By Nita Robertson AIFD, CFD
SAF held its 137th annual convention in Orlando, Florida, from September 6th-8th. This annual event brings together all segments of the floral industry with in-person networking, keynote speakers, educational sessions, a Supplier Expo, and much more. They had more than a dozen educational sessions that covered: Consumer Buying Behavior, Capitalizing on Trends, Building and Evolving Your Brand • Company Culture, and Retaining Talent. This year was full of inspiration, education, and energy.
The supplier expo attracts both exhibitors and attendees to learn about the best and brightest products and services in the floral industry! It was a great way to connect with many industry leaders and see new products. It was great to see old friends and make new connections.
Some of the nation’s best floral designers were given the same flowers, foliage and supplies — and just two hours to create the surprise challenge. This year’s theme was “The Whimsical World of Dr. Seuss.” The three elements created include a brunch banquet piece, hand tied foliage bouquet, and a sympathy piece. The 53rd Society of American Florist’s Sylvia Cup is sponsored by Certified American Grown and Smithers Oasis.
The winner receives the Sylvia Cup trophy, $3,000, and complimentary registration to next year’s SAF Annual Convention. First Runner-Up wins $500; Second Runner-Up gets $250. Congratulation to the Sylvia Cup Design Competition Grand Prize Winner Kelsey Thompson AIFD , 1st Runner-Up Jenny Thomasson AAF, AIFD, EMC, PFCI, 2nd Runner-Up Sam Prom-Chiem AIFD.
The oustsanding varieties competiton is always a thrill. Review more than 3,000 stems of the best flowers and unique plants on the market during one of the industry’s biggest flower and plant competitions. Dozens of growers and breeders from around the world are exhibiting their finest cut flowers, greens, potted flowering plants, bedding plants and foliage for top honors.
‘Zelmira’, a salmon Oriental Hybrid lily presented by Oregon Flowers, charmed judges with its vibrant (and in demand) coloring, perfect foliage, and consistent blooms to win the Society of American Florists’ Outstanding Varieties Competition.
The Awards dinner was an evening of fine food and joyful applause, and good company. It started with a toast to the inductees of the American Academy of Floriculture and Professional Floral Communicators. Many fabulous awards were given honoring dedication to the floral industry. Florist Review was honored to receive the Century Award for serving the industry for over 100 years. Thank you SAF!!