SAF releases 2024 event dates
The Society of American Florists has announced dates for its in-person events for 2024, open to floral community members from all industry segments.
Next Gen LIVE!, February 25-27, San Diego
The Next Gen LIVE! 2023 conference in June drew 180 young retailers, wholesalers, importers, growers, breeders and manufacturers to Miami, where they got a glimpse into the importing scene, toured several Miami-are progressive floral shops, and attended educational sessions focused on leadership, communication, social media skills and more.
The event intends to expose young floral professionals to different facets of the industry and enables them to develop leadership skills and network with peers, which can help keep them in and excited about the industry, said SAF CEO Kate Penn.
“This event addresses a strategic priority for our industry: engaging the next generation of talent,” Penn said. “It’s something the entire industry can really embrace because the success of the industry depends on it.”
44th Annual Congressional Action Days, March 18-19, Washington, D.C.
Floral professionals will continue their work on Capitol Hill in March during Congressional Action Days, where in 2022 they successfully lobbied for and secured a $1 million increase in annual funding for the Floriculture Nursery & Research Initiative.
During the March 2023 event, attendees successfully lobbied to protect that increase in FNRI funding for the fiscal year 2024 budget, despite cuts across other domestic spending programs. They also discussed the need to reform agricultural labor, provide access to duty-free flowers, and renew the Farm Bill, which provides funding for innovations, research and disaster relief for specialty crops. At CAD 2024, Farm Bill renewal negotiations will likely be front and center on Capitol Hill and be at the top of the list of SAF’s legislative asks.
“Our legislators need to hear about the issues affecting the floral industry,” said Michelle Castellano Keeler, AAF president. “We need as many voices as possible to join us and share our priorities face to face with Congressional offices — especially in an election year.”
SAF Miami 2024, August 6-9, Miami
SAF’s 139th annual convention in 2024 is scheduled a month earlier than usual at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura, Florida. The date was shifted to early August in response to feedback that September is a busy time of year with weddings and back to school, Penn says.
“We hope that this time of year makes it easier for our industry to step away from the business for a few days – and maybe even add on a vacation while they’re there,” she said.
SAF’s annual convention features more than two dozen educational sessions, the Sylvia Cup Design Competition, the Outstanding Varieties Competition, a Supplier Expo, and countless opportunities to network.
“SAF’s convention is one of the only places I know of that where all floral industry segments come together to learn and get a better understanding of each role in the supply chain,” said Amy Desperito of Natural Flowers. “The educational content is exceptional, and the energy is electric!”
SAF is also in the process of securing 2024 dates and locales for its popular 1-Day Profit Blast – stay tuned to safnow.org for those dates as well as information on when to register for 2024 events. (Looking for some education this fall? SAF’s 1-Day Profit Blast is coming to Portland Chicago — learn more here.)