Update from the WF&FSA Miami 2015 Convention

The WF&FSA convention was held in Miami for the fourth time at the Doral in Miami Fla. WF&FSA signed the contract in 2011 before the property was owned by Donald Trump. Halfway through the contract Trump bought the property and rehabbed the facility at the cost of millions of dollars. There were two conventions where we wholesalers had to walk around piles of dirt and mud, and also go off-site to eat when many of the restaurants on site were under construction. Then Trump raises the rates on any new future contract WF&FSA might sign, and our trade association was forced by the high future room rates to re-locate to the Miami Airport Doubletree in 2016 and beyond. One last Trump note: the last day of the convention, he and his team show up for a political rally to be held there at the Doral in response to his flagging poll numbers in Fla. At the same time mysteriously some of our WF&FSA members were bumped out of their rooms to other parts of the hotel due to a story of a burst pipe. There were also wild-eyed Trump supporters walking around carrying handwritten placards and posters in support of their candidate.

At the business meeting of the convention a very interesting presentation was made by Memorial Day Flowers. This non-profit works very hard each year to coordinate growers/wholesalers/retailers/boy scouts to help place flowers on the graves of veterans on or just before Memorial Day. They also have some groups that hand out flowers at parades on Memorial Day as well. It is a fantastic program, and the program is headed up by Ramiro Peñaherrera. If you would like to get involved in this program in your area, contact them at ramiro@memorialdayflowers.orgThe basic program is for $60.00 you get 250 roses, banners, hand-outs and stickers. Then it’s up to you to make use of the materials, identify the graves of veterans, recruit boy scouts or other volunteers and get the program going on Memorial Day.

KevinYlvisakerKevin Ylvisaker AIFD PFCIgave a trends presentation that was slightly different to the IFD sponsored Floral Trends Forecast that is kicked off every October. Kevin’s presentation touched on color somewhat but then also talked about many other trends he saw in the floral marketplace. Some of the highlights of his presentation:

-Baby Boomers purchase in store or over the web.
-Gen Xers buy through the web, and love nostalgia. It is the Gen Xers driving all the weddings that make great use vintage containers and accents.
-Millennials use cell phones and tablets, and they want products that are ethically sourced, sustainable and support a cause.
-Benjamin Moore thinks that white will be a big color in decorating in 2016.
-Consumers want products that are recyclable, biodegradeable and environmentally friendly. Both Smithers and syndicate have taken notice of these trends and are producing some glass and foam that has these attributes.
-Kevin surveyed florists and found that the number one wedding color from last year was blush and the number one color for next year’s weddings will be blue, (navy aqua teal).
-The flowers florists were to need more of in 2016 (according to Kevin’s survey): Hydrangea, Garden Roses, Colored mini-callas, Peonies, Jasmine, Dusty Miller & Dahlias.
-Kevin surveyed florists in 2015 and found that 75% of them used glass as their container of choice. For 2016, 100% these same florists said their best selling container will be glass.
-Methods of ordering projected for 2016: Phone (40%), Test (30%), Email (20%), In-Person (5%), order online (5%)


Eric Levy

November 11, 2015