The Society of American Florists will hold a virtual summit next month centered on reinvention and dedicated to helping floral industry members navigate the new landscape created by the global pandemic. In keeping with government regulations regarding travel and crowd side, the association also has canceled SAF Phoenix 2020, which was scheduled for September.
“SAF is committed to adapting its focus to deliver the best possible information and value to its members — and the July Reinvention Summit will be a dynamic, multi-day affair that’s tailored to the key issues and challenges florists are facing today,” said SAF President Chris Drummond, AAF, PFCI, of Penny’s by Plaza Flowers in Philadelphia. “Canceling SAF’s annual convention — an event so many of us look forward to as a chance to learn and recharge — was a difficult decision but we believe it’s in the best interest of the industry and the safety of our members to focus on high quality virtual events now and for the remainder of 2020.”
The all-virtual Reinvention Summit, scheduled for the last week of July, will give participants a chance to engage more deeply with big picture trends and concepts than a typical audience-style event, said Drummond. Spread across five days, each day will feature a keynote presentation on a particular topic, followed by a question and answer session, after which attendees can choose among various small group sessions to dig into topics even further with their peers.
“This highly interactive format allows attendees to engage in several ways: listening and absorbing what the keynote presenter shares, asking questions, and then really rolling up our sleeves with peers to talk about what the issue means to us in our business,” said Drummond.
The Reinvention Summit will tackle big-picture issues such as how to understand and adapt to consumer behavior in a post-COVID world, tactics florists can use to re-engineer their web presence, ways to leverage your “local” brand, and ideas on how to lead your team through crisis and difficult times.
“We’re bringing together experts and thought leaders who will raise the tough questions, challenge traditional thinking, reimagine a framework for strategy and entrepreneurialism and provide insight on how to more nimbly find and capitalize on new opportunities,” Drummond said.
Drummond said SAF will follow the Reinvention Summit with virtual “micro-learning” events designed to help the industry capitalize on the some of the most promising areas of growth.
Along with canceling convention, SAF leadership also has decided to postpone the SAF 1-Day Profit Blasts that were scheduled for this year (in San Antonio, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Buffalo, New York, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and the NextGen event in Denver.
“We will reschedule when it is safe and makes sense to resume these events in person,” Drummond said.
In the meantime, SAF members and prospective members can take advantage of the association’s robust series of virtual events, including the current Re-Ignite Your Business webinar series, to help you drive sales and manage operations during these changing times.
Stay tuned to safnow.org for program updates and to register.
Katie Butler is the senior vice president of the Society of American Florists.