WF&FSA implementing changes at 2018 Floral Distribution Conference
The Wholesale Florist and Florist Supplier Association hosts its Floral Distribution Conference each October in Miami, which brings together more than 900 floral industry professionals for three days of exhibits, education and networking. This year, WF&FSA is implementing some changes to its annual event, in order to provide a better experience for its supplier and wholesale members.
WF&FSA wants to protect the suppliers who purchase Table Tops and ensure the best possible experience for all WF&FSA attendees, so only WF&FSA members will be able to secure Table Tops in 2018.
This will provide an opportunity to properly vet each company through WF&FSA’s membership criterion and ensure each company doing business at FDC is following ethical business practices that benefit the wholesale community at large.
Additionally, no supplier company will be allowed in the Exhibit Hall unless they have purchased a Table Top. Specifically, only suppliers affiliated with a WF&FSA-approved exhibiting Table Top company will be allowed to register for the Conference. Our goal is to encourage more business interactions between wholesalers and suppliers in a meaningful way.
WF&FSA is also hosting a first-of-its-kind educational keynote session this year that will bring floral leaders from around the world together to discuss new trends in international floral production. During this session, attendees will hear about production on a global scale in the United States, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia and will learn firsthand how this affects wholesalers worldwide. Speakers include Jim Daly from Floralife; Heidi Wernett from China Horticultural Business Services; Joaquin de la Torre from Ball Seed — Latin America; Neil Hellings from Oserian Development Co.; and Steven van Schilfgaarde from the Flower Auction of Holland.
Plus, WF&FSA wanted to encourage more wholesalers to attend FDC and experience all the growers, importers, suppliers and partners who exhibit at WF&FSA’s Table Tops, so the association offered wholesalers that registered early the opportunity to take advantage of exceptional registration savings, as well as other promotions like hotel incentives.
In total, almost 150 wholesalers took advantage of this opportunity, which ran through July 31.
And these are just some of the changes that have occurred. Last year, we also heard from some attendees that it was difficult to attend FDC as it overlapped with the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit. As a result, WF&FSA shifted FDC one day earlier this year to avoid a direct overlap and to allow attendees to be able to experience all FDC and PMA have to offer.
Looking ahead, WF&FSA will continue to evaluate its Floral Distribution Conference and evolve the program as the industry, and its suppliers and wholesalers, continue to change as well. WF&FSA welcomes feedback and hopes the wholesale floral community joins its members in Miami, Oct. 16-18 for the 2018 Floral Distribution Conference.
Molly Alton Mullins is executive vice president at WF&FSA. She can be contacted at [email protected] or 410-940-6360.