More than 425 floral professionals from 41 states and four countries will be in Florida this week for SAF Amelia Island 2019, the Society of American Florists’ 135th annual convention.
The event brings together 60 expert speakers and panelists in 44 educational sessions and five experience zones aimed at some of the most important industry issues today.
Attendees — including 116 first timers — will also have the chance to feast their eyes on 210 entries in the 2019 Outstanding Varieties Competition, cheer on 13 competitors in the 51st annual Sylvia Cup Design Competition, and engage in meaningful networking opportunities with industry colleagues and top vendors throughout the four-day event.
Among the highlights of the packed agenda:
Kick-Off Breakfast: State of the Industry — and SAF
Join Kate Penn, SAF’s CEO, for her wide-ranging talk about the many factors affecting the floral industry — including shifts in consumer buying habits, economic forces and retail. Penn will also outline the results of SAF’s recently completed strategic plan. Who should go? The engaging talk will help put trends and news headlines into context for anyone who wants to grow their business — meaning, you!
SAF’s Outstanding Varieties Competition
Walk into a room filled with thousands of stems from some of the world’s best growers and breeders and just try not to be inspired. (We dare you!) This annual celebration highlights top new products in the industry, culminating with the award of red, blue and Best in Class ribbons — and, of course, the announcement of the year’s Best in Show honors. Who should go? Outstanding Varieties is a longtime convention tradition, and for good reason: The show offers designers, owners and buyers the unique opportunity to see new stems together in one room.
Forecasting Amidst Expansion, Trade Wars and a Looming Downturn
Respected industry economist Charlie Hall, Ph.D., of Texas A&M University will talk about the economic factors every business owner should pay attention to, and how to prep now for the next (inevitable) recession. Who should go? Hall, the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M, is known for his info-packed, accessible takes on the economy, and his accurate forecasting. If you are confused or worried by recent headlines about recessions and trade wars, this is a session for you.
2020 Floral Trends Forecast
Derek Woodruff, AIFD, PFCI, CF and Helen Miller, AIFD, will offer an exclusive “sneak peak” of International Floral Distributors’ new Floral Trends Forecast, the result of months-long research. As a complement to the visual stage presentation, attendees will receive a printed copy of the Flower Trends Forecast 2020, complete with detailed information to source containers and other hard goods, pair colors and select flowers. Who should go? Thanks to social media, your customers are more exposed than ever before to style evolutions and subtle but important shifts in other industries, including fashion and decor. Floral professionals need to stay on the leading edge, and this session can help you do that.
Check out the full schedule for SAF Amelia Island 2019. Look for more coverage from the event in upcoming SAF publications.
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management.