School’s just about out for summer, and many floral professionals have their eyes on September for four days of world-class business education, powerful connections and creative inspiration they’ll receive from SAF Amelia Island 2019, the Society of American Florists’ 135th Annual Convention, Sept. 18-21 at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida.
Reece Nakamoto Farinas with Beretania Florist in Honolulu is ready. “I always tell our florist friends that it’s foolish for them to miss out on the wealth of knowledge that comes with the SAF conference,” Farinas said. “Every year we go, we find some way to improve our sales and better position ourselves for the future.”
Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, of S. Lyons Consulting in Veneta, Oregon, and former SAF chairman, echoes those sentiments. “The SAF convention is the only venue where the entire floral industry comes together,” Lyons said. “The educational, networking and relationship building opportunities are remarkable. It is where all the industry leaders and leaders of the future meet. Every industry business owner or manager should put this at the top of the ‘to do’ list.”
Jeremy Lohman of Scott’s House of Flowers in Lawton, Oklahoma, agrees. “For those of us who have been in business a while, we’ve experienced lots of changes of the last 20 years,” Lohman added. “We can encourage others and learn how to stay relevant in a changing industry. For new florists, it’s a great place to learn and gain wisdom from old hands in the industry.”
Experts from inside and outside the industry take the stage at SAF Amelia Island 2019. Here is a look at a few of their presentations:
- State of the Industry — and SAF. SAF CEO Kate Penn will explore the challenges and opportunities in the industry and unveil SAF’s new vision for the future.
- 2020 Floral Trends Forecast, What Consumers Crave: Trend Translations for 2020. Helen Miller, AIFD, CAFA, CF, and Derek C. Woodruff, AIFD, CF, PFCI, plan to present the industry’s leading forecast of flower trends and floral styles for events and weddings.
- Forecasting Amidst Expansion, Trade Wars and a Looming Downturn. Floral industry economic analyst Charlie Hall, Ph.D., will point out factors driving consumer purchases and recommend ways to prepare for the next recession.
- High-Volume Fulfillment. Filling a high volume of incoming orders — at a profit — isn’t just for large florists. Skip Paal, AAF, and his team at Rutland Beard Floral Group are going to pull back the curtain on their process and explain how it can work for shops of all sizes.
- Onboarding Best Practices. Barry Gottlieb of Coaching the Winner’s Edge plans to point out how companies with impressive longevity welcome new hires and set them up for success.
- Relational Leadership. Dysfunctional relationships exist in workplaces. Human resources expert Glenna Hecht of Humanistic Consulting will offer solutions to resolve conflicts.
- Monday Morning Quarterbacking: 20 Years from a Retailer’s Playbook. Clara Gonzales, former owner of Tiger Lily Florist, is prepped to share secrets of some of the shop’s greatest successes, such as forecasting sales and implementing a performance-based compensation plan.
- Be the Business Worth Buying. Dreaming of retirement? Former SAF Chairman Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, who sold Dandelions Flowers & Gifts last summer, will guide you through succession planning with recommendations on how to boost your business’s value.
SAF Amelia Island 2019 also brings the industry’s best products, services and artists to the forefront during these annual convention favorites:
- Outstanding Varieties Competition. Growers and breeders display more than 300 varieties of flowers and unique plants to vie for the top prize in one of the industry’s biggest flower and plant competitions.
- Supplier Expo. Browse through dozens of new products and services, and get to know the vendors who can answer your questions and point you toward profitable opportunities for your business.
- New Products Showcase. Enjoy this fast-paced show-and-tell of the newest floral supplies, gift accessories, fresh product led by the industry’s top floral educators, the Professional Floral Communicators-International.
- Sylvia Cup Design Competition. Watch as some of the nation’s best floral designers are given the same flowers, foliage and supplies — and just two hours to create the surprise challenge.
For details and to register, go to safnow.org/annual-convention.
Jenny Scala is the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Society of American Florists