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PMA summit floral focus connects attendees to ideas, innovations

The mass-market floral industry will come together for inspirational education, networking, leadership recognition and community when Produce Marketing Association’s 2017 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo convenes Oct. 19-21 in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, according to a news release.

“This year’s floral programming is designed by industry, for industry, and offers something for everyone across our supply chain to help your business bloom,” Debora Coleman, vice president of floral for retailer Albertson’s Companies and chair of PMA’s Floral Council, said in the release. “The volunteer industry members of the PMA Floral Council and the PMA Fresh Summit Committee have designed a packed agenda specifically for our floral community.”

The floral agenda includes workshops and other education, a networking reception, announcement of the 2017 Floral Marketer of the Year award winner, Floral Buyer Roundtables and the Floral Pavilion.

PMA-EXHIBITION-HALL-1The 2016 PMA Fresh Summit at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, drew over 20,000 attendees from 65 countries.Three floral-specific educational workshops are planned, including a session on evolving color trends, their influence on the floral landscape, and how to harness them to expand mass-market retail floral sales. Pantone consultant Leatrice Eiseman, who has been called “the international color guru,” will present that workshop.

“This particular workshop is designed to help attendees understand the forces behind color trends and plan their businesses accordingly, with the goal of shifting floral purchases from special occasion buys to everyday buys,” said Coleman in the release.

To bring the mass-market floral supply chain together at Fresh Summit, the PMA Floral Council will host a Floral Networking Reception on Thursday evening, Oct. 19.

“Our industry thrives on our ‘together’ time. This reception will be a great opportunity to celebrate as a community, to reconnect with business acquaintances and to make new connections, too,” said Coleman in the release.

The 2017 Floral Marketer of the Year will be announced at the reception. This PMA award program is designed to promote leadership development in the mass-market floral retail industry. The 2016 winner, Michael Schrader, floral director for Schnuck Markets Inc., will announce the 2017 winner.

The Fresh Summit expo again features the Floral Pavilion, featuring nearly 100 exhibiting companies, bringing together mass-market floral buyers and sellers.

Floral attendees are encouraged to check out the Floral Showcase within the Fresh Ideas Showcase before heading onto the expo floor and the Floral Pavilion. The Floral Showcase will preview innovative floral products and services that can be found at the Fresh Summit expo. The showcase can be viewed before, during and after expo hours.

Floral Buyer Roundtables will return to Fresh Summit by popular demand. These short, speed-dating-like meetings bring buyers and sellers together for introductory meetings. The roundtables sold out at last year’s Fresh Summit, as well as at this year’s two PMA Fresh Connections: Floral events held this summer.

New this year, Fresh Summit will convene a day earlier than past years: Thursday through Saturday Oct. 19-21, with education and insights Thursday, Oct. 19 and the expo on Friday and Saturday Oct. 20-21.

Fresh Summit’s floral programming is designed to help address three priority business needs the PMA Floral Council has identified for the mass-market floral industry, according to Coleman. Those priorities are: research on consumer and industry trends and its business implications; networking; and professional and leadership development.

“The Floral Council and PMA staff work hard to deliver floral value year-round, and we are looking forward to taking that service to a new level next year with more floral business-building research and events, and investing more in industry talent and industry representation in Washington, DC,” said Coleman.

Fresh Summit is an open show. Pre-approval is not needed to attend. This open policy helps to attract industry members from across the floral supply chain.

Fresh Summit registration and housing reservations are now open. Attendees can register early by Sept. 15 to save on registration. Floral buyers receive significant discounts on registration. The Floral All Access Pass offers the best value, reports Roberts, as it includes access to all general sessions and workshops, several networking receptions, and all days of the expo. Passes for the trade show only are also available.

For more information and to register in advance for the 2017 Fresh Summit Convention & Expo, visit On-site registration is also available in New Orleans.