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UK: Resounding success for first National Florist Day

"The UK led the way with the first ever National Florist Day on June 8th, and it was fantastic !"

Over 1000 florists from the UK and Ireland signed up to take part and together created a day that achieved some very impressive traction and a huge amount of consumer engagement. In fact, some florists even reported queues of customer's waiting to join in the fun.

For the Patrons, who co-funded the project, it was an opportunity to interact in a different way with their customers both current and future. Because the blue-chip list of supporters - Interflora, OASIS® Floral Products, Direct2Florist, Marginpar, Flower Council of Holland, Floristry Trade Club #Funnyhowflowersdothat, Florismartdirect, Tom Brown Wholesale, FleuraMetz, New Covent Garden Market, Chrysal and Optimus Flowers – were able to engage and connect with the industry in a way that not only showed their support for the industry as a whole but generated interest in their companies and added to the whole buzz and feel-good factor.

In fact creating a feel-good factor was one of the key reasons the event was launched as founder and host of National Florist Day, Caroline Marshall-Foster, who runs both Florist Magazine and Good Florist Guide, explained:

"The last couple of years have been challenging. We've had to deal with rising costs, flat sales, increased competition, staff shortages … all things that have dented confidence and added to the pressures. I wanted to create a buzz, generate a sense of pride and, under an official banner, enable everyone to show off just how wonderful the flower industry is and how it touches every part of life. That's why I set myself and the project three goals. To create Pride, Awareness and Sales.

Having seen the interaction, the camaraderie, the friendships formed, and the support given, coupled with the amazing feedback and astonishing reach, we clearly achieved all three in a way I never thought possible for year one. Not only am I delighted at how it went but I am humbled that so many people supported me and got the show on the road."

The celebrations started with a launch party held at The Dorchester, London attended by Patrons and National Florist Day Ambassadors, including some well-known names in the industry, Paula Pryke, Neill Strain, Paula Rooney, Sarah Richardson, Karen Lindsay, Morgan-Douglas Nuth, Simon Lycett, Stephanie Harris, Rebecca Marsala, Lizzie Newcombe, Jacke Nicholson-Lailey and Philip Hammond. In addition, several students and Florists who had signed up to take part were invited to present their ideas and vision for the event.

On June 3rd the 'Meet the Flower Magician™' challenge began and saw florists join in a co-ordinated social media campaign to explain just what goes into the flower industry. Aimed at showing that this wasn't just 'playing with flowers', the Flower Magicians worked with a series of assets created by the NFD team to explain everything from why they became a florist to how they trained, their favorite flower, and what sustainability changes they were making. Collectively, a series of 14 posts designed to create engagement, pre-day excitement and public education.

National Florist Day was also an opportunity to promote the mental and health benefits of flowers and plants with a series of exclusive key messaging assets that tied in with The Flower Effect campaign organized by the Flower Council of Holland's consumer facing brand #Funnyhowflowersdothat.

On the actual day and starting with a series of livestreamed demonstrations from New Covent Garden Flower Market, florists and wholesalers throughout the UK and Ireland created a range of events, from in shop demonstrations to hands-on workshops.

Flower giveaways were organized by many; interaction with local schools and care homes were a popular way of engaging with the community, and there were hundreds of competitions and collaborative activities with fellow traders as well.

Flower flashes took place around the country with local statues and monuments festooned with flowers that amazed the public and generated a lot of publicity for the florists, whilst others invited local celebrities to join in the fun … because having fun with flowers was a key element of the campaign.

In addition, National Florist Day hosted the first 100 Faces of Floristry awards. A chance for every part of the sector to nominate a person they felt was worthy and deserved recognition. With more than 500 nominees, the Florist Panel, led by Stephanie Harris of The Rose Garden Florists in Great Dunmow, Essex together with fellow Good Florist Guide Council members Nicola Evans, Karen Massey, Morgan-Douglas Nuth, and Karen Lindsay, had the unenviable task of choosing 100 Faces with winners announced in a weeklong series of live presentations that have been watched by over 45,000 people.

So, what next? Caroline takes up the story. "Will there be a 2025 National Florist Day? You bet, and probably not just in the UK. I had to test out the format … after all you can hope and dream an idea will work but until you try it, you'll never know! No, I didn't get everything right – that was never going to happen in year one – but it was pretty darned awesome, and we can now move it to even bigger and better things.

My job now is to deep drill and do a full wash-up report but with so many of our UK patrons already committed to 2025 and requests from countries throughout the world to take part. I think we can confidently say: " Watch out world, the flower industry is going to be making even bigger noise and having a whole load of fun along the way."

For more information:
National Florist Day
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