SAF Annual Convention 2016

SAF Annual Convention 2016

Sep 21st - All Day
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua (Convention Hotel) - 1 Ritz Carlton Dr, Kapalua, HI 96761

This year the SAF Annual Convention returns to Maui with the best lineup of educational content in the floral industry. Also back is the very popular Supplier Expo – FloristWare will exhibit and we look forward to meeting with the great members of SAF. In addition we are sponsoring three seasons from Tim Huckabee of FloralStrategies.


Wednesday, September 21

SAF Registration Desk & Resource Center
7 a.m. – 8 p.m

First Timers Reception
5 – 5:45 p.m.

New to convention? This private happy hour will make you feel at home. You’ll meet other first timers and members of the SAF Volunteer Leadership.

SAF President’s Welcome Party
6 – 9 p.m.

While soaking in the Maui sunset and the twinkling of the stars, reconnect with friends and make new ones at the opening reception hosted by SAF President Martin Meskers, AAF.


Thursday, September 22

Kick – Off Breakfast, State of the Industry Address
7 – 8:45 a.m.
Doors open and breakfast starts at 7 a.m.; program starts at 7:30 a.m.
Speaker: Peter J. Moran, SAF

In his biennial address, SAF CEO Peter Moran shares his perspective on trends happening in the retail, wholesale and production segments of the floral industry and thoughts about how disruptive technologies from other industries may challenge the floral industry’s established business models.

You’ll learn about:

  • The health of the floral industry and how the economy may affect how the industry operates in the next several years
  • What demographic shifts reshaping all segments of the industry mean to your business
  • Key findings on consumer behavior from the 2016 Generations of Flowers Study

Design Outstanding Varieties
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

See the best products from the world’s top growers! Review more than 5,000 stems of the best flowers and unique plants on the market during one of the industry’s biggest flower and plant competitions. Dozens of growers and breeders from across the country and around the world are exhibiting their finest cut flowers, greens, potted flowering plants, bedding plants and foliage for top honors. Expert judges crown one Best in Show, rank 12 Best in Class, and present Blue and Red Ribbons to dozens more. Vote for your favorite to win People’s Choice.




Riding Out the Economic Upticks and Downturns
Speaker: Charlie Hall, Ph.D., Texas A&M University

Charlie Hall looks at the economic horizon and the key indicators every floral business owner needs to follow to make informed, strategic decisions about investing in people, equipment, marketing and more.

You’ll learn:

  • How rising interest rates are likely to impact your customers and business
  • Economic indicators to keep on your radar
  • Steps you can take now to prepare for the next economic downturn


Streamlining Your Shop in the Cloud
Speakers: Loren Hudziak, Google; Renato Sogueco, SAF

Moving critical business systems from the physical to “invisible” may feel like a huge leap of faith, but the rewards are real. There’s less equipment and hardware to maintain, software stays up to date, data is secure and if disaster strikes, it takes much less time to recover. Get the facts from Google exec Loren Hudziak and SAF Chief Information Officer Renato Sogueco and learn why two floral shops — Tiger Lily Florist in Charleston, South Carolina, and Peoples Flower Shop in Albuquerque — made the switch.

You’ll learn:

  • The benefits of moving to the Cloud
  • Key solution providers and how they work
  • How to start the transition


Dealing with Difficult Employees
Speaker: Glenna Hecht, Humanistic Consulting

Whiners, slowpokes, egotists, naysayers, slobs … every employee has a quirk or three. What behavior should you ignore, and what warrants action? How do you screen out potential “difficult” employees during the interview process? Human resource expert Glenna Hecht provides the best course of action for handling people pitfalls.

You’ll learn:

  • Legal ways to avoid hiring a potential problem employee
  • Why you need a code of conduct and how to find candidates whose values align
  • How “Progressive Coaching” works and why it’s effective


How I Did It: Beginnings
11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Back by popular demand is SAF’s riff on the popular TED Talks — this year’s theme: “Beginnings.” Five industry members share inspiring 10-minute stories on how they got their start, launched a big idea or hit refresh to start over.

You’ll learn:

  • How to find the courage to try something truly new
  • Tips on keeping a venture fresh, even as it matures
  • Ways to overcome obstacles so big they seem insurmountable



Premier Products Showcase
Speakers: Jenny Behlings, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, SDCF, Jenny’s Floral; Julie Poeltler, AIFD, CAFA, PFCI, Fountain of Flowers & Gifts; Jerome Raska, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, CAFA, Blumz by…JRDesigns; D Damon Samuel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, NAFD, NMF, Bill Doran Company; Lisa Weddel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, L. Weddel Design; J. Robbin Yelverton, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, Blumz by…JRDesigns

Get ready for a crash course in the art of “show and sell” as the wacky professors from Professional Floral Communicators – International take you to the University of PPS. Laugh and learn as they demonstrate countless cool tools, trendy hard goods and fun fresh products and postulate on their practical possibilities. Take notes — you’ll want to remember all the items and ideas floating around this wild and crazy class.

You’ll learn:

  • How to create excitement in everything you offer
  • How to use products to increase sales, profits and customer satisfaction
  • The inside scoop — see and touch items you’ve only seen in pictures, and meet cool people from the companies who make them


Dealing with Difficult Employees (repeat)

Human resource expert Glenna Hecht repeats her morning presentation.


Supplier Expo
2:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Last year’s Supplier Expo was so popular, we’re dedicating more time to it — it’s now a three hour event! Come expand your awareness of products, tools, services and more. Get to know the vendors who can answer your questions and point you toward profitable opportunities for your business. Relax, network and absorb the ideas during this festive event. Attend and be entered for a FREE registration to SAF Palm Beach 2017!

You will:

  • See exciting fresh product and meet the people who grow and import it
  • Check out trendy hard goods, cool design tools, supplies and equipment
  • Talk about your tech needs with the brainiacs who can make it happen


American Floral Endowment Annual Fundraising Reception & Dinner
6 – 9 p.m.

Aloha! Join AFE for a fun evening with industry colleagues and friends to support floral industry research and education. Hear about Endowment programs directly benefiting YOU, recognize industry champions and witness the passing of the gavel to AFE’s new chairman! Sponsorship opportunities are also available – (703) 838-5239.


Friday, September 23

Outstanding Varieties
7 a.m. – 5 p.m.


Marketing Breakfast
7 – 8:45 a.m.
Doors open and breakfast starts at 7 a.m.; program starts at 7:30 a.m.
Speaker: Jennifer Sparks, SAF

Learn about the Petal It Forward phenomenon and how you can capitalize on this nationwide event to generate positive publicity and goodwill in your community, and hear about SAF’s campaigns to increase consumer awareness for Women’s Day and connect teens to prom flowers and florists.

Floral Management’s 23rd Annual Marketer of the Year Award
Speakers: Kate Penn, SAF; Dwight Larimer, AAF, PFCI, Design Master Color Tool, Inc.

Don’t miss the much-anticipated convention tradition: the announcement of the winner of Floral Management’s Annual Marketer of the Year Award. The honor recognizes a unique, innovative and successful marketing effort that increased overall sales volume. Take away winning sales and promotion ideas, and share the excitement as the winner receives the $5,000 prize. Sponsored by Design Master color tool, Inc.



TrendDesign Hawaii-50
Speaker: Tim Farrell, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, Farrell’s Florist

Get your eyes and iPhones on 50 fabulous designs in this fast-paced, Pinterest-friendly, made-to-Instagram session from acclaimed designer and retailer Tim Farrell. You’ll get a look at 50 stunning arrangements created for various price points and suitable for every type and size of floral shop. Take plenty of pictures so you can share these ideas with other members of your staff as soon as you get home.

You’ll learn:

  • How to use design skills to pair tropical and temperate blooms and foliage
  • How to employ tropical accents for added pop — and profit — in everyday designs
  • How to select an effective mix of tropical and temperate varieties for different design styles, uses and price points


Training New Hires (repeat)
Speaker: Tim Huckabee, FloralStrategies, LLC

Can new hires who know nothing about the floral industry become pros in days — even hours — rather than weeks? Tim Huckabee says yes. In this fast-paced session, Huckabee introduces tested tools that help to quickly make new staff comfortable and productive in your business.

You’ll learn:

  • How to fast-track new hires to confidently use your POS (regardless of the supplier)
  • Practical ways to get new staff engaging customers on their own in just days
  • Tips on welcoming newbies to your team with minimum friction from veteran staff


What’s Your Exit Strategy?
Speaker: Paul Goodman, CPA, PFCI, Floral Finance Business Services

To sell or pass the business to your child(ren)? At some point, every business owner faces that choice. The sooner you think about it, the better equipped you will be to enjoy the retirement you envision for yourself. Floral industry financial consultant Paul Goodman walks through the essential steps a business must follow before selling or passing the business to the next generation — and moderates a panel of floral industry members who’ve gone through it.

You’ll learn:

  • How to calculate the fair market value of your business and fund your retirement
  • Advice on identifying prospective buyers, bringing in a third-party broker, and analyzing offers
  • What to consider when passing your business to the next generation


2017 Floral Trends Preview
11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Speaker: Michael Skaff, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, Skaff Floral Creations

Sponsored by Accent Décor; Candle Artisans; Design Master color tool, Inc.; FloraCraft; Pete Garcia Co.; Smithers-Oasis; Syndicate Sales, Inc.; International Floral Distributors

Experience the “reveal event” of the year. Michael Skaff presents the industry’s leading forecast of flower trends and floral styles for events and weddings. Bring your camera and take lots of pictures of the show-stopping floral creations.

You’ll learn:

  • Trends to focus on for 2017, and fads to ignore
  • How to adapt top design trends to fit your customers and your brand
  • Easy ways to add trendy touches and update current designs


Networking Lunch on Your Own
12:15 – 1:15 p.m.


25th Annual SAFPAC Golf Tournament
1 – 5:30 p.m.

You might not play like a pro, but you can still have a lot of fun at the 25th Annual SAF Political Action Committee (SAFPAC) Golf Tournament. All skill levels are welcome at this easygoing event.



Entrepreneurial Risk-Taking
Speaker: Brad Denham, Arizona Family Florist

Feel like your business has lost its edge? Take risks to stay relevant and gain the edge over your competition. Floral Management 2014 Magazine Marketer of the Year Brad Denham shares how he and his wife, Cheryl, embraced an entrepreneurial spirit at Arizona Family Florist, launching new initiatives and brands, learning from failures and using omni-channel retailing to double revenues.

You’ll learn:

  • How taking risks creates opportunities
  • How omni-channel retailing can grow your business
  • Tips on recognizing opportunities, understanding risks, overcoming fears — and embracing failure


Work Smarter, Not Harder, On Events
Speaker: Zoë Gallina, Botanica International Design & Decor Studio

You can’t create extra time or clone your wedding and event team. So make the most of every moment with brides and event planners to reinforce your reputation for quality, service and customer satisfaction. Join Zoë Gallina for a look at the best practices behind one of the most successful wedding and event businesses in the world.

You’ll learn to:

  • Exceed consumer expectations
  • Streamline processes through better communications
  • Coach your team to reflect high professional standards — in person and online


AdWords Intermediate
Speakers: Ben Polk, Google; Renato Sogueco, SAF

How’s the action on your AdWords campaign? If you answered “meh,” start tweaking. Google Senior Account Exec Ben Polk and SAF CIO Renato Sogueco show how to make tactical adjustments to generate better results and use complementary campaigns to promote specific segments of your business, such as sympathy and weddings.

You’ll learn:

  • What click data and conversion reports really tell you
  • How to use keyword match modifiers and negatives
  • The value of complementary campaigns and product ads



Pricing for Profits
Speaker: Mark Anderson, FloristWare

Mark Anderson walks you through simple tricks and advanced pricing strategies that result in more sales, bigger profits and less money left on the table. No cost-plus formulas, just the best of modern psychological pricing & revenue management practices.

You’ll learn:

  • How pricing can enhance and clarify your brand/brand position
  • Best practices for pricing standard arrangements, hard goods and gift items
  • Tips on pricing fill-to-value orders and quoting weddings and events

AdWords Intermediate (repeat)
Google Senior Account Ben Polk and SAF CIO Renato Sogueco offer a repeat of their earlier presentation.

Training New Hires (repeat)
Tim Huckabee offers a repeat of his morning presentation.


Networking Reception
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Some of the best business ideas and opportunities arise through casual conversations. Mix and mingle while making professional and social connections on a beautiful Maui evening.


Saturday, September 24

Keynote Breakfast and Business Session
7 – 8:45 a.m.
Doors open and breakfast starts at 7 a.m.; program starts at 7:30 a.m.
Speakers: Martin Meskers, AAF, Oregon Flowers, Inc.; Christopher Drummond, AAF, Plaza Flowers

Find out the results of SAF’s Elections and who is representing you on the association’s Councils and Board of Directors. Hear a report on SAF’s financials. The Outstanding Varieties People’s Choice honoree, Gary Buckwald Scholarship recipient, and SAFPAC Golf Tournament results will be revealed, and convention sponsors will be recognized.

Don’t Get Caught Doing What Worked Yesterday (When Customers Are Obsessed with What They Want Tomorrow)
Speaker: James Dion, Dionco, Inc.

Evolve or die isn’t just the stuff of biology books — it’s the rule of retail. Consumers want the next best thing even before the last best thing wears out. To ensure you’re playing and winning by these new rules, join internationally known retail consultant and retail trainer James Dion as he details how innovative businesses are changing the game and raising expectations for customers. You’ll leave unable to think the same way about what you’re selling, how you’re selling it — and the story you’re telling to sell it.

Rut busters:

  • Rethink assumptions about social media, ads and technology — before they put your business at risk
  • Spot evolving opportunities and emerging markets
  • Leave the session with no fewer than 10 resolutions you can implement right away and that are guaranteed to make you profitable for years to come


49th Annual Sylvia Cup Design Competition
9 – 11 a.m.
Coordinators: J. Robbin Yelverton, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, Blumz by…JRDesigns; Jenny Behlings, AAF, PFCI, Jenny’s Floral; Julie Poeltler, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, SDCF, Fountain of Flowers & Gifts; D Damon Samuel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, NAFD, NMF, Bill Doran Company

Commentators: Jerome Raska, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, CAFA, Blumz by…JRDesigns; Lisa Weddel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, L. Weddel Design

Watch as up to 25 of the nation’s best floral designers are given the same flowers, foliage and supplies — and just two hours to create the surprise challenge. During the last hour, the competition’s commentators and coordinators — decked out in themed costumes — talk about the featured products and challenge. The winner receives the Sylvia Cup trophy, $3,000 and a complimentary registration to SAF Palm Beach 2017, SAF’s 133rd Annual Convention. First Runner-Up wins $500; Second Runner-Up gets $250. Winners will be announced at the Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner.

You’ll see:

  • Some of the hottest emerging design styles
  • An exciting (nail-biting!), live demonstration of how to create spectacular floral pieces in minimal time
  • The U.S. floral industry’s longest-running live design competition



How to Produce Great Video
Speaker: David Kesler, AIFD, PFCI, Floral Design Institute

On social media, video is becoming florists’ most successful marketing tool — replacing the standard floral design photo. You can also use video to train and motivate staff. See examples of how florists are using video and find out what you need to get started.

You’ll learn:

  • Camera and accessory options, and what you can do with what you have
  • Best practices for composition, sound, lights, staging and more
  • Top tools for editing and sharing video


Motivate Them! Become a Better Sales Coach
Speaker: Tim Huckabee, FloralStrategies, LLC

Is your sales team stuck in the same-old, same-old? Are you struggling to motivate people to increase average transactions and go after bigger sales? In this expanded version of his popular “Sales Management for Wimps” program, Tim Huckabee talks candidly about how to motivate staff, use incentives, set goals manage expectations and increase sales.

You’ll learn:

  • Proven approaches to setting sales targets — and steps to achieve those numbers
  • Easy team-builders to get every employee focused on boosting the store’s profitability
  • Methods to help staff understand how, and why, paychecks are directly tied to every transaction


Incentive Plans That Work
What if you could boost productivity, improve morale and cut labor costs, all while improving customer service? That’s exactly what employee incentive plans have done for many retail flower shops. Three seasoned retailers talk candidly about the opportunities and challenges of implementing employee incentive plans in every department: design, sales — even delivery.

You’ll learn:

  • Best practices in implementing incentive-based pay for all positions
  • Advice on how to get staff on board with the new pay model
  • Granular details on how to track and reward performance


11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. THREE CONCURRENT SESSIONS

AdWords Advanced
Speakers: Ben Polk, Google; Renato Sogueco, SAF

Running a lot of different AdWords campaigns can be costly and time-consuming. Do you know how to maximize their combined impact? In this session for experienced AdWords users, Google Senior Account Exec Ben Polk and SAF CIO Renato Sogueco explain the logistics of managing multiple campaigns, larger Product Ad listing inventories, video ads and advanced AdWords options.

You’ll learn:

  • How to use add-ons to leverage Product Ad listings
  • Ways to target your ads to 400 million Gmail users
  • Tools and tactics of an advanced AdWords campaign


ABCs of Social Media Advertising
Speaker: Crystal Vilkaitis, Crystal Media

Diligently posting to Facebook? Great! Here’s the bad news: If you don’t have a social media advertising plan, you could be reaching just 1 percent of your fans. Thanks to algorithm shifts on popular sites, having a presence on social media isn’t enough — business owners must now work harder and smarter to actually show up in customers’ feeds. Online marketing expert Crystal Vilkaitis explains how to connect with customers.

You’ll learn:

  • Marketing techniques that will save you time and money, and get you seen
  • Targeted strategies for the top sites, including Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Why paid advertising on social media is a “must”


Eventology: The Science of Profitable Events
Speaker: Derrick Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI, Crockett, Myers & Associates, Inc.

Creating a profitable event package isn’t magic … it’s science. It requires solid pricing formulas that factor in all the unexpected costs that pop up when you least expect them. Floral industry financial expert Derrick Myers and his alter ego “The Professor” explain how it’s done in this lighthearted but fact-filled lesson in the science of “Eventology.”

You’ll learn:

  • Event pricing formulas that guarantee profitability
  • Ways to ensure you’re paid for delivery, setup, teardown — even handholding a bride
  • What you need to know about each venue — before you price the job


Networking Lunch on Your Own
12:15 – 1:15 p.m.



Locking in Large Corporate Accounts
Looking for a predictable and steady flow of local orders, planned well in advance and often delivered to the same location? That’s what the right kind of corporate account can offer your business. What does it take to snag this type of business — and become the go-to florist both for the corporate event work as well as everyday sales? A panel of retailers who’ve mastered it share their secrets.

You’ll learn:

  • Tips for getting through the gatekeeper
  • How to present a proposal they can’t turn down
  • Pet peeves to avoid and best practices for billing


ABCs of Social Media Advertising (repeat)
Crystal Vilkaitis offers a repeat of her morning presentation.

Eventology: The Science of Profitable Events (repeat)
Derrick Myers offers a repeat of his morning presentation.


Afternoon Networking on Your Own
2:45 – 6 p.m.

After you’ve soaked in the educational sessions, enjoy some free time to catch up with the retailers, growers, wholesalers and suppliers you’ve been meaning to talk to throughout convention. Or, sit poolside and map out your action plan for putting all of the new ideas to work at your business. (Tip from convention veterans: Commit to adopting three new ideas within the next month!)


PFCI Toast
5:30 – 6 p.m.

Members of Professional Floral Communicators – International get together to congratulate their newest members.


Stars of the Industry Awards Reception and Dinner
6 – 10 p.m.

Corsage & Boutonnière Bar & Reception
6 – 6:30 p.m.

Tonight’s a big night and calls for corsages and boutonnières. Proceeds benefit the American Floral Endowment’s Paul Ecke Jr. Fund. Mix and mingle before the celebration begins, and take a closer look at all the Sylvia Cup entries.


Awards Presentations and Dinner
6:30 – 10 p.m.

Share an evening of fine food and joyful applause as we honor some of the most accomplished and dedicated people in the floral industry. Cheer for the Sylvia Cup champion, and toast inductees of the American Academy of Floriculture and Professional Floral Communicators – International. Experience the excitement as the winners of the Alex Laurie Award, Paul Ecke Jr. Award and other top honors are revealed including the industry’s most prestigious award, Floriculture Hall of Fame.


After Glow Party
10 p.m. – Midnight

Continue the celebration with music and dancing — a fun finale for SAF’s 132nd Annual Convention.



 For registration information please visit the SAF website.



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