Fun N Sun 2022 San Diego Ca.
After attending so many floral conventions over my many years, I tend to want to rank them by comparing them to those I have attended in the past. This is not a great idea because they keep getting better and better.
With that said, this Fun n Sun was over the top fantastic. Why might you ask?
Well start with the fact that the event was held in beautiful San Diego California at the Historic and incredible Del Coronado Hotel. Toss in 400+ attendees from around the world, eager to be out in public, first class programs and speakers and the result was a fun, educational, informative and beautiful event that is now in the history books.
Here are some the highlights:
Calflowers, which host this event, has taken the bold step to create a marketing program for the floral industry that is like no other. If you have not yet seen “That Flower Feeling” promo then you need to.
Thatflowerfeeling.org. Their motto is: “More Americans enjoying flowers more often”
This marketing program is all about flowers and does not focus on where the flowers come from. This gift to the industry gets even better when you see the free promotional material that comes with it. Posters, graphics, images and more. Go get them and use them.
Many of the programs offered over 3 days were focused on post covid strategies and concerns. We heard very compelling stories about how growers, wholesalers and retailers managed this most challenging time in our floral lives.
All of these horrible stories were followed by the incredible turn around that we all experienced at some level. Growers were able to get some PPP funds and used it to bring laid off employees back to the farm and perform task that had been planned for the future and now there was time and funds to do so.
Wholesalers were able to reorganize and reevaluate procedures that needed to be upgraded, streamlined delivery schedules and worked closer than ever with their suppliers.
Retailers were able to take advantage of online sales with smaller staffs and more deliveries.
If there is one message to take away it would be, that in times of trouble there are always opportunities to be had.
Since nearly everyone in floral experienced exponential growth over the last 18 months the question in everyone’s mind is. Now what? How do we keep this growth going?
The answer seems to be promotion. The consumers told us that they love and need flowers and plants in their lives. Let’s keep flowers in their minds by reminding them of the positive effects that color and scent have in their lives.
J Schwanke hosted a design challenge with four unsuspecting non designers partnered with four professional designer coaches who could only advise, not touch. Much fun.
J went on to host a floral crown hands-on demonstration with floral cocktails and treats.
J is the host of the very popular “Life in Bloom” series on PBS television. I believe, as floral professionals, that we should be delighted that we have a character like J (and his Partner Kelly) whose passion for flowers has lead him to be an icon in and for the business. His weekly show reaches millions of viewers and helps people understand the value of floral.
This event also had programs for social media concerns and floral trends and so much more.
There was a flower fair exhibition where 40+ vendors were swarmed by a herd of curious participants. Well done!
To add to the fun and excitement I hosted an industry jam band that fired up the crowd on the beach as Navy Seals were training a few yards away.
Monty Butts from Bill Doran on bass guitar, Ben Powell from Mayesh on guitar, Tony Farfan from Priority One on guitar and myself on Harmonica and vocals.
Based on the positive reaction there might be more music to be heard in the future.
During the event Sahid Nahim of New Bloom Solutions and Flowersandcents hosted.
“The Bloom Show” where several couch interviews were held on the beach with industry professional. These live events were also recorded, and I will post them on the website and newsletter over the next few weeks.
The mood for the entire event was super positive and the energy in various events was palpable. I so look forward to 2024 when once again there will be Fun in the Sun.
We are in the floral event season and many of those that attended Fun n Sun are now heading to Orlando for the SAF event which starts on Tuesday August 5. See you there.
Finally, for all of you that told me you enjoy my newsletter and website I am truly honored to have gained your trust and will continue to bring you the latest floral news…Williee style.