Here’s a question some U.S. flower growers have been wrestling with for years: How do we get consumers — who already are thinking about product origin and growing conditions with food — to bring that same level of awareness to flowers and plants?
Since 2015, the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour has sought to do exactly that, bringing thousands of sophisticated consumers (and influential reporters and digital influencers) to greenhouses, flower fields and rooftop gardens for unforgettable experiences of top tier dining and locally grown flowers. The marketing effort behind the tour has reached an estimated 482 million people through 505 media placements — and it also snagged Floral Management’s 2017 Marketer of the Year Award.
“Essential to the mission [of the Field to Vase Dinner Tour] was to not only host a delicious and beautiful dinner but also to create an indelible impression about the flowers on the table,” said Kate Penn, the Society of American Florists’ current chief content & publishing officer and editor in chief of Floral Management and the association’s incoming CEO.
After Hurricane Irma forced the cancellation of SAF Palm Beach 2017, SAF’s annual convention, Penn announced the coveted award, which is sponsored by Design Master color tool inc. and comes with a $5,000 prize, during a Facebook Live presentation on September 8. Penn will present the award in person to Kasey Cronquist, PFCI, CEO of the California Cut Flower Commission, administrator of Certified American Grown Flowers and the mastermind behind the tour, on October 8 during the Field to Vase dinner at Hope Flower Farm in Waterford, Virginia.
Now in its 24th year, the Floral Management Marketer of the Year award has become one of the industry’s most sought-after designations. Sponsored since its inception by Design Master color tool inc., the award recognizes excellence in marketing. Judges for this year’s award include:
- Susan Bachman West, Bachmans in Minneapolis
- Rick Canale, Exotic Flowers in Boston
- BJ Dyer, AAF, AIFD, Bouquets in Denver
- Former SAF Chairwoman Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, Dandelions Flowers in Eugene, Oregon
- Danielle Mackey, Daniellie Mackey Public Relations
- SAF Chairman Martin Meskers, AAF, of Oregon Flowers in Aurora, Oregon.
- Sandy Nielsen and Raya Ward, Nielsens Florist in Greenwich, Connecticut
Read more about the award-winning campaign — including how it came together, how organizers used social media to build a dedicated following and what each dinner taught Cronquist and his team — in the September issue of Floral Management.