FT. LAUDERDALE, USA: With the sounds of a soothing steel drum setting a relaxed, yet productive pace, the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition ( TPIE) took place January 18 – 20 at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
More than 400 exhibitors in over 830 spaces took their exhibits to the next level with awe-inspiring displays exceeding even the highest of expectations.
Already known as the industry’s most unique and inspiring trade event, TPIE set the stage for a higher level of presentation and interaction as 6,326 exhibitors and buyers from 47 U.S. states and 49 countries met to experience TPIE.
As part of its promise to Elevate Expectations, TPIE set itself apart as the show to learn about key trends for use in planning 2017 sales and beyond. As an interior designer and trend-spotter, Jane Lockhart spoke to a standing-rooming-only crowd providing insights on how plants work best as interior decor for today’s consumer as well as how to keep the connection going between plants, people and the places where they live, work and socialize. Jane opened TPIE with a complimentary keynote session focused on these trends and how to move them forward.
Plant design and interior design styles were matched as part of an inspiring and creative TPIE display featuring three interior room vignettes, each showcasing a trending design style designed by Anya Cesar, ASID, of Anya Renise Design Group. Each area paired plant designs with current interior trends. This was the perfect place to collect ideas to match plants to consumer homes and work spaces.
Keeping in line with trending design styles, five designers from the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) offered various no-cost workshops showcasing plant designs from across the globe. Also popular with the interiorscape crowd was a peer-to-peer session focused on Interiorscape Projects Holiday & Green Walls.
The TPIE Road Show provided two workshops and two tours for those looking for more in-depth learning. Utilizing a “Pick Two” ticketed format, participants chose “a-la-carte” to complete their pre-show day. From workshops in Pest Management and Trends & Garden Center Merchandising, the tours focused on Production Facilities or Garden & Design. A total of 258 people participated in the TPIE Road Show and workshops and left armed with great experiences to put into place in their own businesses.
A bonus session, open to all show attendees, took place on Thursday afternoon: The Lowline Lab & Subterranean Parks: How, Why, and What It Means for the Future of Our Industry. This session, presented by Mark Mini and Andrew Engel, both of John Mini Distinctive Landscapes (JMdl), spoke about the project and their role in the lowline. The lowline aspires to become the first underground park with flora supported by natural sunlight.
TPIE’s Exhibitor Showcase highlighted dozens of the industry’s newest plants and products. The Favorite New Flowering Plant in the showcase was Tillandsia ‘Samantha’ by Deroose Plants, Inc. The Favorite New Foliage Plant was Aglaonema ‘Giorgi’s Ruby’ by Costa Farms. TPIE’s Favorite New Product was the Aquastick by Chrysal USA. The “Best of Show” exhibitor booth was awarded, for a second year in a row, to Costa Farms for their take on a tiny house. See Images of these winning items and the winning show booths.
Fifteen stand-out products were selected by retail attendees to receive TPIE’s Cool Products Awards. The winning products included: new and unique plants, growing media, hanging gardens, small containers, a new transportation option, and even a manual for green professionals. The selection committee was comprised of independent garden center owners and interiorscapers from across the country.
Dodging storms across the northern U.S., TPIE goers enjoyed winding down opening day with cocktails and conversation with new friends and industry peers. Mingling alfresco with the sounds of calypso music and South Florida’s gentle ocean breeze. TPIE’s Happy Hour was compliments of Suntory Sun Parasol.
The FNGLA Certified Landscape Exam showcase offered more than information as show attendees could put their knowledge to work testing their plant ID and industry know-how. Anchored by the FNGLA and NFF booths, the certification showcase was a popular area to learn more about the important programs and opportunities offered by FNGLA to enhance professionalism and elevate expectations within the industry.
Friday brought the industry’s youth to TPIE for the FNGLA Horticulture Career Fair where business leaders shone a brigh light on a wide range of career opportunities within the industry. Led by FNGLA Past President Sandy Stein, the students also had the opportunity to connect with the 2017 FFA state officers before exploring the show.
TPIE is one of the many important activities produced by FNGLA. While managed by FNGLA staff, TPIE is developed and planned by a committee comprised of FNGLA members: Chairman Lloyd Singleton (University of Florida/IFAS Extension); Vice Chairman Bisser Georgiev (LiveTrends Design Group); Immediate Past Chair Theresa Riley (Rockledge Gardens); Chris Beytes (Ball Publishing); Manny Rodriguez (Plants In Design); Marcella Lucio (Silver Vase); and, Patrick Prussing (Sunshine Horticulture).
Planning for the 2018 TPIE is already in the works. Mark your calendar for January 17-19 to take advantage of the next TPIE experience!