convention preview

Upcoming national and international floral conventions provide plentiful educational and networking opportunities.
     by Kelsey E. Smith

International Floriculture Expo
June 22-25
Miami Beach Convention Center
Miami Beach, Fla.

     “Connecting the industry, from seed to shelf,” as its theme states, this renamed exposition (formerly The Super Floral Show) serves all segments of the floriculture cycle, showcasing live products and the equipment, technology and education necessary for cultivating and retailing. An expanded educational program includes a preshow day of education, which returns after being eliminated last year, as well as a session every hour during the exhibition. Visit, or call (207) 842-5508.

SAF Growth Solutions Conference
June 23-24
Hilton Anatole Dallas
Dallas, Texas

     This new, fast-paced mini conference is offered exclusively to floral shop owners and managers by the Society of American Florists (SAF). It will address issues of the postrecession retail landscape and ways to engage the next generation of flower buyers. Visit, or call (800) 336-4743.

AIFD National Symposium
July 3-8
Marriott Copley Place
Boston, Mass.

     The American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and the AIFD Foundation will present a floral “Revolution” in this installment of the annual symposium, featuring stage presentations by floral design artists from the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Germany, France and South Korea. Also, more than 100 aspiring designers will participate in an AIFD Professional Floral Design Evaluation (PFDE) session, as they strive to achieve AIFD’s new Certified Floral Designer (CFD) designation and ultimately an invitation to become an accredited member of AIFD.

     Symposium attendees may opt to stay an additional day and participate in a hands-on workshop featuring German designer Gregor Lersch.

     The AIFD National Symposium is open to all floral industry and special-event professionals, regardless of AIFD affiliation. Visit, or call (410) 752-3318.

OFA Short Course
July 10-13
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Columbus, Ohio

     Celebrating “The Heart of Horticulture,” this annual event, sponsored by OFA—An Association of Floriculture Professionals, will include approximately 130 educational sessions, tours, workshops and idea exchanges. Education tracks will be offered for florists, growers, garden centers, interior plantscapers, young industry professionals and managers/marketers. Approximately 600 companies will showcase the latest innovations in plant material, equipment, products and services in the 1,500-booth trade show. The expanded garden center segment programming includes three new areas: Garden Center Live! Merchandising Contest; Garden Center Live! Merchandising Concepts; and Garden Center Live! Interactive. Visit, or call (614) 487-1117.

The Independent Garden Center Show (IGC)
Aug. 17-19
Navy Pier
Chicago, Ill.

     The IGC Show offers sourcing, buying, information and education for thousands of independent garden center buyers and executives. More than 600 suppliers will offer new and proven products plus store fixtures, management systems and virtually everything else of interest to the independent garden center community. Dozens of sessions, workshops, tours and keynotes provide a comprehensive educational program. Visit, or call (866) 391-6220.

World Flower Council International Summit
Sept. 27-30
Rydges Hotel
Auckland, New Zealand

     Highlights of the World Flower Council’s 27th international summit, “Naturally New Zealand,” include a visit to a Cymbidium growing operation, a Designers Day, and international workshops and presentations. Also available are a five-night presummit tour of the North Island of New Zealand and a five-night post-summit tour of the country’s South Island. Visit, or call (480) 860-0906.

CanWest Horticulture Show
Sept. 29-30
Vancouver Convention Centre
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

     This event includes more than 425 booths showcasing floriculture, nursery and landscape products. Seminars will feature internationally acclaimed speakers and industry leaders. Industry and garden tours are available following the show, on Oct. 1. Visit, or call (604) 574-7772.

SAF Annual Convention
Sept. 22-25
Omni Championsgate
Orlando, Fla.

     Hundreds of floral retailers, wholesalers, growers and suppliers are expected to attend the 126th annual convention of the Society of American Florists (SAF). Seminars led by industry experts and the popular annual Idea Swap will help attendees learn new ways to cut costs, increase sales, improve customer service and more. Competitions include the “Outstanding Varieties Competition” for growers and the “Sylvia Cup Design Competition” for floral designers. Visit, or call (800) 336-4743.

FlorEcuador • Agriflor 2010
Oct. 6-9
Quito, Ecuador

     Managed and organized by the Ecuadorian Flower Growers & Exporters Association (Expoflores) and HPP Exhibitions, the 13th edition of this biennial event offers networking opportunities among exhibitors and visitors from around the world, in every segment of the flower production chain. Farm tours and an evening international flower party are among the highlights. Visit

Horti Fair 2010
Oct. 12-15
Amsterdam RAI
Amsterdam, Netherlands

     This horticultural exhibition will feature innovations in technology, production, supplies and trade/services by horticultural entrepreneurs and growers from around the world. This installment of Horti Fair is divided into two segments: Horti Tech and Horti Grow & Trade. Special-interest pavilions—including House of Quality, House of Technology, House of Software and Breeders’ Market—will showcase specific developments. Visit

FloraHolland Trade Fair
Nov. 3-5
Aalsmeer Flower Auction complex
Aalsmeer, Netherlands

     Cooperative flower auction Flora-Holland offers grower displays featuring domestic and foreign fresh flowers and plants. This edition of the international trade fair begins several weeks later than it did in 2009 to better meet the needs of FloraHolland’s suppliers and customers. Visit

International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF)
Nov. 3-5
Expo Haarlemmermeer
Vijfhuizen, Netherlands

     Taking place during the same time as—and in close proximity to—the FloraHolland Trade Fair, this new international flower and plant expo will unite buyers and suppliers from each stage of the floriculture production cycle, showcasing live products, dry floral products, trading, transportation and more. Keynote conferences will highlight the educational program. Visit

Look for complete listings of regional and state conventions as well as gift shows in the June 2010 Sourcebook, or click on “Sourcebook” icon.

Contact Kelsey Smith at or (800) 367-4708.

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