The Sylvia Cup

Established in 1967 and hosted by SAF during their annual convention the Sylvia Cup is the longest-running live national floral design competition.

Established in 1967 the Sylvia Cup is named for Sylvia Valencia, a reknowned floral designer and SAF supporter. SAF (the Society of American Florists) continues to host the event, the country’s longest running live floral design competition, at the annual SAF convention.

Recent winners have included esteemed floral designers like Donald Yim AIFD PFCI, Derek Woodruff AIFD PFCI CF, and Loann Burke AAF AIFD PFCI.*



The Sylvia Cup is a live, in-person floral design competition with a format that is somewhat unique. Contestants are given the same flowers, foliage and related materials, and then just two hours to design the surprise challenge. The theme changes every year and is a closely guarded secret. Even the flowers and foliage are prepared in secret by members of the Professional Floral Communicators – International (PFCI).

For the first hour the designers work without specators. During the last hour the competition is open to spectators and commentators and coordinators (PFCI board members, in themed costumes) discuss the featured products and challenge.

The competition typically takes place on Saturday, the last day of the convention. In 2023 FloristWare provided Sylvia Cup organizers with a mobile app, designed to help evaluate floral design competitions and provide real time real results.



Grand Prize Winner Receives

  • $3,000
  • The Sylvia Cup (engraved silver trophy)
  • Complimentary registration to SAF’s next convention

Two Runners-Up Receive

  • 1st Runner-Up: $500
  • 2nd Runner-Up: $250
  • Award Plaque

The winners are also recognized during the Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner, the final event of the convention.

* If you have ever been curious about what all those initials like AIFD, CFF, CFFD, PFCI, etc. mean check out our complete guide to designations and post-nominals in the floral industry.

The Sylvia Cup

Stephanie Brady

Last Updated: 09/25/2023

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