“Together We Bloom”, the 2016 Great Lakes Floral Expo, will be held in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel/Devos Place, March 4-6. The event is sponsored by the Michigan Floral Association.
This year’s extravaganza will feature several new program additions, hands-on workshops, outstanding design spectaculars, and award winning business sessions. Industry members from all over the Midwest will be networking with fellow professionals, sharing ideas and techniques.
Among the new events on Friday night is a floral version of the popular Food Network show “Chopped” featuring novice designers mentored by experienced design professionals. The evening will conclude with “Together We Laugh”, featuring internationally known stand up comedian Brad Tassel.
On Saturday night an extended cocktail hour night on the Expo floor featuring music, models displaying bridal bouquets, and a live auction will highlight the evening. The Designer of the Year runoff will be held during the awards banquet and the winner will be chosen on stage.
An outstanding lineup of many of the industry’s best know commentators and designers will share their knowledge at the hands-on workshops and main stage design shows. These includes two Sylvia Cup winners, John Hosek, AIFD, CAFA, CF, CFD, PFCI and Jacob McCall, AAF, AIFD, CFD, FSMD: Michigan’s own Jerome Raska, AAF, AIFD, CAFA, CF, CFD, PFCI, and Robbin Yelverton, AAF, AIFD, CAFA, CF, CFD, PFCI; and Expo favorite Neville Mackay, CAFA, PFCI, WFC.
Hands-on and design program topics will include prom and body flowers, plants, and succulents, sympathy designs, bridal bouquets, everyday arrangements, and events work. The Expo business sessions will begin with Friday’s exciting all day session with Greg Gale, MBCP. He will elaborate on his very popular talk from last year’s show, covering “Maximizing the Power of Your Personality”. This interactive, educational session uses the Myers-Briggs test to determine personality types and how to interact with your customers. Other Expo business sessions will cover how to raise profits, dealing with funeral directors, working with corporate accounts, and improving your image on social media. A round table discussion to share ideas will be held after which the all attendees will receive an email containing all the ideas shared at this session.
One of the highlights each year is the MFA design contest. Designers can earn cash prizes, certificates, and recognition in The Professional Florist magazine. The 2016 contest will have divisions for high school and college students, professionals, and Academy designers. Designers will also have a chance to participate for prizes in the tablescape competition.
The GLFE schedule is full of special events. The trade show marketplace will showcase the latest in products and services. There is a book fair full of all things floral, the AIFD Showcase presented by the North Central AIFD chapter, and a display created by Certified Florists.
In addition, the Michigan Floral Association will hold its annual meeting on Sunday, March 7. This is an opportunity for members to learn what the association has done in the past year and plans for the future.
Florists are urged to register early. Registration Online Today!