Wffsa pulled out all the stops with their latest attempt to lure wffsa members from around the USA to participate in their show. There were angels flying around and gamblers a plenty at the Havana nights party. Gambling is fun when you do not play with real money!
I found it to be quite a fun show and many of those I spoke with said it was good for them. It is an easy show to attend for Miami importers as shows go and the return on investment must be worth it for them to keep showing up.
According to wffsa this was one of the largest show ever with 784 attendees and 129 table tops.
Some felt the hotel was not up to par and not a good draw for those out of town guest who arrived with their wives. I happen to like the place for its ease of parking and central location. The halls were open and bright but it was cold everywhere you went in the building. The flowers loved it but most guest were obviously cold.
The hospitality suites were fun and able to provide enough food and drink to call it dinner. Thanks!
One of the highlights of the show was of course my mothers painting being raffled off with a pull from a hat. She is 94 and donated this recent painting for the benefit of the Floral endowment. It was a success and raised over 8k for a scholarship and won by Red Kennicott a good friend and worthy collector.
The Florist of the year award went to Kennedy’s flowers and gifts Grand Rapids Mich. Quite an honor.
Wffsa has changed so much over the many years that I have been around and I am not sure how long they can keep this event going.
The first problem is that these events have lately conflicted with the PMA convention, this year in New Orleans, and that is hard to compete with. Obviously wffsa is a wholesale organization and draws a slightly different audience than mass market but there were more than a few folks that were leaving Miami in the middle of the show heading for New Orleans. There is little chance that PMA is going to change its convention to avoid a conflict with Wffsa.
I heard suggestions that wffsa should move its show to March which is after Valentines Day and still warm in Miami when it cold most elsewhere. This no doubt has been considered at some point but I am aware that venues are not so flexible with booking dates.
Wffsa is able to draw wholesalers for obvious reasons but they seem to have trouble getting members, specifically newer members, to show up. We see many of the same “traditional” faces that show up each year but we want more.
The other obvious thing you see was the ever growing presence of growers offering to sell direct, located right down the isle from their Miami distributor.
But there is always a lot of talking about what could be better and yet most continue to show up and exhibit. Bottom line is that everyone wants to see more buyers in the halls no matter where they are from. Wffsa needs to find ways to get the buyers to show up and take advantage of this small but effective show.
This show does allow many of us floral lifers to assemble and talk about the good ole days, of Armellini parties and 300 full box orders.
I have prepared my image video and invite you to watch it. Thank you for reading.