Advanced Design Techniques
Speed dating meets design education: You have one hour to rotate through six stations, where an experienced designer demonstrates an advanced technique.
- Color has profound psychological effects and can instantly transform a design. Dwight Larimer, AAF, PFCI, walks you through Design Master Color Tool’s wide array of paints and sprays and shares simple techniques to color your world.
- Deborah De la Flor, AIFD, PFCI, will offer quick and easy leaf manipulation tips to make your designs come alive with added value and prestige.
- Sisters Lenzee and Lacee Bilke will help you master the art of flower crowns — a favorite style for music festivals, proms, weddings and even the red carpet.
- Want to speed up your prom work? Learn the joys of cold glue, courtesy of Loann Burke, AAF, AIFD, PFCI.
- Elaborate floral walls and circles are all the rage. Chicken wire makes these and other pieces of head-turning décor possible. Jackie Lacey, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, demonstrates how to use it to create armatures.
- Derek C. Woodruff, AIFD, CF, CFD, PFCI, demonstrates how to make hand-tied bouquets faster and easier with the “egg” from Syndicate Sales.
Are You Selling Yourself Short?
Speakers: Mark Anderson, FloristWare; and Derrick Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI, Crockett Myers
Mark Anderson breaks down pricing models that revolutionized the travel, restaurant and entertainment industries and offers easy tips to appease bargain hunters without cannibalizing full-price sales. Derrick Myers explains when and why it’s OK to deviate from a cost-plus formula and how to track these strategies so your accountant won’t have a heart attack.
Between the Petals: What Research Tells Us About Floral Consumers
Speaker: Charlie Hall, Ph.D., Texas A&M University
Retailing involves psychological savvy. Don’t you wish you could look into a crystal ball to know why shoppers abandon their carts, how they select gifts and what constitute “barriers” that prevent them from purchasing? Believe it or not, you can — by tapping into the extensive research of consumer preferences and habits conducted by SAF, the American Floral Endowment and universities throughout the country that use a variety of methods, from surveys to eye tracking and biometrics technology. Charlie Hall, Ph.D., an economist and professor of horticulture at Texas A&M University, will break down the studies and flesh out actionable tips to put the information to use for your business.
Breeding Future Floriculturists
Speakers: Anna Ball, Ball Horticultural; Susan E. Yoder, Seed Your Future
Despite an apparent epidemic of college graduates struggling to find a job and Americans’ growing appetite for plant-based movements, including farm-to-table restaurants and guerilla gardening, interest in horticulture careers lags. What gives? Through industry and public research, Seed Your Future has sought answers. From the research findings, they have developed an education and a PR/marketing plan that promotes horticulture — and floriculture — and encourages people to pursue careers working with plants. Come hear what they’ve discovered and what they’re doing to develop a strong pipeline of future talent.
Disarm the Disgruntled
Speaker: Sam Bowles, FloralStrategies
After this session, you’ll welcome complaints on the phone, in-store or on social media and review sites as constructive criticism that lets you demonstrate your dedication and, ultimately, makes your shop better. Get a rundown of the most common customer complaints and a five-point plan to reach a resolution.
Down and Dirty: Nitty Gritty Hacks to Extend Vaselife
Speakers: Steve Daum, Floralife; Jim Kaplan, Chrysal USA
You stake your company’s reputation on top product quality. But does everyone on your team understand what it takes to attain it? Join care and handling connoisseurs Steve Daum and Jim Kaplan for an educational and entertaining journey through the cold chain and how to make sure everyone on your staff embraces it. Get the skinny on how small actions add up to maximize vase life. Take these tips home, make them habits and market a satisfaction guarantee.
Experience Zone: Social Media Madness
Speakers: Max Duchaine, SAF; Jackie Levine, Central Square Florist
Get pointers on how to boost your engagement on Instagram.
The Future of the Retail Florist
Speaker: Renato Sogueco, PFCI, BloomNet
Panelists include: Chris Drummond, AAF, PFCI, Plaza Flowers; Jodi McShan, McShan Florist, Inc.; Danny Sanchez, South Florals LLC
Imagine you could have prepared for the Internet age. How would you have changed your business? Today, research and analysis on emerging trends are helping businesses plan for what’s next. Renato Cruz Sogueco, BloomNet’s vice president of digital strategy, and a panel of floral retailers talk about what to do now to adapt to a fast-changing environment.
HR Hacks that Win Loyalty
Speaker: Glenna Hecht, Humanistic Consulting LLC
Turnover is a drag. According to a Society for Human Resource Management study, businesses spend the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary recruiting and training the replacement. There’s also a drop-in staff morale when a talented team member leaves. HR guru Glenna Hecht shares best practices to engage employees and increase productivity, creativity, and loyalty.
I Feel Ya: Why Emotional IQ Matters at Work
Speaker: Barry Gottlieb, Coaching the Winner’s Edge
Did you know that 90 percent of top performers have a high emotional intelligence (EQ)? Author and speaker Barry Gottlieb explains how decades of research shows how EQ is crucial to top performance in the workplace.
Internship Programs that Deliver
Speaker: Diane Thielfoldt, The Learning Café
Panelists include: Pat Dahlson, Mayesh Wholesale Florist; Jo Buttram, AAF, Shirley’s Flowers & Gifts, Inc.; Laura Shinall, Syndicate Sales, Inc.; Dominic Vercelote, Tagawa Greenhouses, Inc.
An internship program can bring top talent to your business, but how do you start? How do you make the most of an intern’s time with you? Join Millennial expert Diane Thielfoldt for a conversation about internship best practices.
Floral Management’s 25th Annual Marketer of the Year Award
Speakers: Floral Management Editor-in-Chief Mary Westbrook, SAF; Dwight Larimer, AAF, PFCI, Design Master color tool, Inc.
Don’t miss the much-anticipated convention tradition: the announcement of the winner of Floral Management’s Annual Marketer of the Year Award. The honor recognizes a unique, innovative and successful marketing effort that increased overall sales volume. Take away winning sales and promotion ideas, and share the excitement as the winner receives the $5,000 prize, sponsored by Design Master color tool, Inc.
SAF’s Consumer Marketing Program and SAF PR Fund
Speakers: Erin Largo-Wight, Ph.D., University of North Florida; Jennifer Sparks, SAF
SAF reveals the exciting results of new university research on the Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women, and how SAF is promoting the research findings to consumers.
One of a Kind: How to Stand Out on Social Media
Speaker: Crystal Vilkaitis, Social Edge
How are customers researching products and stores in today’s world? Online and through social! How are you showing up and grabbing the consumer’s attention? Retail Social Media Expert Crystal Vilkaitis shows how you can stand out from the competition by creating a consistent online brand with graphics, ads and local listings.
Outstanding Varieties: See the best products from the world’s top growers!
Review more than 5,000 stems of the best flowers and unique plants on the market during one of the industry’s biggest flower and plant competitions. Dozens of growers and breeders from across the country and around the world are exhibiting their finest cut flowers, greens, potted flowering plants, bedding plants and foliage for top honors. Expert judges crown one Best in Show, rank 13 Best in Class, and present Blue and Red Ribbons to dozens more. Vote for your favorite to win People’s Choice.
Premier Products Showcase: In Living Color
Speakers: Jenny Behlings, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, SDCF, Jenny’s Floral; Theresa Colucci, AIFD, PFCI, Meadowscent; Marlin Hargrove, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, Pete Garcia Company; Julie Poeltler, AIFD, CAFA, PFCI, Fountain of Flowers & Gifts; D Damon Samuel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, NAFD, NMF, Bill Doran Company; J. Robbin Yelverton, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, CF, MCF, Blumz by…JRDesigns
Wear your favorite color to this illuminating round of show-and-tell by a colorful troupe from Professional Floral Communicators – International. These vibrant experts dish out a “hue-ristic” analysis of tools, accessories, hard goods and fresh products — each a pot of gold! This fast-paced session blazes with bright ideas.
Preparing Millennials for Leadership
Speaker: Diane Thielfoldt, The Learning Café
Panelists include: Kyle Garrison, Bill Doran Company; Kim Kashman, Syndicate Sales; Klair McDermott, AIFD, PFCI, Sunshine Bouquet Company; and Cameron Pappas, Norton’s Florist
Millennials, the largest adult population in history, are no longer the new kids on the block. Representing 35 percent of the U.S. workforce, many are well into their 30s and are increasingly taking on leadership roles. Generations expert Diane Thielfoldt provides insight into how to help develop this next generation of leaders. A panel of Millennial industry members also voice what they want from their careers.
HANDS-ON WORKSHOP: QuickBooks
Speaker: Michael Pugh, AAF, Pugh’s Flowers
Michael Pugh, Pugh’s Flowers’ chief financial officer and owner, has used QuickBooks since it came out in 1983 to make smart purchasing, marketing and operational decisions. In this hands-on session, he walks through common pain points, demonstrates little-known functions, and answers questions.
Moderator: Barry Gottlieb, Coaching the Winner’s Edge
Panelists include: Dana Cook AAF, Julia’s Florist; Nick Fronduto, Jacobson Floral Supply, Inc.; Charles Ingrum, Dr. Delphinium Designs & Events; Mike Mooney, Dramm & Echter, Inc.
Does it seem like your want ads aren’t getting any bites — or that you’re constantly hiring and firing duds? Industry members reveal their strategies for recruiting promising candidates and setting them up for success.
Rejuvenate Your Yuletide Business
Speaker: Kevin Ylvisaker, AIFD, PFCI, CAFA, Smithers-Oasis
The competition for consumers’ holiday dollars is undeniably fierce. But there’s no reason you can’t get your piece of the pie — and a generous one at that. Kevin Ylvisaker outlines several ways to attract consumers ISO unique, ready-to-go holiday décor (i.e. your specialty).
Rock The Holiday – Your Holiday Playbook!
Speaker: Vonda LaFever, AIFD, PFCI, Team Floral
Some things are inevitable: death, taxes, a bombardment of orders in the middle of February and May. Outsiders might believe holidays are a boon for florists, but those in the trenches know that — alas — busyness doesn’t necessarily lead to profitability. Purchasing too little or too much product and hiring too many or too few freelance workers can wreak havoc on your peace of mind, not to mention your profit margin. Eliminate holiday headaches by getting all your ducks in a row. Veteran florist Vonda LaFever breaks down tried-and-true strategies for scheduling, buying, processing, recruiting, training, delivery and customer service to make holiday work as successful and seamless as possible.
Sales Jolt! Photos that Sell
Speaker: Reece Nakamoto Farinas, Beretania Florist
Are you showing your shop’s custom designs on your website? If not, you should be, according to fourth-generation florist Reese Farinas. This millennial shop manager shows how he has dramatically increased customer satisfaction, web conversion rates and sales — and eliminated complaints — by replacing stock photography with his own on his website.
50th Annual Sylvia Cup Design Competition
Coordinators: Marlin Hargrove, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, Pete Garcia Company; Jenny Behlings, AAF, PFCI, Jenny’s Floral; Theresa Colucci, AIFD, PFCI, Meadowscent; Julie Poeltler, AIFD, CAFA, PFCI, Fountain of Flowers & Gifts; D Damon Samuel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, NAFD, NMF, Bill Doran Company; J. Robbin Yelverton, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, Blumz by…JRDesigns
In celebration of the 50th year of the Sylvia Cup, its Golden Anniversary, we ask you to embark on a journey down your own Yellow Brick Road. Each Sylvia Cup contestant receives the same assortment of products from Certified American Grown and Smithers-Oasis, a 2-hour time limit and surprise challenge — to create three floral designs celebrating “Follow Your Yellow Brick Road.”
Using Video to Boost Engagement
Speaker: Crystal Vilkaitis, Social Edge
It’s a fact: Video is good for business. It earns you more organic (free) reach, gives a peek at your business’s personality and entices users to engage. And it’s only going to become more valuable: one Facebook executive was quoted saying that Facebook will be video exclusively, with no text.
Winning the Talent Wars with Culture
Speaker: Jamie Notter, Human Workplaces
Newsflash: Workplace culture matters more than pay and benefits. But how do you intentionally create culture? Author and culture expert Jamie Notter shares his research and compelling stories from organizations that have cracked the code on attracting and retaining top talent. (Hint: It’s more than foosball tables and free lunches.) He’ll also present results from an SAF survey of owners and employees, revealing how your peers define their workplace cultures.
Your Flower Shop Can Earn 20% More This Year. Really!
Speaker: Tim Huckabee, FloralStrategies
In this brand-new program from fan favorite Tim Huckabee, discover the sales and customer service expert’s core concepts to motivate and empower your staff to make bigger, better sales. He’s visited thousands of shops around the globe, teaching florists to listen closely and speak confidently to grow their average order by double digits and keep customer satisfaction high.