ALEXANDRIA, USA: One of the biggest challenges industry members face — the struggle to find, train and keep talented employees — will be front and center this year at SAF Marco Island 2014, the Society of American Florists’ (SAF’s) 130th annual convention, Aug. 13-16 in Marco Island, Fla.
To help attendees tackle the problem and find real, practical solutions that can be applied right away, SAF is bringing in outside experts with proven records and new ideas on how to make hiring, training and retention woes a worry of the past.
Speakers include human resources expert Glenna Hecht, president of Humanistic Consulting in Dallas. “Putting top-performing people in your organization can generate a 40 percent boost in productivity and profit and increase sales revenues by 67 percent,” according to Hecht.
During her interactive workshop, “Hiring for Results,” Hecht will explain how to pinpoint the key characteristics of a top performer and ferret out those qualities during mock interviews. During this session, attendees will also learn the secret that transformed the hiring process for Dr. Delphinium Designs and Events in Dallas.
Derrick Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI, president of Crockett, Myers & Associates Inc., will bring his floral finance expertise and successful management skills to two convention programs. For “Building an ‘A Team,’” Myers will share best practices collected over 15 years from the world’s most notable business management experts, and then he’ll explain how to put those ideas to work to create a team of energized, motivated, happy employees.
During “The Price Is Right (Or Is It?),” Myers will move beyond HR to explain how different pricing formulas work and discuss how to apply them to achieve profit goals.
Independent retailing guru Mary Liz Curtin will also be back this year to talk about creating and building your brand — and how to make sure your team is keyed into every aspect of your store. “Your brand is who you are … why you’re different,” said Curtin, award-winning owner of Leon & Lulu, a gift and home décor destination in Detroit. “It stems from the attitude of the owners and has to be fostered throughout your organization. Everything else … is packaging.”
At her keynote breakfast presentation, “Branding Beyond the Bag,” Curtin plans to cover “all the building blocks that go into creating a brand” using examples from the floral industry as well as other businesses. Her goal is to send convention goers home “thinking about how they can make each of those touch points more successful.”
In addition to the keynote, Curtin is presenting “Who Let the Dogs Out? The Art of Selling What You’ve Bought,” an educational session for retailers and wholesalers on “markdown avoidance” merchandising.
SAF Marco Island will feature 30 speakers, bringing a blend of outside expertise and industry know-how. The business education line-up features a carefully curated mix of first-hand success stories and “how-to” tips from floral business owners; advice from professionals in human resources, finance and sales; floral trend insights and style interpretations by award-winning designers; and big-picture perspective from top industry executives.
“It’s so important for small business people to be exposed to a variety of viewpoints and see what’s going on outside of their local area or segment of the industry,” said SAF President Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, owner of Dandelions Flowers & Gifts in Eugene, Ore. “Every year we hear from attendees who tell us that one of the biggest benefits of attending the convention is experiencing the broad exchange of ideas and information between people from so many different business backgrounds.”
For complete information and to register for SAF Marco Island 2014, visit www.safnow.org/annual-convention or call SAF at 800-336-4743.