Photo Report:

Aftermath Hurricane Irma talk of town at WF&WFSA 2017

With 784 attendees the Wholesale Florists & Florist Supplier Association (WF&FSA) closed its annual Floral Distribution Conference in Miami on Friday, October 20. The conference was held at the Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC) for the second time, but at a new larger hall. In total, 129 exhibitors presented their products.

Our reporter on site Daniela Navarro of Selecta one, who was also exhibiting at the show, was so kind to give us an impression of the show by taking photos and interviewing some of the exhibitors.

Click here for the photo report.

The atmosphere at the conference was vibrant, fun, and engaging with lots of networking and business interactions taking place. Unfortunately, the conference welcomed less attendees this year (784 compared to 860 last year), and this is probably due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, explains Executive Vice President of Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association Molly Alton Mullins. "Hurricane Irma was definitely a part of conversation and did prohibit some individuals from attending and others from exhibiting. However overall the talk is that business is trying very hard to return to normal."

Also exhibitor Kristin Gilliland of Gardens America confirms that Hurricane Irma was a part of the conversation, and in particular the aftermath. "The big talk at the show is the freight situation out of Colombia, the lack of space and the increased pricing. It is a constant challenge for all of us here in Miami."

According to Navarro, things seemto be getting back to place and sees a desired shift towards more sea cargo. "It feels like a general sentiment that theindustry cannot and doesn't want to depend only on air cargo, so they are tryingto shift a percentage of the cargo the sea fright. So far peoplecommenting that it is not as simple and it has been difficult due tologistic conditions in Colombia (flowers need to be placed out of Bogota to thenearest sea port) and the cost is higher as well. On top of that, they have to 'educate' Colombian sea border workers on the treatment conditions of this product whiledoing custom and narcotics checks"

New hall
This year, the exhibit hall was in a brand new location in the West Hall. It was very well received", says Mullins. "There was also a Havana Nights Casino Party with live music and dancing as well as exceptional education addressed e-commerce and the disrupters facing the floral industry."

Selecta at the conference
Selecta one was also displaying its products at the conference. "We brought our Dianthus Barbatus Premier Ball Series that were real eye catchers as well as Lady In Green, which drew a lot of attention for the upcoming Christmas season. People commented on it's intense color and fully round shape. Another highlight of the show was Estelle our light color solidago and union our bicolor chrysanthemum."

Lady In Green

According to Navarro, it is important to be present and to reach importers and wholesalers, get to see how the market is going while building and sharing strategies with others to fulfill the needs and introduce our products and also receiving feedback. The conference themes were very interesting too."

"All in all, it is the ideal place to network and connect, to see
what trends are coming and how people are applying them"

Click here for the photo report made by Daniela Navarro.

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