers me a unique opportunity to manage a show, in this case the Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, as though it were my own business.

My favorite thing about the show is always the people – those who help create the show, and those guests who honor us with their presence. We talk with exhibitors and guests – seek their feedback, ask for advice and, most important, we follow up. We listen. We act.

Returning visitors should look forward to more hands-on interactive exhibits and demonstrations. We’ve added a cooking stage featuring top chefs sharing great recipes, taste testing, and lots of time for “ask the chef.” There are more show time specials to help save money, and a tempting online registration for a $1000 shopping spree at And, there will be a fun and furry diversion in the form of the amazing soccer collies. Kids of all ages will love it.

The theme of this year’s show reflects music. The theme is “Rhythm in Bloom.” Throughout the Belgard Garden Showcase, landscapers, interior designers and floral specialty exhibits are using music to inspire their creativity.

The hardest thing about putting together a show of this magnitude is being able to accommodate all the creative and innovative ideas the exhibitors would like to showcase. I am constantly amazed at the diverse backgrounds and skill-sets that we can tap into to create our final show extravaganza.

In my free time, I like to cook, entertain, and travel – but, secretly, I am a DVR queen. I record cooking and design shows and save them for me-time. I love the Barefoot Contessa, Candice Olsen -- and HGTV, which provide perfect research for my dream job. I actually get to live HGTV most days.