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This year’s TPIE impresses exhibitors and attendees alike

 fort lauderdale, fl —As I entered Broward County Convention Center, here, I was struck by the sheer number of colorful displays of everything from beneficial insects to botanicals, and from beautiful blooms to Bobcat loaders. The Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association’s 2017 Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition Jan. 18-20 was huge, with over 800 booth spaces and thousands of buyers and visitors.

BRANDON-ELDRIDGEBrandon Eldridge, buyer at Kroger in Cincinnati, with Jessica Pearce from LiveTrends Design Group in Apopka, FL. ‘I really love this show — it’s all here,’ Eldridge told The Produce News.TPIE offered a tremendous amount of information, product, and networking time to the floriculture/horticulture industry and it was accomplished in a very well organized manner. Linda Adams, chief operating officer at FNGLA, told The Produce News, “The success of this show is really due to the work of our staff, and the huge number of volunteers who give their time to bring it all together.”

As I walked the showroom floor, I took the opportunity to ask some exhibitors and buyers about their impressions of TPIE and why it was important for them to attend. Jared Dobecki, account representative at Westerlay Orchids in Carpinteria, CA, told The Produce News, “Basically, this is the only show outside of California that we attend and we are here every year. There is so much going on; there are just a lot of interesting things and people. Our customers are here, and our owner is here this year, and our suppliers from all over Europe are here, too. This is a great opportunity to meet so many people.”

Marcell Lucio, vice president of sales and marketing at Silver Vase in Homestead, FL, said, “This has been a very good show for us — we’ve seen many of our buyers here. You know the theme of TPIE is ‘Elevating Expectations’ and this year looking around at the products that exhibitors are showing and the different displays themselves, they have really done that — they have really raised expectations. It is a great show.”

Tracy Bordis, purchasing manager at Lurvey Garden Center in Des Plaines, IL, said, “This is the show where I can come down and look at plants and see what is trending that I can buy for the garden center, especially tropical plants that we use to plant containers and sell in our conservatory.”

Brandon Eldridge, buyer at Kroger in Cincinnati, told The Produce News, “I really love this show — it’s all here. I can talk to all the people I want to see in this one place. It makes it very efficient for me; I don’t need to go to a lot of different locations — there is just so much here.”

And Eldridge’s comment was pretty much the consensus of everyone I talked to. TPIE continues to deliver and impress those in attendance year after year.