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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

7 a.m. –8 p.m.

SAF Registration Desk & Resource Center

Stop by the SAF Registration Desk to purchase tickets for guests to attend meal functions and optional events, such as the AFE Reception and Dinner and SAFPAC Golf Tournament. Check out the Resource Center for SAF products and services.

5 – 5:45 p.m.

network iconFirst Timers Reception

New to convention? This private happy hour will make you feel at home. You’ll meet other first timers and members of the SAF Volunteer Leadership.

6 – 8:00 p.m.

network iconSAF President’s Welcome Party

Reconnect with friends and make new ones at the opening reception hosted by SAF President Bill LaFever, PFCI.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

7 a.m. –5 p.m.

SAF Registration Desk & Resource Center

Stop by the SAF Registration Desk to purchase tickets for guests to attend meal functions and optional events, such as the AFE Reception and Dinner and SAFPAC Golf Tournament. Check out the Resource Center for SAF products and services.

7 – 8:45 a.m.

key-Talent OperationsKick – Off Breakfast, Winning the Talent Wars with Culture

Doors open and breakfast starts at 7 a.m.; program starts at 7:30 a.m.

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.

You’ll learn about:

  • Hallmarks of progressive, innovative and inclusive cultures
  • Processes and behaviors that turn culture into a tangible tool
  • How to write a playbook for change

Sponsor

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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.

Growers … want to exhibit? Go to safnow.org/outstanding-varieties-competition or contact Laura Weaver by Aug. 17 at 703-838-5221.

Sponsor

9:15 – 10:30 a.m. | Three Concurrent Sessions

key-Talent OperationsPreparing 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.

You’ll learn:

  • How to connect, communicate and reward Millennials, and how older generations can adapt management styles to help them thrive
  • How to engage Millennials and guide them into leadership positions
  • What Millennials love about the floral industry — and what drives them away

Sponsor

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.

You’ll learn:

  • How to easily take your brand from chaos to cohesive to boost your marketing efforts
  • What to include in Yelp and other review site listings, and how to monitor, respond to and optimize these listings
  • How to use graphics, video, ads and local listings online to your competitive advantage

Sponsor

 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, breaks down the studies and fleshes out actionable tips to put the information to use for your business.

You’ll learn:

• How to create a visual path that spurs purchases
• Why “organic” and “sustainable” are among consumers’ favorite buzzwords
• Merchandising strategies to capitalize on shoppers’ impulsive nature

10:30 – 11 a.m.

Refreshment Break

10:35 – 10:55 a.m.

key-sales DesignExperience Zone: OV Extravaganza

Speaker: Derek Woodruff, AIFD, CF, CFD, PFCI, Floral Underground

Watch this fun floral design demo using flowers and foliage from the Outstanding Varieties Competition.

11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Three Concurrent Sessions

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.

You’ll learn:

  • How smaller retailers can compete with the search dominance and customer service expectations set by companies such as Amazon, Google, Samsung and Apple
  • Which emerging marketing tools will help florists engage with mobile customers
  • Strategies on how to retool your brick and mortar to remain relevant or become the channel of choice for local customers

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.

You’ll learn: 

  • Why tiered-pricing choices and bundles please a broad demographic
  • How to employ selective discounting
  • Ways to increase your perceived value to attract an affluent clientele

Your Flower Shop Can Earn 20% More This Year. Really!

icon_repeat  Friday at 3:15 p.m.

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.

You’ll learn:

  • The one word to banish from every customer conversation
  • How to make the most of your POS system’s functionality to improve efficiency and accuracy
  • A simple plan to take back and double your outgoing business for easy profits

1:15 – 2:30 p.m. | Two Concurrent Sessions

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.

You’ll learn:

  • Tactics to improve vase life efficiency and more
  • Ways to increase your perceived value and profit margin
  • The inside scoop on the hottest items

Suppliers and Growers…Sign up by Aug. 17 to have color commentary on your products and services. Go to safnow.org/pps or contact Heather Macaluso at 717-430-2224.

key-Talent OperationsHR Hacks that Win Loyalty

icon_repeat  Friday at 3:15 p.m.

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.

You’ll gain an understanding of:

  • When, what and who Should HACK to achieve results
  • How to create a WOW onboarding experience with ambassadors
  • Mentors, the importance of quick feedback and easy training to engage employees

Sponsor

2:30 – 5 p.m. | Two Concurrent Sessions

Supplier Expo

Discover new products, tools, services and more. Get to know the vendors who can answer your questions and point you toward profitable opportunities for your business. Relax, network and absorb the ideas during this fun event. Attend and be entered for a FREE registration to SAF Amelia Island 2019!

You will:

  • See exciting fresh product and meet the people who grow and import it
  • Check out trendy hard goods, cool design tools, supplies and equipment
  • Talk about your tech needs with the brainiacs who can make it happen

One on One Tech Help Desk

Speakers: Joe Aldeguer, Max Duchaine, SAF

Laptop running slow? Problems uploading videos to YouTube? Got a question about hardware? Computer Security? Cloud Computing? Microsoft Office 365? WordPress Websites? E-commerce, Backups and Disaster Recovery? Windows 10 and Mac computing? Can’t figure out Facebook or Instagram? The tech doctors are in. Bring your laptop, tablet or smartphone and get advice from SAF’s resident geeks: Director of IT Joe Aldeguer and Digital Strategy Manager Max Duchaine.

Sign up for your One-on-One time slot at the SAF Registration Desk.

6 – 9 p.m.

network icon American Floral Endowment Annual Fundraising Reception and Dinner*

Shining Stars: Bright Future!

Join us for a fun evening with industry colleagues at the AFE 2018 Fundraising Dinner. Hear about new programs, the latest consumer studies, and updates on research funding to produce healthier, longer-lasting flowers and plants. Find out how you can put these valuable resources to use! We’ll also recognize industry champions who have made contributions to support these programs. Contact AFE for sponsorship information at 703-838-5239.

Sponsor

Friday, September 14, 2018

6 – 6:30 a.m.

network iconSunrise Yoga

Wake up with your industry friends and enjoy a good morning stretch before you begin your day of education.

7 a.m. –2 p.m.

SAF Registration Desk & Resource Center

Stop by the SAF Registration Desk to purchase tickets for guests to attend meal functions and optional events, such as the SAFPAC Golf Tournament. Check out the Resource Center for SAF products and services.

7 – 8:45 a.m.

key-Talent OperationsMarketing Breakfast

Doors open and breakfast starts at 7 a.m.; program starts at 7:30 a.m.

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

Speaker: Jennifer Sparks, SAF

Hear about SAF’s newest marketing efforts to promote the benefits flowers and plants to consumers through the SAF PR Fund, and the creative resources available to SAF members to build local visibility.

7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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.

Sponsor

9:15 – 10:30 a.m. | Three Concurrent Sessions

icon-TalentOperationsInternship 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.

You’ll learn:

  • Ways in which interns benefit current employees and how an internship program can reduce staffing costs
  • Where to find high-caliber interns and how to train them
  • How to launch a program using industry resources, including the American Floral Endowment’s Internship Programs

Sponsor

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.

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify video-worthy content
  • Easy tools for filming and editing video
  • How to increase video views on social media

Sponsor

icon-SalesDesignRejuvenate 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). Make a mid-year resolution to attend this session and end 2018 on a high note!

You’ll learn:

  • How to entice customers into your shop with special events
  • How floral décor packages can pad your bottom line with minimal effort
  • Inspirational ideas and products to help you merchandise, market and upsell

Sponsor

10:30 – 11 a.m.

Refreshment Break

10:35 – 10:55 a.m.

Experience Zone: Social Media Madness

Speakers: Max Duchaine, SAF; Jackie Levine, Central Square Florist

Get pointers on how to boost your engagement on Instagram.

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

key-Talent OperationsBreeding 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.

You’ll learn:

  • Semantics and imagery that resonate with Millennials and Generation Z and emphasize the positive benefits of careers in horticulture and floriculture
  • Creative campaign ideas that emphasize the significance of the art, science, technology and business of horticulture and floriculture
  • How you can get involved in the movement to make a long-term difference in the availability of qualified candidates for your business

Sponsor

1 – 5:30 p.m.

network icon27th Annual SAFPAC Golf Tournament*

You might not play like a pro, but you can still have a lot of fun at the Annual SAF Political Action Committee (SAFPAC) Golf Tournament. All skill levels are welcome at this easygoing event. Check the box on the registration form, or contact Drew Gruenburg at 703-838-5229,  or Shawn McBurney, 703-838-5230.

*Separate registration required

1:30 – 2:45 p.m. | Three Concurrent Sessions

icon of yellow plus sign and a green circleDown 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.

You’ll learn:

  • Unambiguous directions for solution dosages and cooler temperature settings
  • Protocol that keeps bacteria at bays
  • How to keep make sure key processes don’t slip through the cracks

icon-TalentOperationsI 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.

You’ll learn:

  • The four main components of EQ: Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management
  • Strategies to enhance and improve each component in yourself and your employees
  • Performance-busting habits that people with high EQ tend to avoid

icon-TalentOperationsDefending Your Brand Online

Moderator: Brad Denham, Arizona Fresh Flowers
Panelists include: Rakini Chinery, AAF, AzMF, Allan’s Flowers; Kate Delaney, AAF, Matlack Florist, Inc.; Jackie Levine, Central Square Florist

In this panel discussion, three florists divulge what they do to stake their cyber turf so that consumers find their shop online, as well as what they do to protect their online reputation in customer reviews.

You’ll learn:

  • How to set up a Google AdWords campaign to thwart deceptive advertisers
  • How to use directory service listings to grow your wedding business
  • Best practices for responding to online reviews

2:45 – 3:15 a.m.

Refreshment Break

2:50 – 3:10 p.m.

Experience Zone: Health and Wellness

 

Learn quick exercises to reduce fatigue and backaches.

 

3:15 – 4:30 p.m. | Three Concurrent Sessions

icon-SalesDesignHANDS-ON WORKSHOP: Holiday Designs*

Speaker: Kevin Ylvisaker, AIFD, PFCI, CAFA, Smithers-Oasis

In this interactive workshop, one of the country’s most esteemed designers and educators will help you master the mechanics for two creative designs sure to make a big impression this holiday season. Plus, get a supplementary workbook and video to guide you when you’re back in your shop.

You’ll learn:

  • Modern touches to breathe new life into red and green arrangements
  • Alpine-inspired aesthetics that enchant sophisticated customers
  • Recipes for simple but chic pieces perfect for in-shop design classes

* There is an additional fee to participate in this design workshop, and space is limited to the first 24 who sign up. Reserve your spot today! Contact Laura Weaver at 703-838-5221; or sign up at the SAF Registration Desk.

Sponsor

key-Talent Operations 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.

You’ll gain an understanding of:

  • When, what and who should HACK to achieve results
  • How to create a WOW onboarding experience with ambassadors
  • Mentors, the importance of quick feedback and easy training to engage employees

Sponsor

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.

You’ll learn:

  • The one word to banish from every customer conversation
  • How to make the most of your POS system’s functionality to improve efficiency and accuracy
  • A simple plan to take back and double your outgoing business for easy profits

4:30 – 5 p.m.

icon-TalentOperationsSteps to PFCI Membership

Speaker: D Damon Samuel, AAF, AIFD, NAFD, NMF, PFCI, Bill Doran Company
If you love talking about flowers and presenting programs for garden clubs or industry groups, you’re three-quarters of the way to earning the certification you deserve. The only thing left to do: fill out the application for Professional Floral Communicators-International. PFCI Chairman D Damon Samuel explains the application process to become a member of the floral industry’s premier speakers organization and what to include in your audition.

Sponsor

5 – 6 p.m.

network iconNext-Gen Reception

The industry’s Next-Gen members who are age 40 and under get some real face-time networking with each other at this special happy hour.

Sponsor

6 – 8 p.m.

network iconField to Vase Networking Dinner

Wishing you could attend the event that fetched Floral Management’s 2017 Marketer of the Year Award? Now’s your chance: Thanks to Certified American Grown, SAF will bring the Field to Vase experience to you.

Sponsor

Saturday, September 15, 2018

6 – 6:30 a.m.

network iconSunrise Yoga

Wake up with your industry friends and enjoy a good morning stretch before you begin your day of education.

7 a.m. –2 p.m.

SAF Registration Desk & Resource Center

Stop by the SAF Registration Desk to purchase tickets for guests to attend meal functions and optional events. Check out the Resource Center for SAF products and services.

7 a.m. – Noon

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.

Sponsor

7 – 9:15 a.m.

key-sales DesignKeynote Breakfast and Business Session

Doors open and breakfast starts at 7 a.m.; program starts at 7:30 a.m.

Speakers: Paul Fowle, DV Flora; Bill LaFever, PFCI, Bill Doran Company

Find out the results of SAF’s Elections and who is representing you on the association’s Board of Directors. Hear a report on SAF’s financials. The Outstanding Varieties People’s Choice honoree and SAFPAC Golf Tournament results will be revealed, and convention sponsors will be recognized.

Age-Appropriate Allure: Fashion Your Flowers to Fit Four Generations

Speakers: Jackie Lacey, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, Floriology, Renato Sogueco, PFCI, BloomNet

Your shop can’t survive by serving one consumer group alone. It’s crucial to court four generations. Jackie Lacey, Floriology director of education and industry relations, demonstrates how to design the same flowers to appeal to Boomers, Gen X-ers, Millennials and Young Adults (Gen Z), and offers marketing opportunities for each.

You’ll learn:

  • Generational shopping habits
  • Design styles for different age demographics
  • Tips on how to market to consumers raised in a digital age

Sponsor

Jackie Lacey

Renato Sogueco

9 – 11 a.m.

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

Watch as some of the nation’s best floral designers are given the same flowers, foliage and supplies — and just two hours to create the surprise challenge. During the last hour, the competition’s commentators and coordinators — decked out in themed costumes — talk about the featured products and challenge. The winner receives the Sylvia Cup trophy, $3,000 and a complimentary registration to SAF Amelia Island 2019. First Runner-Up wins $500; Second Runner-Up gets $250. Winners will be announced at the Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner.

You’ll learn:

  • Some of the hottest emerging design styles
  • An exciting (nail-biting!), live demonstration of how to create spectacular floral pieces in minimal time
  • The U.S. floral industry’s longest-running live design competition

Designers… want to compete? Go to safnow.org/sylvia-cup or contact Jenny Scala by Aug. 8 at 703-838-5216; pfci@safnow.org.

Sponsor

9:45 – 11 a.m. | Three Concurrent Sessions

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.

You’ll learn:

  • How to build a “Pinterest-worthy” photo studio or backdrop for less than $100
  • Techniques that will make your smartphone shot look like it was captured by a $700 camera
  • Fast, easy and reliable stage tricks that work

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.

You’ll learn:

  • How to accurately forecast product needs
  • Tips for more efficient processing and deliveries
  • Language that empowers workers and spells out expectations

The Amazing Race to Get Flowers to Your Shop

Moderator: Ben Powell, Mayesh Wholesale Florist
Panelists include: David Armellini, Armellini Express Lines; Tim Dewey, DVFlora; Oscar Fernandez, Equiflor/Rio Roses; Laura Shinall, Syndicate Sales

Logistics. Logistics. Logistics. Moving flowers from growers to consumers involves a mind-boggling number of people and steps. In this illuminating session for all segments of the industry, a panel of suppliers and shippers will describe the current challenges facing the industry’s distribution network.  You’ll hear what’s happening on the road, in the air and at sea — giving you an eye-opening look at the industry’s transportation infrastructure and the impact it has on your business.

You’ll learn:

  • How technology affects distribution of floral products
  • What fewer truck drivers means to your business
  • How air cargo space from Colombia and Ecuador affects product availability
  • How sea containers are changing the way product is shipped

11 – 11:30 a.m.

Refreshment Break

11:05 – 11:25 a.m.

Experience Zone: Terrarium Mania

Speaker: Tom Bowling, AIFD, PFCI

Watch this mini-demo of terrarium bars made easy.

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Three Concurrent Sessions

key-TalentOperations Recruitment Renovation

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.

You’ll learn:

  • How to write a truthful — yet compelling — job description
  • How to use current employees to recruit talented help
  • Interview questions that reveal prospects’ potential

icon_operations 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.

You’ll learn:

  • Greetings that convey confidence and professionalism
  • Smart questions and phrases that solve problems
  • Sales techniques that give customers a satisfying shopping experience

 Managing Online Reviews

Moderator: Skip Paal, AAF, Rutland Beard Floral Group
Panelists include: Josh Glass, AAF, Peoples Flower Shops; Zsuzsana Hutchinson of Flowers by Zsuzsana; Remington Mathis, Suzann’s Flowers

There’s no denying the sway of online reviews. According to a recent survey, six in 10 consumers conduct Internet research before they shop, trusting the advice of strangers more than recommendations from friends and family, and a whopping 96 percent of prospective customers avoid businesses that receive negative ratings. In addition to attracting (or deterring) prospective customers, reviews also illuminate blind spots, alerting you to problems and allowing you to fix them. In this thought-provoking session, a panel of successful business owners will share their secrets for taking control of their online reputation.

You’ll learn:

  • How to encourage positive reviews to bury unfair negative comments
  • Best practices when publicly responding to criticism
  • The potential benefits of paid listings

2 – 3:15 p.m. | Three Concurrent Sessions

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. Don’t wait — email questions to michael@pughs.com and he’ll come prepared to tackle them.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Import daily sales from your POS system
  • Create customized reports for different departments and export them to Excel
  • Set up automation and permissions for staff input without giving away sensitive information
  • Make bank reconciliation easier

Smarter Buying Strategies

Moderator: Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, LLC
Panelists include: Tom Figueroa, AIFD, MCF, Nordlie, Inc.; Tim Galea, Norton’s Flowers & Gifts; Scott Isensee, Frank Adams Wholesale Florist; Kaitlin Radebaugh, AAF, Radebaugh Florist & Greenhouses

With rising costs in all categories of the business, controlling COGS is more important than ever. Buying direct sometimes seems like the most obvious solution, but is it always? Wholesalers and retailers discuss when it makes sense to buy direct, and how to determine whether buying direct saves money.

You’ll learn:

  • Strategies to streamline the overall purchasing process
  • Pitfalls to avoid and advice on how wholesalers and retailers can work together to stay profitable

 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.

You’ll learn:

• How to create a visual path that spurs purchases
• Why “organic” and “sustainable” are among consumers’ favorite buzzwords
• Merchandising strategies to capitalize on shoppers’ impulsive nature

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Two Concurrent Sessions

 Tech SOS: Ask the Pros

Consider this SAF’s own version of a genius bar. We’ve assembled the industry’s leading tech experts and vendors to answer your questions.

icon-SalesDesign 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Derek C. Woodruff, AIFD, CF, CFD, PFCI, demonstrates how to make hand-tied bouquets faster and easier with the “egg” from Syndicate Sales.

 

network icon Stars of the Industry Awards Reception and Dinner

6 – 6:30 p.m.
Corsage & Boutonnière Bar & Reception

Tonight’s a big night and calls for corsages and boutonnières. Proceeds benefit the American Floral Endowment’s Paul Ecke Jr. Fund.

Mix and mingle before the celebration begins, and take a closer look at all the Sylvia Cup entries.

6:30 – 10 p.m.
Awards Presentations and Dinner

Share an evening of fine food and joyful applause as we honor some of the most accomplished and dedicated people in the floral industry. Cheer for the Sylvia Cup champion, and toast inductees of the American Academy of Floriculture and Professional Floral Communicators – International. Experience the excitement as the winners of the Alex Laurie Award, Paul Ecke Jr. Award and other top honors are revealed including the industry’s most prestigious award, Floriculture Hall of Fame.

10 p.m. – Midnight
network icon After Glow Party

Continue the celebration with music and dancing — a fun finale for SAF’s 134th Annual Convention.

Sponsor

2018 © Society of American Florists

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