Picture this: a slate of more than three dozen experts on hand offering advice to improve your marketing, cut your costs, increase your sales, and more; a ballroom full of exceptional new varieties of flowers and plants; and networking opportunities around every corner of an opulent oceanfront destination.
SAF Palm Beach 2017, the Society of American Florists’ 133rd annual convention, returns to The Breakers in Palm Beach — one of Florida’s most historic hotels — Sept. 6-9, and some members are already counting down the days.
Corri Levelle, owner of Sandy Rose Floral in North Hollywood, California, admitted to “stalking the SAF website in anticipation of registering.” She attended convention last year, lured by the exotic Hawaiian location, and was blown away by all she learned. “What I found was a vital group of professionals committed to sharing, growing and encouraging each other,” she said. “It was an experience I will never forget and will repeat whenever possible. Can’t wait for another shot in the arm!”
Excited for her fifth convention, Rakini Chinery, AAF, AzMF, owner of Allan’s Flowers & More in Prescott, Arizona, looks forward to reconnecting with friends and asking fellow attendees to reveal their best promotions and advertising strategies.
At SAF Marco Island 2014, a florist told her about “Wine and Design,” a program that combines floral design classes, mingling and adult beverages.
“We do it monthly now, with 20 or more people attending these fun evenings,” she said.
She also appreciates the diversity of speakers who cover a slew of pertinent topics, including branding, social media, profitable design, customer service and effective managing.
“Continuing to educate ourselves and our staff is the primary way we, as florists, can stay relevant in the ever-changing world of commerce and retail,” she said.
Nicole Palazzo and her mother, Sue, owners of City Line Florist in Trumbull, Connecticut, are “over the moon” with excitement for SAF Palm Beach 2017. The Palazzos met their accountant (Derrick Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI), sales mentor (Tim Huckabee) and Hortica insurance agent at past conventions.
“The networking alone makes the trip worthwhile,” Nicole Palazzo said, adding that SAF offers a higher caliber of educational sessions that she hasn’t found anywhere else. She’s eager to learn new ways to capture her market, find top-quality flowers at the best price and manage employees to make her work environment the best place it can be.
“This will be my second convention and my mom’s fourth,” she said. “We wouldn’t miss another for the world!”
Register for SAF Palm Beach 2017 by Aug. 9, and save $205. Get details and register at safnow.org/ annual-convention.