NEWARK, USA: Professionals across the mass-market floral supply chain know that to grow their business, they have to stay on top of industry trends as well as connect with the right partners. Two U.S. regional events for the floral industry hosted by Produce Marketing Association (PMA) – one event on each coast – will provide opportunities to gain valuable insight on the latest trends, as well as networking to increase sales.
PMA will host Fresh Connections: Floral events June 8 in Anaheim, California, and July 13 in Miami, Florida. The events are designed specifically for the entire floral supply chain, from breeders to growers to retailers, and the businesses in between.
“We are returning to the two hearts of the U.S. floral industry this year. Last year’s sold-out events tell us our community is hungry for these types of gatherings,” said PMA Floral Council Chair Debora Coleman, vice president of floral for Albertsons Companies.
PMA began hosting Fresh Connections: Floral events in 2015, with events in Miami held in 2015 and 2016, and in Anaheim in 2016. These events are one way that PMA Floral Council and PMA floral staff are working to address three key business priorities of the mass-market floral industry: research on consumer and industry trends and their business implications, networking, and professional and leadership development. PMA also offers its floral industry members industry-specific information and resources 24/7/365 via www.pma.com/topics/floral.
Anaheim event to focus on retail selling strategies, economic outlook
Fresh Connections: Floral will return to Anaheim on June 8 from 1-5 pm, with an agenda that opens and closes with networking events and features two timely educational sessions. To date, 12 retailers are registered including Albertsons, H-E-B and Wal-Mart Stores. PMA Floral Council Chair Coleman will serve as master of ceremonies.
The first education session will explore the potential business impacts of the current economic outlook and the new U.S. administration’s plans for trade, job creation and immigration. The second session will feature a panel, discussing how buyers and sellers can better work together to uncover new opportunities and expand existing markets.
Register for Fresh Connections: Floral Anaheim by May 5 to save 10 percent; registration closes June 2. After May 5, the registration rate for PMA members is $150, for nonmembers it is $215.To learn more and to register, visit www.pma.com/fc-floral-anaheim.
In conjunction with the Fresh Connections: Floral Anaheim event, PMA will also host Floral Buyer Roundtables, connecting suppliers with retailers in door-opening, one-on-one meetings. Registration for the Anaheim roundtables is now closed.
Miami event will feature consumer trends, buyer roundtables
When Fresh Connections: Floral returns to Miami for the third time on July 13, the daylong agenda will feature networking, lunch, education on consumer trends, and optional Floral Buyer Roundtables. To date, 14 retailers are registered to attend the Fresh Connections: Floral Miami event, from Ahold USA to Whole Foods Market. PMA Floral Council Vice Chair Carlos Oramas, CEO of Gems Group, will be master of ceremonies.
The 9 am-5 pm agenda will open and close with networking events. The first education session will explore the latest trends in home decorating, entertaining, and indoor/outdoor living, and how these trends drive the future of floral services, products and operations. The second education session will dig deeper into consumer trends to help industry identify new plants and products that will spark consumer sales.
Floral suppliers who want to connect with floral retailers can register for optional Floral Buyer Roundtables that will be held July 12 from 3-5:15 pm. Suppliers will meet with five different retail companies in 10-minute, one-on-one meetings akin to business speed dating. Up to 30 suppliers can participate; those slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis with an ultimate goal of including a diverse mix of suppliers from across the floral supply chain.
Register for Fresh Connections: Floral Miami by June 2 to save 10 percent; register in advance by July 7. After June 2, the registration rate for PMA members is $215, $325 for nonmembers. To learn more and to register, visit www.pma.com/fc-floral-miami.
To participate in the Floral Buyer Roundtables, suppliers should register by May 9. PMA-member suppliers can register for $1,500, nonmembers for $2,250; that rate includes one registration for the July 13 Fresh Connections: Floral Miami event.
Career Pathways program to attract university students to floral careers
Fresh Connections: Floral Miami will include a program for university students who are exploring career opportunities in the mass-market floral industry. The students are participating in a Career Pathways student-attraction program for the floral industry conducted by Center for Growing Talent by PMA (CGTbyPMA).
The floral Career Pathways program is among 12 Career Pathways programs that CGTbyPMA will host this year at industry events in the United States, including PMA’s Fresh Summit Convention & Expo in October, and around the world. CGTbyPMA’s Career Pathways programs are very successful at attracting students to industry careers. To date, 67 percent of students who participated in a Career Pathways program took a job or internship in industry after they graduated.
“The fresh floral industry is creative and dynamic, yet few college students know about us so they don’t think about us as a career choice. This Career Pathways program is helping us to change that,” said Coleman.