Each year SAF (the Society Of American Florists) hosts their Annual Convention – an industry-wide event where attendees can meet and connect with their fellow florists. There are a number of educational seminars, social events, and workshops and plenty of oppurtunities to meet, teach, and learn from peers acround the industry.
Who is the SAF Annual Convention for?
This convention is for members of the floral industry who want to meet and share with other florists and members of the industry (growers, wholesalers, technology providers & more) from all across the continent.
What takes place at the SAF Annual Convention?
The SAF Annual Convention involves a number of events including...
Multiple Educational Sessions
Most of these will be educational in nature, with some of the most successful florists in the industry sharing their success tips. These are joined by professionals from outside the industry that bring valuable perspective. For example a high-ranking Google exec might present on how florists can do better in search, retail expert Jim Dion might talk about retail trends, and a well-known HR consultant might talk about human resources for florists.
Some of the most popular events are social in nature. The annual convention always starts with a first-timers party and the President's Welcome Party. The second night usually includes the AFE (American Floral Endowment) fundraising dinner. Another night will include a networking reception, and the final night features the Best & Brightest dinner, followed by the After-Glow party.
SAFPAC Golf Tournament
SAFPAC is the SAF political action committee and one afternoon of the convention they hold a golf tournament to raise funds. The emphasis is on fun and golfers of all skill levels are encouraged to come out and support the important work of SAFPAC.
The Sylvia Cup is a live national floral design competition – one of the most prestigious. Two dozen of the best floral designers in the country are given the same flowers, foliage and design supplies — and just two hours to create the surprise design.
During the final hour of competition commentators and coordinators, dressed in themed costumes, walk the floor and talk about the featured products and challenge.
The winner of the competition receives the Sylvia Cup trophy, $3,000 and free registration to the next SAF annual convention. Attendees get exposed to the hottest emerging design styles and an exciting live demonstration of how the best designers in the business create spectacular floral pieces in limited time.
Outstanding Varieties Competition
For more than 25 years the outstanding varieties competition at the annual SAF convention has included and honored the industry’s most outstanding flowers, foliage and plants. It is a highlight of the event for growers, wholesalers and retailers — and a real eye opener for the general public, who are allowed to visit free of charge.
The competition lets retail florists and their wholesalers review more than 5,000 of the best fresh products on the market. Dozens of growers from around the world are exhibit their finest cut flowers, greens, potted flowering plants, bedding plants and foliage as they compete for top honors. Expert judges crown one entry as Best in Show and another 13 as Best in Class. They also present Blue and Red Ribbons to dozens more. All attendees can vote for their favorites in a separate competition, the People’s Choice honor.
Best in Class and Blue Ribbon winners will be announced at the Kick Off Breakfast. Winners will also be featured in the November issue of Floral Management Magazine and receive additional exposure through press releases and the SAF website.
Winning in the outstanding varieties competition is a big deal for growers, who can turn their victories into powerful marketing tools that increase visibility and sales.
Reintroduced in 2013, the 2015 convention presents a new format for the supplier showcase. The annual convention now features a dedicated supplier exhibit at SAF’s convention. It typically runs for two hours after the new product showcase and gives retail florists a chance to connect with vendors, ask questions and check out new products.
FloristWare has participated in each version of the since it was reintroduced to the convention in 2013, and looks forward to meeting with retail florists in the new format.
Premier Products Showcase
The most exciting and engaging PFCI speakers will introduce the most exciting new products in the industry in a fund, rapid-fire format. The Premier Products Showcase is always one of the most enjoyable events at the convention.
When does the SAF Annual Convention take place?
The SAF Annual Convention traditionally takes place in September, with the specific dates varying year-to-year.
Where the SAF Annual Convention held?
The SAF Annual Convention is held at a different location each year. Florida is a popular destination with Amelia Island, Marco Island, Palm Beach and Orlando being used over the last decade. Phoenix is also popular, and she convention is nlid in Hawaii about once every ten years.
Why attend the SAF Annual Convention?
There will be multiple chances for members of the floral industry to learn how to market their products and meet new demands in the new era of the floral industry. This convention is a chance for businesses to learn how they can keep with the rapidly changing times.