SAF Annual Convention FAQs

SAF-Palm Springs 2018

Do I need to wear my name badge the entire convention?

Yes. Your name badge gives you access to the SAF convention programs and events, and encourages other participants to greet you.

What happens if I lose my name badge?

Stop by the SAF Registration Desk for a new one.

I’ve never been before — what if I don’t know anyone?

For starters, even if you think you don’t know anyone, you actually do — everyone on the SAF staff (easy to recognize — in royal blue SAF logo shirts). Consider them your new best friends, ready to chat and introduce you to other participants throughout the event.

We host a private reception for first time participants on Wednesday evening that will make you feel right at home:

First-Timers’ Reception
Wednesday, Sept.12
5 – 5:45 p.m.
Oasis Den

At this event, you will meet SAF Volunteer Leaders and others who are also new. Don’t be shy — talk to as many people as possible at every event.

You’ll be surprised by how many new friends and business contacts you’ll make.

What should I wear?

Wear your name badge to all events.

Average early September temperatures in Palm Springs are in the high 90s.

Wednesday’s President’s Welcome Reception and Friday’s Field to Vase Dinner are outside so dress comfortably for the desert weather.

“Resort casual” is the fashion for convention: casual shirts, slacks, shorts or dresses. Bring a light jacket or sweater for cool air conditioned ballrooms and meeting rooms.

“Business Attire” is what to wear to Thursday’s AFE Fundraising Dinner and Saturday’s Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner: collared shirts, ties and jackets, pantsuits or dresses.

Do I really have to show up for the breakfasts at 7 a.m.?

Yes! Our breakfast buffet line opens at 7 a.m. The program promptly begins at 7:30 a.m. The break- fast buffet closes around 8 a.m. You don’t have to show up at 7 a.m., but if you arrive after 7:30 (but before 8 a.m.) you will be able to get breakfast but will miss some of the program. (Don’t worry, an SAF staff member will help you find a seat).

What meals are covered with a full convention registration?

Wednesday: Light dinner at the President’s Welcome Party

Thursday: Kick-Off Breakfast, Refreshment Breaks, and late afternoon treats at the Supplier Expo

Friday: Marketing Breakfast, Refreshment Breaks, Field to Vase Dinner

Saturday: Keynote Breakfast, Refreshment Breaks, and the Awards Reception and Dinner

What about lunch?

We encourage you to enjoy a networking lunch on your own.

Where’s a good place to eat?

The Westin Mission Hills has four restaurants, and the hotel’s concierge can provide recommendations.

Is it OK to slip into educational sessions late?

Yes. You may go in and out of sessions as needed. Please enter and exit as quietly as possible, and turn off your cell phone ringer.

How should I organize my time at the convention?

With so many scheduled sessions and events, you have many choices. Make highlights of the ‘must attend’ programs in the Program Booklet and Convention App. If you are attending with more than one person from your company, ‘divide and conquer’ might be the best approach.

What are some of the favorite events?

The President’s Welcome Party, Outstanding Varieties Competition, Supplier Expo, Premier Products Showcase, SAFPAC Golf Tournament*, Sylvia Cup Design Competition and Saturday’s Awards Dinner and Afterglow Party are all favorites. * Additional fee applies.

I’ve been coming for years — what new things can I expect this year?

We’re excited about our new convention app! It gives you access to all sorts of information — from customizing your schedule and finding rooms to keeping track of all the ideas you learn and connecting with others — right on your phone.

The educational programs are full of new and timely presentations covering issues such as finding and keeping top-notch employees and working with millennials, technology and social media, financial management, care and handling, and profitable design.

We have lots of exciting new events this year: A Field to Vase Dinner, Next-Gen Reception, Sunrise Yoga, four experience zones, Design Demos and Tech SOS.

There’s also the HANDS-ON WORKSHOP: Holiday Designs*. To sign up, visit the SAF Registration Desk. And Michael Pugh, AAF, presents the “HANDS-ON WORKSHOP: QuickBooks.”

We can’t wait to find out what the surprise theme is for the 50th Annual Sylvia Cup Design Competition on Saturday. Plus, you don’t want to miss the Supplier Expo on Thursday afternoon and chance to win a FREE registration to SAF Amelia Island 2019!

Can I follow SAF’s convention on social media?

Absolutely! Follow SAF at:

Facebook.com/SocietyofAmericanFlorists

Twitter.com/safdelivers

Instagram.com/SocietyofAmericanFlorists

And please share your convention photos and experiences using #safconv. Post pictures in the Social Lounge on the convention app, too!

Will SAF provide copies of the speaker handouts?

Yes. Handouts are available for most of the ses sions; if they are not, then the slide presentation (as well as any handout, for those who didn’t attend that session) will be accessible on the convention app and at safnow.org/palmsprings2018handouts.

Can my partner, child, or family member accompany me at convention?

Absolutely! Convention programs and events require a badge for entry. Tickets for the convention’s breakfasts and evening events are available at the SAF Registration Desk.

Evening events are the most popular times to bring guests — Wednesday’s President’s Reception, Thursday’s AFE Fundraising Dinner, Friday’s Field to Vase Dinner, and Saturday’s Awards Dinner and Afterglow Party.

The Outstanding Varieties Exhibit and the Sylvia Cup Design Competition are both popular and open to the public for free.

What is the AFE Dinner?*

The American Floral Endowment’s Annual Fundraising Reception & Dinner is on Thursday evening. AFE is the floral industry’s charitable organization that funds programs dedicated to advancing the industry. Since 1961, AFE has funded more than $16 million for floriculture research and more than $1.5 million in scholar- ships and internships to attract and retain the next generation workforce.

There is no SAF convention event planned for Thursday evening, so join your fellow industry members and support AFE’s research and educational efforts. Separate registration is required to attend. Stop by the SAF Registration Desk to purchase tickets.

What if I have a question or need help? Who can I ask?

Absolutely anyone on the SAF staff (in the blue shirts) — we are ready to resolve any issue that comes up.

2018 © Society of American Florists

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