WF&FSA’s 2018 Floral Distribution Conference Receives High Marks
by Molly Alton Mullins, WF&FSA Executive Vice President
Last month close to 700 professionals in the wholesale florist and florist supply industry converged in Miami for WF&FSA’s 2018 Floral Distribution Conference (FDC). This annual event combines education, networking and outstanding table top displays into two and a half-jam-packed days. WF&FSA’s Board of Directors decided to enact some really big changes to this year's show, not knowing how it would be received by members. Well, the survey results are in and this year’s Conference received some of the highest marks in recent FDC history!
The most significant change to FDC was restricting the show to current WF&FSA members only. This was done to properly vet attendees and exhibitors, to ensure the companies that WF&FSA members want to do business with are represented. When surveyed about whether or not this change was a good thing, a surprising 90 percent agreed with the change. One respondent wrote, “One past exhibitor / importer who was either excluded or just chose not to exhibit (not sure which) told me he completely understood and agreed with the policy.”
Education Well Received
This year in addition to the Trends in Floral presentation by Derek Woodruff, WF&FSA also coordinated an exceptional panel on trends in international flower production which included experts from Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and the U.S. to discuss trends and challenges in the flower industry around the world. Both sessions received high marks, with one respondent stating,” I believe it was an extremely well-formed panel with a nice insight view of other parts of our flower world and how it makes it all turn.”
Table Top Changes
Another big change this year was only wholesalers and suppliers with a table top were allowed in the Exhibit area. Everyone who was allowed in wore a wristband which they needed to keep on for the duration of the show. This made for less traffic, but most exhibitors stated the quality of their interactions with customers were vastly improved, and they supported the change. Almost 97 percent of survey respondents said they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the quality of exhibitors and the trade show overall.
Overall, the Value was There
More than 85 percent of all respondents to this year’s survey also rated the value of attending the Floral Distribution Conference as “good” or “excellent” and 90 percent said they plan to attend again in 2019. More than 60 percent believe the Conference should take place in Miami, and WF&FSA will return to the Miami Airport Convention Center in 2019. The dates have been shifted a little as respondents said there were too many shows in October, so mark your calendar to join us November 5-7, 2019!
Let Us Know
You can read the full survey results here and we welcome your thoughts and feedback anytime. Molly Alton Mullins is the Executive Vice President of WF&FSA and she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.