Floral design competitions are a staple at industry events for a good reason. Designers love participating and all the attendees love seeing what they come up with. Unfortunately they also involve an insane amount of work for the volunteers – judges and organizers that make them possible.
We first became aware of this at the 2019 Great Lakes Floral & Event Expo (GLFEE). When everybody else was at the Friday night reception the volunteers were still scoring the entries. And when the scoring was done the volunteers spent another hour totalling everything up. By the time they were done pretty much everyone else had gone to bed – the volunteers had missed a full night of one the best events in the industry.
We committed that night to making things easier the next year through technology. And, at the 2020 GLFEE, we debuted a new scoring app created specifically to make design competitions easier to run.
Each judge was supplied with a tablet loaded with the application. All they had to do was walk up to an arrangement, scan the bar code and start scoring it. Results were tabulated instantly.
But it wasn't just about making the scoring process faster and more efficient for the judges and organizers. We also wanted to make it a better experience for the contestants. With that in mind judges could take photos right in the app, and then comment on things they felt warranted special attention. This information, along with the score details, would be spent to them to further their competitive aspirations.
"I would like to say thank you to Mark Anderson and the team at FloristWare for their help and support developing and implementing the evaluation platform used for our 2021 Great Lakes Floral Association Design Contest. It was very easy for our team of professional evaluators to use and eliminated any chance for human error when tabulating the scores for each contestant."
in 2021 the pandemic created a new wrinkle... we had to adapt the app, which was always conceived to run on tablets, and make it work for a virtual contest where the designs were submitted online.
We now want to make the app, in both virtuat and tablet form, available (with the tablets to run it) to as many associations and design contests as possible.