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Registration open for PMA’s Fresh Connections: Floral Anaheim and Miami

The Produce Marketing Association has been hard at work in 2018 growing connections across the global floral supply chain, and next up are the association’s annual Fresh Connections: Floral events in Anaheim on June 7 and Miami on July 12.

Attendees include floral buyers from major retail and grocery chains; floral fresh-cut and potted-plant growers, importers, exporters and wholesalers; solution providers and association representatives.

“At PMA’s Fresh Connections: Floral events, the vibe is all about connecting,” said Becky Roberts, PMA’s director of floral and new initiatives. “Networking receptions are designed to spark new business, and timely information is delivered to give participants a competitive advantage. Participants leave inspired, informed and ready to grow.”

At the Anaheim program, attendees will participate in practical discussions on how buyers and sellers can capitalize on trend data to identify business growth opportunities. From purchasing patterns to social media influences, today’s tools enable decision makers to spot trends and translate information into actionable ideas.

Confirmed buyers for Anaheim, to name a few, include: Albertsons Companies; Gelson’s Markets; Grocery Outlet, Inc.; The Kroger Co.; Raley’s; Schnuck Markets, Inc.; and Sprouts Farmers Market.

Debora Coleman, PMA Floral Council chair and vice president of floral at Albertsons Companies, will serve as master of ceremonies for Fresh Connections: Floral Anaheim.

“I look forward to this event each year,” said Coleman. “The floral community is like no other, filled with energetic, creative, and savvy business people. Fresh Connections provides a forum for us to gather, look through a different lens at opportunities, and even co-create ways to make floral part of consumers’ everyday lives. By working together, we can increase demand and grow the industry.”

Advance registration ends June 1. The event will be held June 7 at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Anaheim Resort from 1-5 p.m.

At the Miami program, attendees will learn ways to rethink how they do business. The event will provide a glimpse into disruptive forces inside and outside the floral industry, impacts on the floral supply chain, and how to capitalize on disruptors.

Confirmed buyers for Miami, to name a few, include: Ahold USA, Inc.; Albertsons Cos.; Associated Wholesale Grocers; Giant Eagle, Inc.; Harris-Teeter Super Markets; The Kroger Co.; Sam’s Wholesale Club; Topco Associates, LLC; UrbanStems; Walmart; Whole Foods Markets, Florida; and Wakefern Food Corp.

Carlos Oramas, PMA Floral Council vice chair and chief executive officer at GEMS Group, will serve as master of ceremonies.

“Floral, like any industry, is evolving,” said Oramas. “Business as usual won’t create more demand or more market share. To get consumer attention, we need to think and be different. That means being aware of what disruptors in our industry are doing, as well as devising our own ways to stand out. Our program in Miami will provide a forum for such thinking.”

Register by June 1 to save 10 percent. Advance registration ends July 6. The event will be held July 12 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Miami Airport & Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Based on success from last year, PMA will once again host optional Floral Buyer Roundtables at both Fresh Connections events. Separate registration is required to participate in the introductory meetings, which are designed to help buyers and sellers make connections and open doors to more in-depth dialogue.

Suppliers meet with different retail companies in 10-minute, one-on-one meetings akin to business speed dating, prior to the event program. The supplier application for roundtables at both events has now ended.

Fresh Connections: Floral Miami will also include a program for university students who are exploring career opportunities in the mass-market floral industry. The Center for Growing Talent conducts the Career Pathways student-attraction program.

The floral Career Pathways program is among 11 Career Pathways programs that CGT will host this year at industry events around the world, including PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in October. To date, 67 percent of students who participated in a Career Pathways program took a job or internship in industry after they graduated.

Attracting top college graduates to careers across the floral supply chain benefits individuals, companies and the industry, so PMA and CGT invite members of the floral community to share career insights with participating Career Pathways students at the Miami event.

Lisa McVey is public relations manager at the Produce Marketing Association. She can be contacted at lmcvey@pma.com.