Making business connections and soaking in educational sessions are the top factors driving floral professionals to the Society of American Florists’ annual convention. The Supplier Expo and New Products Showcase promise to get buyers and sellers talking to each other right away on the first full day of SAF Amelia Island 2019, the association’s 135th Annual Convention, Sept. 18-21.
With the July 1 deadline for special early Supplier Expo registration approaching, exhibitors are making plans to show products and looking forward to meeting with current and existing customers at SAF Amelia Island 2019.
California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers (CalFlowers) is signed up. “Based on our previous participation, we get strong interest when attendees learn about the benefits of CalFlowers membership,” CalFlowers CEO Michael LoBue, CAE said. “And, for those already familiar with CalFlowers, it’s a great way to update them about new offerings.”
CalFlowers will share some of those new offerings such as improvements in transportation programs. “We’re rolling out a special discount program for FedEx Office just for CalFlowers members,” LoBue said, and added that CalFlowers will also be including FedEx Same Day delivery options in about three dozen metropolitan areas around the country.
Before vendors and buyers connect at the Supplier Expo, the convention’s New Products Showcase offers participants a fast-paced show-and-tell of some of the newest floral products on the market.
“The program before the expo when individual products were showcased by the PFCI gang was fun and informative,” said Beverley Ireland, AIFD, owner of Jasmine Creek Florist in El Cajon, California, who attended the program last year. “Some of those items would have passed my attention if not shown in this imaginative way.”
D Damon Samuel, AAF, AIFD, NAFD, NMF, PFCI, is one of the presenters from Professional Floral Communicators-International who will lead the New Products Showcase. “The New Products Showcase is the lead-in and set up for the Supplier Expo,” he said. “We try to generate the enthusiasm, and that’s why it is presented with a theme – to make it fun and lively.”
This year’s New Products Showcase theme is “Under the Sea.”
Samuel said the New Products Showcase is beneficial for exhibitors, especially smaller companies, to get their products highlighted, educate the end users and garner plenty of exposure.
“What’s really the most exciting is to see vendors that are not mainstream and being able to get their product out there and present it in a way that highlights the best aspects of it,” said Samuel, the in-house designer for the Bill Doran Company in Omaha, Nebraska. “A lot of people haven’t heard of these products and they are glad to learn how to use them … and really understand what it can do for them.”
Samuel added, “The Supplier Expo and the New Products Showcase are great ways for attendees to see new products presented in a fun and memorable way — and meet the suppliers and growers behind those products.”
SAF Amelia Island 2019, SAF’s 135th Annual Convention, takes place Sept. 18-21 in Amelia Island, Florida. For details and to register, go to safnow.org/annual-convention.
Suppliers and Growers … want to exhibit in the Supplier Expo and the New Products Showcase? For details, go to safnow.org/expo.
Renee Houston Zemanski is a contributing writer for the Society of American Florists.