On March 22 floral retailers will gather in Albany, NY to learn how to better leverage online customers, communicate effectively to retain employees and re-evaluate business practices for profitability during the Society of American Florists’ 1-Day Profit Blast Albany.
The event will take place at the Albany Capital Center and feature three educational sessions, networking and time to visit a supplier showcase with nearly 20 exhibitors, from floral consulting firms to South American growers. Profit Blast Albany is sponsored by floral distributor Bill Doran Company.
The one-day event was designed to address the biggest challenges facing florists, who continue to operate with lean teams and need to maintain profits amid increasing costs. It will also help florists capitalize on consumers’ increased interest in flowers and plants, says SAF CEO Kate Penn.
“We know from our own SAF member research as well as from government data that flower and plant purchasing has been on a two-year upward trend,” Penn says. “We want to help retailers position themselves to be able to drive those customers to their business, and to keep coming back for more.”
Some highlights from the educational sessions:
- Attendees will hear from floral designer and business owner Tim Farrell, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, who will inspire creativity with fresh takes on floral arranging. He will also talk about how shop owners can have honest conversations with employees about compensation and expectations.
- Labor shortages continue to be a challenge, making retaining your current team even more important. Vonda LaFever, AIFD, PFCI, is the CEO of Flower Clique, a floral business consulting firm. She and Lori Wilson, the company’s director of community, will host an interactive session for owners, managers and employees aimed at improving employer-to-employee communication and retention.
- Renato Sogueco, AAF, PFCI, vice president of digital technology for Floriology, will help floral marketers grow their business through their online presence. His presentation will include tips to maximize search engine optimization and how to improve a website’s ranking and mobile viewing.
In between presentations, attendees will have time to network with other florists.“The learning that happens in between sessions — where attendees talk amongst themselves about what they just heard, and they start spit-balling how they might implement an idea, or what’s worked for them in the past — that’s just as valuable as the sessions themselves,” Penn says.
Past attendees agree. Sheila Cowling of Jerry’s Flowers & Gifts in Leesburg, Virginia, who attended last fall’s 1-Day Profit Blast in Baltimore, MD said, “It was great networking with fellow flower shop owners. We have many of the same issues. We learned a great deal from the presenters, but just as much from the others at our table. And nothing beats seeing the product and flowers in person.”
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