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The International Floriculture Expo is ready for its debut

Show attendees can expect new features and an expanded education program.
    by Cynthia L. McGowan

     With a new name, location and vision, the International Floriculture Expo (formerly The Super Floral Show) is poised to meet the needs of the floriculture industry today and into the future, announces organizer Diversified Business Communications of Portland, Maine. The Expo will debut June 22-25 in Miami Beach, Fla., with a host of new features and an expanded education program.

     Bob Callahan, show director, reports positive reaction to the new focus, which aims to unite all facets of the industry under one roof, including growers, suppliers, and both mass-market and traditional retail florists. “Most think it is the right direction and hope it will work but acknowledge the industry is very fragmented and that it will be difficult,” he summarizes. “We are committed and up for the task.”

     As part of that commitment, the show has introduced a new schedule that is packed with exciting, informative features but still allows flexibility, Conference Manager Lisa Keller says. The show has brought back the preshow day of education (eliminated last year) and added sessions, one of which will take place every hour during the exhibition.

     The extra day of education has allowed the show to offer a larger number and wider range of workshops, Ms. Keller observes. “The program will offer multiple sessions focusing specifically on growers, mass market, retail florists and business management,” she remarks. “The concept was to offer more sessions over the course of the show so that attendees could participate in a session of interest to them for a one-hour block of time and have plenty of time to walk the show floor, network and meet with suppliers. The increase in sessions allows them the ability to pick and choose and do it all.”

     Other highlights include:
  • Center Stage. Located at the heart of the show floor, the new Center Stage will feature a number of design demonstrations, as well as the popular Iron Designer Competition, the new products awards presentation and a rose-naming ceremony. The last hour of the show each day will feature a “Happy Hour” at Center Stage with complimentary beer and wine, stage activities, and networking opportunities.

  • Grower Tour. The Tuesday, June 22, education session will kick off with visits to the Homestead, Fla., facilities of orchid and bromeliad growers Silver Vase and Kerry’s Bromeliad Nursery, Inc.

  • Flower Power Hour. Replacing the traditional Wednesday Keynote Lunch, this lunch session, on Tuesday, will feature industry luminaries who will “show what a force this industry can be,” Ms. Keller promises.

  • à-la-carte pricing for the education program. Added by popular demand, such pricing will allow attendees to purchase sessions individually or the entire package.

     In “Critical Mass” on page 54 of the May issue, Mr. Callahan further discusses the show’s changes and how they will enhance the buyers’ and exhibitors’ experience at the International Floriculture Expo. On the following pages, we’ve compiled a synopsis of the education sessions to help you plan your schedule while at the show. And on pages 31-38, take a look at some of the new products that suppliers will be featuring on the exhibit floor.

education program highlights
     This schedule was current as of early April. For more details and additional information, see the International Floriculture Expo’s Web site,

12:30-2 p.m.
Flower Power Hour Lunch

     The speakers and other industry veterans will focus on how to translate “flower power” into creating loyal markets, igniting passion into the work, celebrating and learning from others, and exploring the road ahead.

  • Facilitator: Norma Chapman

  • Speakers: Bobbi Ecker Blatchford, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, The Flora Pros; Michael Schrader, director of floral, Schnuck Markets

2-3:30 p.m.
Floral Merchandising for Results

     Three leaders in the supermarket floral industry will present answers to the eternal question: “How can supermarkets sell more flowers? ”After the speakers give brief overviews of their successful floral merchandising efforts, they will participate in a question-and-answer session. A brochure for the session will feature “Resources You Can Use” with specifics on a variety of floral merchandising techniques.

  • Moderator: John Niblock, floral editor, “Floral Marketing” in The Produce News

  • Panelists: Bradley Gaines, director of floral, United Supermarkets Inc.; Jon Strom, vice president for floral and lifestyle merchandising, Price Chopper; Michael Schrader, director of floral, Schnuck Markets

3:30-5 p.m.
The Business of Creativity

     A world-renowned ambassador of the floral industry, René van Rems, AIFD, will focus on creativity in the marketplace and how it relates to the business of emotion and your customers’ purchasing factors. This session will help you learn what makes your customers tick from a creative point of view and how to use this energy in your everyday business transactions.

  • Speaker: René van Rems, AIFD, René van Rems International

10-11 a.m.
Organic and Sustainable Floriculture: What U.S. Consumers Want from You!
     In the midst of rising demand for organic and other third-party certifications for floriculture, such as Rainforest Alliance and VeriFlora, how do you determine what is most important to consumers? In this session, attendees will learn what certification programs are available and how consumers are changing their purchases based on these claims.

  • Speaker: Cynthia Barstow, president, Seed to Shelf

11 a.m.-noon
Distribution Transparency: The Need to Know

     Now, more than ever, retailers need to maximize the value of flowers they are offering, making it necessary to ensure that proper handling and logistics are done from the flower farms to store level. Learn from logistics experts in this session what technologies and protocols are available to help retailers implement flower distribution transparency that can result in cost savings; improved flower quality; fresher, longer-lasting flowers; and more satisfied consumers.

  • Speakers: Christian Luchau, CEO, Translago Ltda.; Mauricio Gleiser, owner, Vacuum Cooling Colombia, Ltda.; Ralph Malmros, managing principal, Montclair Consulting Group LLC; Terry Johnson, president, Horticultural Marketing Resources

Noon-1 p.m.
Marketing Excellence 101: Think Like a Customer!

     This session will help participants understand how to develop complete floral customer focus, from growers/shippers to the final retail consumers. Suppliers need to think about end consumers when developing new trends and product ideas. Buyers need to have outstanding products, operational expertise and training resources, and phenomenal marketing support from their supplier partners. This session will offer tips and techniques on how to gain this level of support and focus.

  • Speakers: Jimmy Meyers, owner, Meyers Fruit Farms and Greenhouses; Karen Leggert, director of sales and marketing services, Sunshine Bouquet Company; Marcy Britigan, owner, MEI Speciality Refrigeration and Fixtures; Sandi Smith, category manager for procurement and merchandising, Supervalu Intermountain Division

1-2 p.m.
Create a Brand Name. You!

     In today’s market, branding is injecting a product, service and organization with a unique, consistent, desirable persona-position that reigns over a consumer’s mind and is so highly valued that consumers gladly, repeatedly and loyally fork over more for your brand than they will for any other competitor, delivering brand equity. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the six “P’s”—product, publicity, promotion, people, planet and profit—as each influence market-share communication..

  • Speaker: Sylvia Wright, communications specialist, The Wright Scoop/Today’s Garden Center

2-3 p.m.
Implementing Easy Care & Handling Processes to Reduce Waste, Improve Profits

     Product care and handling affects the success (profits) of any floral program. When properly handled, flowers last longer, waste is reduced and customers receive maximum quality with every purchase. In this session, the speakers will focus on a checklist approach to store level care and handling procedures, why specific handling methods give best results and ways to simplify implementation..

  • Speakers: Gay Smith, technical manager, Chrysal USA; Geno Valdes, president, Sunburst Farms; Jack Wilson, floral sourcing manager, Ahold USA; Pete Zamarripa, merchandiser, HEB

3-4:30 p.m.
Selling Smarter

     In this introduction to the sales methodology pioneered by the FloralStrategies group, attendees will learn a new approach to giving exemplary customer service and selling everything, from bud vases to weddings, better. Participants will take a written test to gauge their sales skills and have a chance to do some role-playing with the speaker.

  • Speaker: Tim Huckabee, AIFSE, FloralStrategies

10-11 a.m.
Freeze-Proofing Your Product: Technology to Enhance Cold Tolerance in Plant Foliage, Flowers, Fruit

     FreezePruf, first introduced to the marketplace in August 2009 by The Liquid Fence Company, is a patent-pending combination of five ingredients that protects tender plant parts from frost and freeze damage and extends the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone rating for more cold-tolerant vegetation. This talk, given by the lead inventor, will trace the scientific university research that led to the development of FreezePruf; explore its modes of action; review the laboratory and field evidence in support of its effectiveness on foliage, flowers and mature fruits; and look ahead to its future.

  • Speaker: Dr. David Francko, professor of botany, University of Alabama

11 a.m.-noon
Building a Solid Social Media Strategy

     Whether it's Twitter, YouTube, Facebook or blogs, most businesses have felt the pressure to get involved in social media. Attendees will learn how the concept of a social media “home base” can help them build and launch an integrated social media strategy designed to drive traffic, boost conversation and increase sales.

  • Speaker: Jennifer Laycock, editor, Search Engine Guide

Noon-1 p.m.
How Plants Are Made

     Based on the theme of the International Floriculture Expo, “From Seed to Shelf,” this session will help attendees understand where their plants come from and the great value that breeding delivers to consumers. They will learn how plants are made and gain insight into the development of the breeding objective. The breeding and selection process and trials, product production, and marketing and positioning will be covered..

  • Speaker: Liz Hunt, business manager, Syngenta Flowers

1-2 p.m.
Insights into the PostRecessionary Consumer—a Generational Point of View

     During the economic downturn, U.S. consumers have made significant shifts in what they buy and what they watch. But not all consumers responded the same, so both manufacturers and retailers must look to consumer segments and trends for growth opportunities. The speaker will explore key trends and do a deep dive into U.S. generations (from the greatest generation to baby boomers to Generation X and Y households) and discuss what U.S. retailers and manufacturers should expect in 2010 and beyond..

  • Speaker: Todd Hale, senior vice president, Consumer & Shopper Insights,

2-3 p.m.
Alternate Energy: What Are Your Options?

     This session will introduce growers to the multiple alternative energy sources available as well as the pros and cons of each. Attendees will hear from alternative energy users on how it works for them. They will also have the opportunity to learn about potential federal and state grants as well as incentives for renewable and energy-efficiency projects that may be available for trying these alternative energy sources.

  • Speakers: Arie Van Vugt, owner, Plainview Growers; Chris Byrnes, president, Viability, LLC



key facts


International Floriculture Expo
WHEN June 22-25
WHERE Miami Beach Convention Center; Miami Beach, Fla.
SIZE 70,000 square feet of exhibits
EXHIBITORS Access a list of exhibitors at the International Floriculture Expo
INFORMATION Visit, or call (207) 842-5424

  where to go in Miami Beach  

While at the show, pick up a copy of Welcome to Miami Beach, published by Super Floral Retailing, at our booth, No. 507, or at the show’s information desk. It has information on nearby restaurants and entertainment venues in Miami Beach.

  keynote breakfast  

P. Allen Smith, award-winning garden designer and host of the public television program P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home and the syndicated show P. Allen Smith Gardens, will deliver Thursday’s Keynote Breakfast address on the topic, “Do You Really Know Your Customer? Consumer Trends in the Marketplace.” Look for an interview with Mr. Smith and details about his presentation in the June issue of Super Floral Retailing.

Also during the breakfast, the winners of the 2010 “Merchandising Award of Excellence” contest, sponsored by Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems, will be announced.

  who will be the iron designer this year?  

The Iron Designer Competition returns this year during the Wednesday Happy Hour, from 4 to 5 p.m., at Center Stage on the show floor. The event will feature several designers in a lighthearted competition to create the best floral design for a supermarket or high-volume florist by using exhibitor products. René van Rems, AIFD, left, of René van Rems International, won last year’s competition.

  we'll see you at the show  

Super Floral Retailing magazine will take part in the Keynote Breakfast and the exhibition at the International Floriculture Expo:

Wednesday through Friday, June 23-25
Please stop by the Super Floral Retailing booth, No. 507. Share ideas, visit with magazine staff and take a look at the extensive selection of publications in the Florists’ Review Enterprises, Inc. Bookstore.

Thursday, June 24

At 7 a.m., during the Keynote Breakfast, representatives from Super Floral Retailing and Börgen Systems will announce the winners of the 2010 “Merchandising Award of Excellence” contest.

Reach Editor in Chief Cynthia L. McGowan at
or (800) 355-8086.

Photos courtesy of the International Floriculture Expo.

Super Floral Retailing •• Copyright 2010
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.