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Tap Into Consumers’ ‘Great Expectations’ in Orlando

by | Jun 8, 2022 | Events, Events & Education, Floral Industry News | 0 comments

Attendees react to a presenter at SAF’s 2021 convention. The programming for SAF Orlando 2022 will focus on operations, profitability, talent and floral trends.

Consumer expectations and buying habits have changed since the start of the pandemic, and because of that e-commerce will continue to be a driving force in floral sales. How does a floral business successfully meet consumers’ expectations and market to different generations online, especially with inflation in play?

Melinda Knuth, Ph.D., a consumer market researcher at North Carolina State University, will talk about those trends and offer strategies to leverage consumers’ interest in flowers and plants at the Society of American Florists’ 137th annual convention, Sept. 6-8 in Orlando, Florida.

Knuth’s presentation, “Great Expectations: Attracting and Retaining Today’s Flower and Plant Buyers,” will explore shifts in consumer behavior, how to leverage e-commerce for business-to-business and business-to-consumer sales, and break down generational preferences when it comes to buying behavior.

“What’s next? What’s coming up? Those are the questions that myself and the other researchers in my arena keep getting,” Knuth says. “Some of that we can answer through the data we are collecting.”

Knuth’s presentation and the more than 20 other educational sessions were designed to help attendees understand and leverage today’s trends and opportunities, and overcome challenges including workforce attraction and retention, rising costs, managing employees of all generations, digital marketing and more.

“SAF knows the obstacles that the floral industry faces, and the convention’s educational sessions were planned to support professionals through those challenges,” says SAF President Michelle Castellano Keeler, AAF. “From recruiting and retaining workers and adjusting to the ‘new normal’ and understanding the shifts in consumer behavior, attendees will leave armed with information and connections to help grow their businesses.”

The convention also features the 53rd annual Sylvia Cup Competition — the longest-running, live national floral design contest; the Outstanding Varieties Competition, where growers from around the world showcase their best varieties; a Supplier Expo for attendees to see the latest products and services from dozens of vendors.

Kate Penn, SAF CEO, will kick off the convention with the “State of the Industry” address, detailing the highs and lows of the past year, challenges and opportunities going into 2023 and what SAF is doing to address those issues.

The convention features more than 20 education sessions and workshops that fall under four tracks: operations, profitability, talent, and floral trends. The full schedule of events can be found here.

In the operations track, sessions include:

  • State of the Floral Industry
  • Attracting and Retaining Today’s Flower and Plant Buyers
  • Operational Tools that Sustain Your Business
  • Win-Win Vendor-Buyer Partnerships

In the profitability track, sessions include:

  • Digital Marketing Do-Over
  • Driving Revenue with Reviews
  • Lean Retailing
  • Refining Your Brand
  • Idea Swap: Marketing Hacks

In the talent track, sessions include:

  • 5 Generations Under One Roof: Working Together for Success
  • Creating a Pipeline of Talent Through Schools
  • Is Your Culture Attracting or Driving Away Talent?
  • Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders
  • Wellness and Mindfulness for Teams
  • Idea Swap: Staff Incentive and Retention Hack

In the floral trends track, sessions include:

  • 2023 Flower Trends Forecast
  • Profitable, Trend-Forward Everyday Designs
  • Wedding Trends
  • Design Demo Experience Zones


Amanda Jedlinsky is the managing editor of SAF NOW.

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