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    The big news coming out of The Super Floral Show in June in Atlanta was the announcement that its organizers are changing the show’s name, expanding its focus and moving it to Miami, Fla., for the next two years.

    Bob Callahan, show director, told attendees at the Welcome Breakfast that the show will be known as the International Floriculture Expo, and it will be designed to serve the entire floriculture industry, “from seed to shelf.” As indicated in a brochure created by the show’s parent company, Diversified Business Communications, “If there is a product associated with the floriculture supply chain, there will be an opportunity to see it at the show in Miami.” That means buyers can “expect to see an expanded hall featuring products for the retailer as well as suppliers of products for greenhouse growers and commercial suppliers.”

    Excitement at the show wasn’t limited to the news about changes for next year. In a new, compact three-day format, buyers and vendors networked and conducted business on the trade-show floor; had a choice of six education sessions; and heard informative keynote presentations from Mark R. Goldston, chairman, president and CEO of United Online, the parent company of FTD Group, Inc., and J Schwanke, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, host of JTV and CEO of The Iron Designer competitors again wowed attendees with their creativity.  In addition, the trade show included Africa, Florverde®, Fair Trade Certified™, VeriFlora®, Ontario Boulevard, California and Costa Rica specialty pavilions.

    Remarks Michael Schrader, floral director at Schnuck Markets, Inc. of St. Louis, Mo., “It was one of the most innovative shows in a number of years. I found more new ideas on the trade-show floor than in other years. I really thought it was a great show.”

The director talks about next year’s changes

    The Super Floral Show’s new name and mission likely have many in the floral industry wondering what the changes mean to them. Super Floral Retailing asked Bob Callahan, director of The Super Floral Show—now the International Floriculture Expo—about the changes and also about how this year’s show went.

SFR: The Super Floral Show has a new name and a new mission. What was behind the decision to make these changes?

: The floriculture industry is very fragmented and without one unifying message. Over the years, we listened to continuous feedback stating the industry needs one show bringing the entire supply chain together. International Floriculture Expo allows this to happen. Uniting the industry under one roof will create an abundance of new business opportunities, perhaps an industrywide unified marketing campaign and efficiencies in bringing the product to market. The list can go on and on. In addition, International Floriculture Expo will be very cost-efficient to exhibitors and visitors who participate in multiple shows.

SFR: What do these changes mean to attendees next year?

We are moving the show to Miami Beach. Aside from its beautiful beach, Miami offers an abundance of opportunity to source products. Miami’s proximity to commercial growers, cut flower importers and foliage producers will expand the exhibit hall with a variety of new products. Miami’s proximity to South America will offer our buyers a variety of new international companies participating on the show floor.

    And because the show floor will have many commercial growers and producers participating, we plan on expanding the floor to attract greenhouse technology and supply companies to allow growers and producers to source product. In addition, since we announced our 2010 location to our exhibitors, many have already expressed interest in holding open houses for buyers to receive behind-the-scenes tours of their facilities.

SFR: What was the reaction at the show to the changes?

During the show in Atlanta, we re-signed 85 percent of our exhibitors already for Miami. This re-sign rate, combined with positive feedback, tells us there is an excitement about moving the show to Miami Beach. Buyers are excited because Miami offers an abundance of sourcing opportunities. This location gives buyers the ability to meet with all of their vendors in one sales call.

SFR: Were you surprised at any of the reactions?

There were a few rumors, and I emphasize rumors, we were combining our show with other events in South Florida. This is not the case. Most of the feedback we received was that there is an understanding of why we are making these changes in format and location.

SFR: Will the show retain its focus on mass-market buyers?

Absolutely! Attracting high-volume buyers to the International Floriculture Expo is our No. 1 priority. The Key Buyer Program will continue to thrive and grow along with the new show format. We will continue to provide complimentary hotel rooms to top buyers. In addition, the variety of sourcing opportunities Miami presents will only increase buyer participation.

SFR: What features from the current show, such as education and keynotes, will continue?

We plan on keeping the special features of the education program intact. The Welcome Breakfast featuring the Iron Designer Competition, Börgen Cup, Keynote Lunch and Keynote Breakfast all will return next year. Currently we are working with our Advisory Board on enhancing the 2010 program.

SFR: What are some of the most prevalent questions people have about the new format, and how do you answer them?

Buyers are mostly concerned about whether the amenities we provide will continue at the International Floriculture Expo. We let them know that complimentary hotel rooms, Key Buyer Lounge, Office Away from the Office, private meeting rooms and discounted conference registration will all continue next year.

     Exhibitors ask, “Are you going to allow my competitors to walk the show floor without taking a booth?” We tell them the answer is no.

SFR: How did this year’s show go?

The show was a tremendous success considering the economic challenges the industry is now facing. Although we did struggle with attendee and exhibitor participation due to the economy, we delivered on our goal of giving buyers and exhibitors everything they need to accomplish their business objectives in the most cost-efficient way.

    This year’s show was designed to give buyers a year’s worth of sourcing product and planning in a very short period of time. In just three days, buyers were able to meet with their floral suppliers to plan 2010 programs and design marketing campaigns; source thousands of products on the show floor, with the opportunity to visit the 220 companies displaying in more than 680 exhibits; and become inspired and educated learning the latest trends from industry leaders participating in our conference program.

    Participants particularly enjoyed the keynote by Mark Goldston of FTD. He really conveyed his passion for marketing and challenged the industry to take a close look at how they market and present products to the consumer.

SFR: What was the attendees’ reactions to the show in general?

Very positive. Our event allows buyers to experience the quality of the product, experience the personality of the vendors first hand and also network with industry peers to learn best practices. You cannot have this first-hand experience sitting back at the office.



key facts about next year's show


WHAT The International Floriculture Expo
WHEN June 23-25, 2010
WHERE Miami Beach Convention Center; Miami, Fla.




"iron designers" share creative flair


    The 2009 Super Floral Show got off to a lighthearted start when five superstar designers showed off their skills during the Iron Designer Competition at the Welcome Breakfast.

    This was the second year of the competition, and Pieter Landman, of Blooming Vision, again served as the master of ceremonies, encouraging the designers to share their strategies as they made their creations from florals and hard goods donated by show exhibitors. The designers were:

  • Bobbi Ecker Blatchford, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, of The Flora Pros
  • Toni McDaniel of Floral Couture, Inc.
  • Heidemarie Stachel, AIFD, of Sunburst Farms, Inc.
  • Els Teunissen of Accent Décor Inc.
  • René van Rems, AIFD, of René van Rems International

    A group of people not related to
the floral industry chose as the winner Mr. van Rems, who created two designs: a large, full hand-tied bouquet with sunflowers, lilies, pincushions and Hypericum; and a tall, high-style arrangement of sunflowers and curly willow.

    Mr. van Rems says he thinks the bouquet is what got the judges’ attention, and he says supermarkets can offer similar styles to attract customers’ sales. “Hand-tied bouquets don’t have to be roundy-moundies,” he asserts. “We can continue doing hand-tieds in the supermarket as plop-and-drops, and it would literally take one minute to take a commodity bouquet, give it a little twirl, add some greens and have a killer arrangement.”


Reach Editor in Chief Cynthia L. McGowan at or (800) 355-8086.

Super Floral Retailing • Copyright 2009
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.