One way to stand out against local competitors and national companies such as Amazon: Stock the kind of goods customers just can’t get everywhere.
That approach may be effective, but it’s often easier and said then done, said Barbara, Lenzee and Lacee Bilke, owners of Madeline’s Flower Shop in Edmond, Oklahoma, who are always hunting for intriguing containers to raise their designs’ perceived value. One solution to the challenge? The Society of American Florists’ annual Premier Products Showcase.
“The Premier Products Showcase is a ‘must do’ on our convention itinerary,” said Lenzee. “We count on finding products we would not know about otherwise.”
The “Premier Products Showcase: In Living Color” is among the 39 educational sessions and events on the docket for SAF Palm Beach 2017, the Society of American Florists’ 133rd Annual Convention, Sept. 6-9 at The Breakers in Florida.
Rakini Chinery, AAF, owner of Allan’s Flowers & More in Prescott, Arizona, said past Premier Products Showcases have introduced her to some of her favorite products. “We’ve found great vases that my local wholesaler didn’t stock,” she said. She’s also grown her sympathy sales using products from another company. “I had no idea they had anything like that.”
Maris Angolia, AAF, president of Karin’s Florist in Vienna, Virginia, echoed those sentiments.
“I always find at least one new item — usually many more — that I end up purchasing for the shop,” she said. “And I love seeing the PFCI team present. They’re awesome!”
Since 2005, a quartet of lively speakers from SAF’s Professional Floral Communicators-International has offered practical advice and creative tips to use a variety of containers, accessories, tools and flowers to wow customers and grow their businesses during the convention’s Premier Products Showcase.
Recently, PFCI has presented the products demonstration with a fun theme and costumes. Past themes include the University of PPS, the circus and the ’70s. This year’s theme, “In Living Color!” will put each presenter cloacked from head to toe in one color with music playing with colors in the lyrics.
Though he takes great pride in entertaining attendees, PPS presenter Robbin Yelverton, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, CF, MCF, said education is the focus during the Premier Products Showcase.
“The real value is giving florists an opportunity to see items from all across the industry that they may have overlooked,” said the co-owner of Blumz…by JR Designs in the Detroit metro area. “It’s also a great way for companies to draw attention to specific items, whether they’re brand new or just need a little extra push to get in more florists’ hands.”
Tom Biondo, creative director for Royal Flowers Inc., exhibited last year and is participating in this year’s PPS. “The Premier Products Showcase is a great way to reinforce our brand and introduce new varieties and products to florists in an entertaining atmosphere,” Biondo said.