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SAF Annual Convention

SAF Amelia Island 2019 Schedule of Events

 


Wednesday, September 18


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.


5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

First-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.


6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

SAF President’s Welcome Party

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


SAF Convention First Timers group
SAF Convention Welcome Party group
SAF Convention First Timers group


Thursday, September 19


7:00 a.m. – 5:00 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 American Floral Endowment Annual Fundraising Reception and Dinner and SAFPAC Golf Tournament. Check out the Resource Center for SAF products and services.



7:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

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

Kick-Off Breakfast: State of the Floral Industry – and SAF

Sponsor: Asocolflores

Speaker: Kate Penn, SAF

SAF CEO Kate Penn explores the challenges and opportunities in the industry and unveils SAF’s new vision for the future.

Sponsor DesignMaster

Floral Management’s 26th Annual Marketer of the Year Award

Sponsor: Design Master color tool, Inc.

Speakers: 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.



9:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Outstanding Varieties

Sponsors: Chrysal and Syndicate Sales Inc.

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. Growers … want to exhibit? Sign up by Aug. 16 at safnow.org/ov.

Outstanding Varieties



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

Company Culture: Walk the Talk

Speaker: Barry Gottlieb, Coaching the Winner’s Edge

Many companies have written mission statements touting admirable values and principles — edicts that, unfortunately, seldom match their day-to-day reality. That disconnect explains why roughly 70 to 85 percent of the workforce is disengaged and seeking other opportunities, says business consultant and author Barry Gottlieb, who has helped hundreds of companies develop an enviable culture. “It’s not about having a cushy breakroom with a ping pong table or nap pods,” he says. “It’s about promoting a common purpose, putting your employees first, listening to their concerns and celebrating their achievements. Regardless of their size or industry, the most successful companies share this mindset.” In this riveting session, Gottlieb will share examples from the bastions of corporate culture (three words: Eat Mor Chikin), as well as his own experience, which you can use to nurture a loyal, passionate team.

You’ll learn:

  • The value of impact meetings and how to seamlessly work them into your weekly routine
  • Tips for constructive two-way communication
  • What really motivates people

Be the Business Worth Buying

Speakers: Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, S. Lyons Consulting, Paul L. Goodman, CPA, PFCI, Floral Finance Business Services

Dreaming about retirement? Before putting your feet up, you’ll want to do a little homework so you can fetch the highest price for your business — and thus enjoy your golden years to the fullest. Take it from former SAF President Shirley Lyons, who, last summer, sold Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, the Eugene, Oregon shop she and her husband founded in 1974. “The idea is to be turnkey ready,” she said. “Prospective buyers want to step into a business that’s already functioning well and that doesn’t require them to invent processes.” In this guide to succession planning, she’ll join with expert Paul Goodman, MBA, CPA, PFCI, to offer a blueprint on how to get your financial affairs in order, with specific examples that boost your business’s value to buyers (and their lenders).

You’ll learn:

  • How little efforts, like presenting your financial and equipment information in an easy-to-read format or upgrading your marquee, can have a big payoff
  • The importance of brand reputation management and detailed, updated policies, procedures and records
  • How and when to tell your staff about your plans

Social Savvy: Instagram Tips to Build Your Brand, Increase Engagement and Generate Sales

Speaker: Jackie Levine, Central Square Florist

With 77-plus million users and the highest brand engagement rate of all social media platforms, Instagram is increasingly the place for small-business owners to connect with customers. What’s more the site is made for florists: It’s highly visual, centered on stories and emotions (just like flowers!), and it provides an opportunity to personalize your business and build a dedicated following. So, how do you break through the noise of other businesses clamoring for customers’ attention? What tools and metrics should you be using to make sure your time on the site is well spent? Once you attract people to your page, how do you keep them engaged and convert them to customers? Jackie Levine, the manager at Central Square Florist in Cambridge, Massachusetts — and a fourth-generation, millennial industry member — will shed light on what’s new at Instagram right now, and how you can use the site to generate sales, not just likes.

You’ll learn:

  • How to increase engagement on Instagram among current and future customers.
  • Key features within Instagram and strategies to optimize those features — plus tips and advice about what not to do on the site.
  • Time-management tips and advice on measuring ROI.

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Refreshment Break


10:35 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.

Experience Zone: Time-Management Tools

Speaker: Alejandro Perez, Komet Sales

Does it seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day? How do you keep on track with your work and home schedules? With effective time management, you can take control of your time and achieve more. Alejandro Perez is the CEO of Komet Sales and is absolutely crazy about technology and loves to experiment with it on a daily basis. He’ll talk about his favorite time-management apps and tools and show how you can use them to increase your productivity, check things off your to-do lists, and be more organized and efficient.



Sponsor Syndicate11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

All Industry Session: Forecasting Amidst Expansion, Trade Wars and a Looming Downturn

Sponsor: Syndicate Sales

Speaker: Charlie Hall, Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Your business does not exist in a vacuum. Political events in Washington, D.C., and around the world have a profound effect on the global economy, which in turn impact floral industry professionals’ operating costs, hiring ability, access to product and more. The current economic expansion has been one of the longest in our country’s history, but we know that bright skies can’t last forever. So how soon will things start to decline? And how will floral consumers respond to changing economic conditions? History tells us that short-term corrections had limited impact, but the last recession was a game-changer. Will the next downturn be that bad? Dr. Charlie Hall, the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture at Texas A&M University and a noted economist cited by Bloomberg News, CNN and numerous agricultural publications, will offer answers to these questions, along with a breakdown of major issues facing the floral industry today and in the near future.

You’ll learn:

  • How the U.S.-China trade war could affect the cost of manufacturing floral foam, plastic containers and other key hard goods for the industry
  • How to operate amidst increased transportation expenses and labor shortages
  • How to market the benefits of flowers, so consumers do not dismiss them as luxurious frivolities in the event of another recession


1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Repeats Friday at 3:15 p.m.

Let It Go: Leadership Skills to Empower Your Team and Free Up Your Time

Speakers: Vonda LaFever, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, and Lori Wilson, TeamFloral

Employees who stand around, waiting for you to tell them what to do. Important tasks and opportunities that fall through the cracks. The feeling that you are doing too much and burning out fast. Your first instinct when you face these kinds of disruptions may be to blame your team. But what if the problem starts with you and your leadership style — and the fact that owners and managers have more demands on their time than ever? In this engaging, practical session, TeamFloral’s Vonda LaFever, AIFD, PFCI, and Lori Wilson will talk candidly about the qualities every business owner and manager needs to effectively lead, how to get a better handle on both your skills and your time, along with ways to cultivate future leaders on your team while dedicating more energy to big-picture planning.

You’ll learn:

  • How to better define and understand your own strengths, weaknesses and leadership approach
  • Tips on how to empower employees to take on leadership roles and handle routine business and low-level crises to create more efficiency and work-life balance for everyone.
  • Time-management advice that will help you delegate more tasks, more effectively


1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

New Products Showcase

Speakers: Jenny Behlings, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, SDCF, Jenny’s Floral; Theresa Colucci, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, Meadowscent; D Damon Samuel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, NAFD, NMF, Bill Doran Company; Jenny Thomasson, AIFD, EMC, PFCI, Stems Florist; J. Robbin Yelverton, AAF, AIFD, CF, MCF, PFCI, Blumz by…JRDesigns

Get ready for a deep dive into the inspiring new products the industry’s leading manufacturers have developed to make your designs more electrifying and your operations more efficient. Join a high-energy crew from Professional Floral Communicators – International as they unearth all sorts of buried treasure, including containers, ribbons, bouquet holders, risers and more.

You’ll learn:

  • Tools to improve vase life, productivity and more
  • Accessories and techniques that increase your perceived value and profit margin
  • The inside scoop on the hottest items

Suppliers and Growers … want to have your products and services showcased? Sign up by Aug. 9 at safnow.org/pps.


2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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 Phoenix 2020! Suppliers and Growers … want to exhibit? https://safnow.org/events-education/annual-convention/supplier-expo/


american floral endowment logo6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

American Floral Endowment Annual Fundraising Reception and Dinner*

Join us for a fun evening with industry colleagues at the AFE 2019 Fundraising & Recognition Dinner. Hear about industry successes, the latest consumer studies, and updates on research funding to produce healthier, longer-lasting flowers and plants. Find out how you can partner with AFE and put these valuable resources to use. We’ll also recognize industry champions who have made contributions to support these programs. Sponsorship opportunities available. Contact AFE at 703-838-5239.

*Separate registration required


SAF-Annual-Convention-Expo Prospectus
SAF Convention Expo demo
AFE Fundraising Dinner


Friday, September 20


6:00 a.m. – 6:30 a.m.

Sunrise Yoga

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


7:00 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Outstanding Varieties


FTD_Logo_20177:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

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

Innovation Breakfast: The Experience Revolution

Sponsor: FTD

Speaker: Dustin Garis 

“Retail is dead.” “The only constant now is change.” “If you don’t do xx, you’re going to be obsolete.” Feeling nervous? Take a breath. In a time when new tech is introduced at a whiplash-inducing pace, it can feel impossible for small-business owners to know what to focus on as they try to grow their businesses. In this provocative, dynamic session, brand innovator and customer service expert Dustin Garis — known for his work with global companies such as Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola —  will talk about the high-level trends affecting consumer behavior now, challenge common assumptions about what customers want, and share insight on how you can best deliver outstanding, memorable services and experiences to become a true changemaker in your community and the industry.

You’ll learn:

  • How experiential marketing has reshaped retail — and what it means for your business
  • Why the human need for connection endures despite fast changes in the digital space — and how floral industry members can capitalize on emotions to connect more deeply with customers
  • Digital and in-person strategies that facilitate authentic engagement and build loyal, longtime customers


9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.                       3 Concurrent Educational Sessions

 

Rebooting a Dysfunctional Team

Repeats at 11 a.m.

Speaker: Glenna Hecht, Humanistic Consulting

In many ways, the workplace isn’t wildly different than the family home, places of worship, social clubs or even the playground. It’s built on people and relationships — relationships that go through phases (some nice, some less so) in response to individuals’ emotions and insecurities. During low points, when colleagues form cliques, engage in gossip or refuse to collaborate, everyone suffers — and so does your bottom line. The truth is, most organizations fall into these dysfunctional valleys at some point, but they don’t have to stay there, says Glenna Hecht, a human resources expert who has counselled countless companies, from mom and pop shops to major corporations, including Starbucks and Marshall Field’s. “Conflict is universal, but it shouldn’t be permanent,” she said. In this empowering session, Hecht will present owners and managers with real-life scenarios and solutions, before inviting attendees to volunteer their businesses’ struggles to discuss with the group.

 

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify the different phases of team relationships and move out of bad ones
  • How to clearly communicate expectations and offer constructive feedback
  • How to confront negative situations with confidence

 

Monday Morning Quarterbacking: 20 Years from a Retailer’s Playbook

Speaker: Clara Gonzales, Fleurish Consulting 

You have a game plan for your business. But how do you turn that plan into a reality? Sometimes, identifying specific goals can be the biggest challenge. In this detailed and engaging session, newly retired Clara Gonzales imparts wisdom gained over the 23 years she ran Tiger Lily Florist in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Manny. She’ll share secrets of some of the shop’s greatest successes, such as forecasting sales and implementing a performance-based compensation plan — moves that slashed costs, boosted profitability and made it possible to open a second branch. She’ll also get candid about some of the couple’s initial mistakes and the lessons that came out of them.

 

You’ll learn:

  • How to create a compelling, cohesive brand that turns customers, the media and other area vendor into your top cheerleaders
  • Practical financial benchmarks, tools and plays that every business owner should be using
  • How to be a better coach for your team — and when to set your ego aside and accept help

 

Sponsor SyndicateExperiential Retailing

Sponsor: Syndicate Sales

Panel: Jodi McShan, AAF, McShan Florist; Sally Kobylinski, In Bloom Florist; Lindsay Squires Chrisp, Tagawa Gardens; Nicole Palazzo, City Line Florist

The ever-growing world of e-commerce has given consumers a dizzying number of options for spending their discretionary dollars. While behemoths like Amazon do have certain advantages, they can’t begin to compete with brick and mortar retailers who are committed to nurturing personal relationships and delivering unique experiences for customers. From design classes, concerts and happy hours to DIY terrarium and bouquet bars, there are numerous opportunities to connect with your community and drive locals to your business. In this engaging session, you’ll hear tried-and-true examples — with detailed how-to advice — hear from florists who’ve embraced the concept of experiential shopping.

You’ll learn:

  • Clever event ideas to engage your fanbase
  • Best practices for partnerships, publicity and more
  • Visual merchandising strategies that encourage lingering

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.        

Refreshment Break


10:35 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.        

Experience Zone: Photo Editing Made Simple

Speakers: Lacee and Lenzee Bilke, Madeline’s Flower Shop

Your shop? Gorgeous. Your floral designs? Top notch. Your team? A bunch of smiling, happy (welcoming) people.  So why are the photos on your social media pages and website so lackluster? In an engaging, informal session, Millennial sisters Lenzee and Lacee Bilke of Madeline’s Flower Shop in Edmond, Oklahoma, will break out their bag of photo editing tricks and show you how to take your smartphone shots from “meh?” to “WOW!” using apps and techniques that anyone — from shutterbug to photo novice — can master.

Experience Zone



11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.                     3 Concurrent Educational Sessions

 

american floral endowment logoWhat Consumers REALLY Want

Repeats at 3:15 p.m.

Sponsor: American Floral Endowment

Speaker: Charlie Hall, Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Line, color, texture, pattern, form, space and size — these are the elements floral design educators have emphasized for ages. But are consumers really driven to purchase an arrangement because it is technically “perfect”? Using the latest eye-tracking technology, Drs. Charlie Hall and Marco Palma have conducted experiments at Texas A&M University’s Human Behavior Lab that replicate retail environments. The study explores shoppers’ eye view of floral arrangements, tests their assessment of individual design principles and various combinations of them, and investigates their emotional responses to products. Dr. Hall will share some of the vast biometric data, including facial expression analysis, neural signals and galvanic skin response and how you can use it to capture more sales.

You’ll learn:

  • What traits resonate the most with consumers
  • How emotions influence customers’ preferences
  • Visual merchandising tips based on shoppers’ viewing habits

Protect Your Brand with Proactive Customer Service

Repeats Saturday at 11 a.m.

Speaker: Sam Bowles FSC, FloralStrategies LLC and Allen’s Flowers & Plants

As customers’ expectations and demands increase, they’re more likely than ever to share their experiences with your store on social media, which can help or hurt your brand. So, you and your team need to be prepared — and the best defense against a disgruntled review is consistently stellar service in-store, online, and over the phone. During this dynamic, interactive session, Sam Bowles will share recorded mystery calls made to flower shops around the country to demonstrate the best practices for ensuring ultimate customer satisfaction. He’ll also share insight on how to more effectively engage in-store shoppers, along with practical approaches that will help you head off and resolve complaints faster.

You’ll learn:

  • How to create a step-by-step “customer care toolkit” with your staff so that everyone on your team is delivering the same level of service.
  • Cutting edge sales and service techniques to help charm even the most challenging customer.
  • Verbiage that you can use in-store, online and over the phone to improve service and sales

 

Rebooting a Dysfunctional Team (repeat)

Speaker: Glenna Hecht, Humanistic Consulting

In many ways, the workplace isn’t wildly different than the family home, places of worship, social clubs or even the playground. It’s built on people and relationships — relationships that go through phases (some nice, some less so) in response to individuals’ emotions and insecurities. During low points, when colleagues form cliques, engage in gossip or refuse to collaborate, everyone suffers — and so does your bottom line. The truth is, most organizations fall into these dysfunctional valleys at some point, but they don’t have to stay there, says Glenna Hecht, a human resources expert who has counselled countless companies, from mom and pop shops to major corporations, including Starbucks and Marshall Field’s. “Conflict is universal, but it shouldn’t be permanent,” she said. In this empowering session, Hecht will present owners and managers with real-life scenarios and solutions, before inviting attendees to volunteer their businesses’ struggles to discuss with the group.

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify the different phases of team relationships and move out of bad ones
  • How to clearly communicate expectations and offer constructive feedback
  • How to confront negative situations with confidence

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

28th 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. Contact Shawn McBurney to sign up, 703-838-5230, smcburney@safnow.org.

*Separate registration required



1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

 

sponsor BallSB_All Industry Session: 2020 Floral Trends Forecast

What Consumers Crave: Trend Translations for 2020

Sponsor: Ball SB

Speakers: Derek Woodruff, AIFD, PFCI, CF; Helen Miller, AIFD, PFCI; International Floral Distributors’ Flower Trends Forecast

Style constantly evolves, with consumers’ color and textural preferences subtly and subconsciously taking shape in response to the images they see in daily life — including clothes, accessories and makeup in fashion magazines, decor ideas on home improvement shows and even current events dominating the news. Since 2009, International Floral Distributors have tapped cutting edge florists to study these influences and curate their findings into distinct wedding and event styles for its annual Flower Trends Forecast. In this highly-anticipated program, Derek Woodruff, AIFD, PFCI, CF, and Helen Miller, AIFD, PFCI will offer an exclusive sneak peak of the months-long research. As a complement to the visual stage presentation, attendees will receive a printed copy of the Flower Trends Forecast 2020, complete with detailed information to source containers and other hard goods, pair colors and select flowers.

You’ll learn:

  • Design styles, color palettes and floral choices to meet new consumer expectations
  • How to better identify cultural changes and style shifts as they develop
  • What customers value most in their floral purchases

2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.            

Refreshment Break


Sponsor GotFlowers2:50 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.            

Experience Zone: Quick Tips for Better Videos

Speaker: Donald Yim, AIFD, PFCI
It’s a fact: Video is good for business. On social media and online, video is a successful marketing tool, one that can showcase your company’s personality, while enticing users to engage more with your brand. Donald Yim, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, the creative director of West Van Florist in Vancouver, Canada, and an education specialist at Floriology Institute is known for sharing his passion for flowers, design ideas and industry knowledge through popular social media videos. During this hands-on session, he’ll share practical advice on how you can create memorable, effective videos with simple tools and resources — many of which you already have on hand.



3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.             3 Concurrent Educational Sessions

 

Advanced Design Techniques

Speed dating meets design education! Attendees will work their way through six design stations where experienced designers will demo an advanced design technique.

american floral endowment logoWhat Consumers REALLY Want (Repeat)

Sponsor: American Floral Endowment

Speaker: Charlie Hall, Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Line, color, texture, pattern, form, space and size — these are the elements floral design educators have emphasized for ages. But are consumers really driven to purchase an arrangement because it is technically “perfect”? Using the latest eye-tracking technology, Drs. Charlie Hall and Marco Palma have conducted experiments at Texas A&M University’s Human Behavior Lab that replicate retail environments. The study explores shoppers’ eye view of floral arrangements, tests their assessment of individual design principles and various combinations of them, and investigates their emotional responses to products. Dr. Hall will share some of the vast biometric data, including facial expression analysis, neural signals and galvanic skin response and how you can use it to capture more sales.

You’ll learn:

  • What traits resonate the most with consumers
  • How emotions influence customers’ preferences
  • Visual merchandising tips based on shoppers’ viewing habits

Let It Go: Leadership Skills to Empower Your Team and Free Up Your Time

Speakers: Vonda LaFever, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, and Lori Wilson, TeamFloral

Employees who stand around, waiting for you to tell them what to do. Important tasks and opportunities that fall through the cracks. The feeling that you are doing too much and burning out fast. Your first instinct when you face these kinds of disruptions may be to blame your team. But what if the problem starts with you and your leadership style — and the fact that owners and managers have more demands on their time than ever? In this engaging, practical session, TeamFloral’s Vonda LaFever, AIFD, PFCI, and Lori Wilson will talk candidly about the qualities every business owner and manager needs to effectively lead, how to get a better handle on both your skills and your time, along with ways to cultivate future leaders on your team while dedicating more energy to big-picture planning.

You’ll learn:

  • How to better define and understand your own strengths, weaknesses and leadership approach
  • Tips on how to empower employees to take on leadership roles and handle routine business and low-level crises to create more efficiency and work-life balance for everyone.
  • Time-management advice that will help you delegate more tasks, more effectively

Sponsor GotFlowers5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.            

Next-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.


6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.            

Networking Reception

Oceanfront Lawn
Some of the best business ideas and opportunities arise through casual conversations. Mix and mingle while making professional and social connections.


SAF convention NextGen reception
SAF convention - digital marketing


Saturday, September 21


6:00 a.m. – 6:30 a.m.            

Sunrise Yoga

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


7 a.m. – Noon

Outstanding Varieties



7:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

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

Sponsor SyndicateBusiness Session

Sponsor: Syndicate Sales
Witness history as SAF President Bill LaFever, PFCI, passes the gavel to Christopher D. Drummond, AAF, PFCI, and meet other new SAF leaders when board and council elections results are announced. After SAF Treasurer presents the association’s Financial Report, the Outstanding Varieties People’s Choice honoree, SAFPAC Golf Tournament results, and convention sponsors will be recognized.

Keynote Address: How I Did It

During SAF’s version of TED Talks, industry members share their very own personal and inspiring stories.


9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

51st Annual Sylvia Cup Competition

Sponsors: Certified American Grown, Oasis, PFCI

Coordinators: Jenny Behlings, AAF, PFCI, Jenny’s Floral; Theresa Colucci, AAF, 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. 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? Sign up by Aug. 9 at safnow.org/sylvia-cup.

SAF Sylvia Cup


9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.                       3 Concurrent Educational Sessions

 

Online Shopping Through Your Customers’ Eyes

Facilitator: Renato Sogueco, AAF, PFCI, Floriology powered by BloomNet

Panel: Valerie Lee Ow, J. Miller Flowers

No doubt about it: these days, your website matters just as much as your brick and mortar storefront. Currently valued at $3.5 trillion, the e-commerce industry has tripled in size over the past decade, as consumers have grown increasingly comfortable shopping online for everything from luxury goods to groceries. These days, simply having a URL and a cyber shopping cart won’t cut it. To beat the competition, you need to a site that loads quickly, looks sharp, answers customers’ pressing questions and functions seamlessly, whether it’s accessed by phone, tablet or desktop — and one that appears prominently in search results. Hear from a panel of the industry’s technological leaders to pick up best practices for elevating your online presence and your customers’ virtual shopping experience.

You’ll learn:

  • How to monitor customers’ click-through behavior and identify pain points that drive them away
  • The value of exclusive shop specials — captured in clean, high caliber images — and how frequently you should change them
  • 10 small changes that boost search engine optimization, increase web conversions and improve customer service

 

Onboarding Best Practices

Facilitator: Barry Gottlieb, Coaching the Winner’s Edge

Panel: Pat Dahlson, Mayesh; Oscar Fernandez, Equiflor/Rio Roses; Heather Waits, Bloomtastic; Holly Moore, Syndicate Sales;

American companies, on average, lose 25 percent of their new hires a year, with one in five quitting within a measly 45 days. “Sink or swim” may be a way of life in the animal kingdom, but in terms of employee training, it’s a lousy philosophy — especially in today’s tight job market.

Research by Glassdoor found that organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82 percent and productivity by more than 70 percent. During this lively discussion, hear the processes companies with impressive longevity embrace to welcome new hires and set them up for success.

You’ll learn:

  • Common onboarding mistakes
  • Low-cost ways to build camaraderie
  • How to evaluate if an employee needs more training

Translating Trends into Everyday Designs

Speakers: Derek Woodruff, AIFD, PFCI; IFD Flower Trends Forecast

Small changes to everyday designs can lead to greater customer satisfaction, repeat business and more referrals. Incorporating the latest trends to enhance your daily work might be easier than you think. Discover key insights that influence consumers’ style preferences and how you can alter your regular “menu” to deliver greater value.

You’ll learn:

  • What color palettes attract more consumers
  • What types of flowers draw the most consumer attention and value
  • How to effortlessly freshen your offerings with contemporary design techniques and accessories

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.        

Refreshment Break


10:35 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.        

Experience Zone: Up your Packaging Game

Speaker: Angelyn Tipton, AIFD

It’s all about the presentation and the WOW factor. For most consumers, the Tiffany & Co.’s blue box is more recognizable than the jewelry. Apple is known for clean, minimalist packaging. How do you package your flowers and what does it say about your shop? Watch Angelyn Tipton, AIFD, demo different ways to enhance your floral arrangements and your brand with packaging. She gives pointers on how to wrap flowers before they go out your shop door using boxes, ribbons, tissue, stickers and more.


11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.         3 Concurrent Educational Sessions

 

High-Volume Fulfillment

Speakers: Skip Paal, Brian Collins, Tom Addalia, Rutland Beard Florist Group

Filling a high volume of incoming orders can be profitable with the right set-up — and the model isn’t just for large florists. The team at Rutland Beard pulls back the curtain on their process and explains how it can work for shops of all sizes.

You’ll learn:

  • Principles that apply in Rutland Beard’s production facility and retail stores, and how the business converts from normal to holiday operations
  • Techniques for differentiating in-wire orders from high-end, local brand orders
  • Profitable production tactics from large shops that smaller operations can scale down

Boosting Social Media ROI

Panel: Nicole Palazzo, City Line Florist; Carly Anechiarico, Blossom Flower Shops; John Burk, DVFlora; Teresa Schafer, Alexandra Farms

With nearly 3 billion users, social media has become a ubiquitous part of many people’s daily lives — and a place where consumers expect to interact with their favorite brands. Even if you’ve maintained accounts for years, you likely find social media marketing a bit bewildering. After all, algorithms change all the time and new features seem to pop up overnight. How do you increase your visibility? What content, wording and imagery resonates most with customers? When’s the best time to post? In this fast-paced session, florists who’ve grown their businesses through social sites share their knowledge — what works, what doesn’t and how to manage your time.

You’ll learn:

  • What content works best for which platform
  • Delegation and scheduling tactics to keep social media from usurping your focus
  • Meaningful metrics to assess your return on investment

Protect Your Brand with Proactive Customer Service (Repeat)

Speaker: Sam Bowles FSC, FloralStrategies LLC and Allen’s Flowers & Plants

As customers’ expectations and demands increase, they’re more likely than ever to share their experiences with your store on social media, which can help or hurt your brand. So, you and your team need to be prepared — and the best defense against a disgruntled review is consistently stellar service in-store, online, and over the phone. During this dynamic, interactive session, Sam Bowles will share recorded mystery calls made to flower shops around the country to demonstrate the best practices for ensuring ultimate customer satisfaction. He’ll also share insight on how to more effectively engage in-store shoppers, along with practical approaches that will help you head off and resolve complaints faster.

You’ll learn:

  • How to create a step-by-step “customer care toolkit” with your staff so that everyone on your team is delivering the same level of service.
  • Cutting edge sales and service techniques to help charm even the most challenging customer.
  • Verbiage that you can use in-store, online and over the phone to improve service and sales


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

 

New Revenue Streams

Panel: Aaron Ardle, Schneider’s Florist; Zoe Gallina, AAF, Botanica International Décor and Design Studio; Danny Sanchez, South Florals Group

Floral design is your bread and butter, but it needn’t be your sole source of income. Gourmet treats, accessories, stationary, bath products, formal wear, furniture rental, landscaping, interior design — there are countless goods and services that dovetail beautifully with flowers. In this thought-provoking session, discover how industry professionals around the country have grown their businesses through unexpected avenues.

You’ll learn:

  • How to identify an overlooked niche in your market
  • Pricing, staffing and marketing advice for your new business venture
  • Tips for introducing new inventory without overwhelming your showroom

 

The Price is Right: Or is It?

Speaker: Derrick Myers, CPA, PFCI, Crockett, Myers & Associates

There’s no one-size-fits-all equation for pricing floral arrangements. For instance, a Manhattan, Kansas florist would likely retail an identical design for much less than his New York City counterpart. But demographical differences only partially account for the discrepancy between one shop’s prices and another’s. Markups and labor surcharges can vary wildly for a variety of reasons, from the designer’s level of experience to the age of the container used. In this interactive presentation, participants will receive a recipe and set costs, then will debate the price tag they think is appropriate. Following the lively discussion, Bob Barker (aka floral financial expert Derrick Myers) will offer best practices to land on a price that protects your profit margin without turning off prospective customers.

You’ll learn:

  • Sound markups for hard goods and fresh product
  • How to determine the value of your labor
  • Special circumstances (bulk orders, rental containers, etc.) that justify discounts — and how to calculate them

 

Steps to PFCI Membership

Speaker: Robbin Yelverton, AAF, AIFD, CF, MCF, PFCI, Blumz by…JRDesigns

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 Robbin Yelverton explains the application process to become a member of the floral industry’s premier speakers organization and what to include in your audition.


2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Refreshment Break


2:50 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.

Experience Zone: To Be Announced

In between educational sessions, experience and enjoy this mini-demo of even more best practices.


3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.             3 Concurrent Educational Sessions

 

Book Club: “Lean In – Women, Work and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg

 

Next Level Idea Exchange

Convention is almost over and your notebook (or note-taking app) is full. Ready to swap strategies with your peers on how to put new concepts into practice and take ideas from SAF Amelia Island to the next level? Stop by this informal session for dedicated peer-to-peer networking time on key topics addressed throughout convention. Select speakers will also be on hand to offer additional insight and guided practice.

Steps to Membership with the American Institute of Floral Designers

Speaker: Jackie Lacey, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, Floriology, powered by BloomNet

Ready to take your floral design artistry and creativity to the next level? Join Jackie Lacey, AIFD President, as you learn the steps to earning an acclaimed professional designation as a CFD (Certified Floral Designer) or as an Accredited Member of AIFD.


sponsor Teleflora6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Stars of the Industry Awards Reception

Sponsor: Teleflora

Share an evening of fine food and joyful applause as we honor some of the most accomplished and dedicated people in the floral industry. It starts with a toast to the inductees of the American Academy of Floriculture and Professional Floral Communicators – International, and recognition of longevity to industry businesses with the Century Award. Cheer for the Sylvia Cup champion and experience the excitement as the winners of the Alex Laurie Award, Paul Ecke Jr. Award, Tommy Bright Award and the industry’s most prestigious honor, Floriculture Hall of Fame, are revealed.

SAF Awards Dinner


9:00 p.m.  – 11:00 p.m.

Afterglow Party

Continue the celebration with music and dancing — a fun finale for SAF’s 135th Annual Convention.

2019 © Society of American Florists

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