Each March the Michigan Floral Association (MFA) hosts the Great Lakes Floral Expo (GLFE). It is one of the very best events in the floral industry, and always has a strong focus on the business end of retail floral. In years past they have featured sessions from the best business speakers in the industry – people like Tim Huckabee AIFSE of FloralStrategies, Rick Rivers of Florist Bootcamp, Derrick Myers of Crockett Myers, Jamie Jamison Adams of Flower Shop Network and Ryan Freeman of Strider Search Marketing.
This year much of the business content at the GLFE will focus on the sympathy side of retail floral, presented by one of the foremost experts on the topic – Clay Atchison III, owner of McAdams Floral and McAdamsFuneralFlorist.com in Victoria TX and creator of InLieuOfFlowers.info. Clay has not only survived but profited from changes in the funeral and floral industries, and has generously agreed to share his expertise in three sessions all designed to help the florists in attendance get more, and more profitable, sympathy work.
The details are still being finalized but this is what has been discussed:
Saturday 9:00 - 10:00am
Clay will show you how to get through the door and connect with funeral home directors. Establishing an maintaining this connection is the essential first step to communication and a profitable relationship. He’ll also cover the importance of monitoring the relationship – you always need to know where you stand – and look at proven ways of doing just that.
Saturday 10:15 - 11:15am
Changes in the funeral industry like the increased popularity of cremation, “in lieu of flowers” messaging and free websites from floral order gatherers have made sympathy work harder to come by and less profitable. Clay will show you how to stay profitable while working around these issues, and also look at marketing to customers that increasingly default to order-gatherers and drop-shippers when buying flowers.
Sunday 10:15 - 11:15 am
Join several Michigan Floral Directors and MFA member florists for a roundtable discussion, moderated by Clay and using the recent (and excellent) AFE report on Sympathy business as a starting point.
Tremendous credit goes to Rod Crittenden (Executive Vice-President) and the other amazing staff and volunteers of the MFA for making this content available to their members, and to Clay for taking time away from his shop to share his knowledge. FloristWare is very pleased to sponsor this content as part of our ongoing commitment to help florists be more successful.