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, the Society of American Florists is bringing the Field to Vase experience to SAF Palm Springs 2018, the association’s 134th annual convention in Rancho Mirage, California.
Taking place on Friday, Sept. 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Field to Vase Dinner is an opportunity to meet and network with floral industry members and experience firsthand one of the industry’s most buzzworthy promotional events.
“It’s fitting and so special that the Field to Vase Dinner is coming together with SAF,” said Kasey Cronquist, PFCI, Certified American Grown’s administrator. “We usually get to connect growers, wholesalers and industry folks with regular people off the street [at our dinners]. Next week, it will be all industry insiders who get to connect.”
SAF and Certified American Grown have been working closely together to replicate the experience of an American Grown Field to Vase Dinner, which normally takes place on-site at a farmer’s greenhouse or field. Holding the dinner at SAF Palm Springs 2018 means a larger audience — roughly 400 compared to the average 150 people per dinner — but many of the tour’s signature touches will be on full display.
“Guests will be invited to create a boutonniere at our boutonniere bar, something I think these guests will be pros at,” laughed Cronquist. “And they’ll get a chance right off the bat to talk to the local farmers who supplied the flowers who will be mingling right there.”
In fact, Cronquist said dinner attendees can chat with nearly 20 farm ambassadors before, during and after the dinner, learning more about flowers, growing practices and issues related to sustainability — all info they can take home and share with customers and staff after the dinner wraps.
“Having that conversational piece, ‘I know this farm grows great such-and-such.’….it’s a great connection,” Cronquist said. “People love to know [flowers aren’t] just a commodity. It’s about creating a connection to place and a farming family.”
Tickets for the Field to Vase Dinner are included in with SAF Palm Springs 2018 registration. Additional tickets can be purchased at the SAF Registration Desk on Sept. 14 from 7 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the convention hotel.
Anne Holub is a contributing writer for the Society of American Florists.