The first gathering of florists since Covid began, organised by The Florist Magazine and Good Florist Guide, was a rip-roaring success as over 100 florists, suppliers and supporters gathered in Manchester on 16/17th October
What started as a pub gathering has, over the last three years, developed into a major conference where the industry can not only get together but, more importantly and in a very unique style, share ideas, experiences and solutions to the issues facing florists throughout the UK, whatever the size of their businesses.
The event started with a fabulous Saturday night Party, decored by the team of GFG’ers led by Conference Chairman Ian Lloyd and featuring the most fantastic flowers provided by GFG supporter John Davidson (pictured above) of Tom Brown Wholesale and The Flower Bank in Carlisle.
To say it was stylish would be an understatement, indeed when a bunch of florists walk into a room and ooh and ahh at the floral masterpieces you know it was good and the new Bloom chrysanths used were to die for …. apparently trade sales shot up on the following Monday!!
Getting into the party mood was helped by Merel and Ronald van den Burg (pictured above) of FlorismartDirect who provided the most amazing array of flowers for delegates to create their own floral creations in the pre party drinks break.
Delegates took full advantage of the fabulous flowers to create flowery designs of every style! There was even the chance for a quick lesson or two!
Judged (light heartedly of course!!) by Julia Ryde and Sarah Hills-Ingyon of the UK Floristry Judges Guild, not only was it great fun but something that saw one young florist talent spotted for her creativity and skill! Indeed, so impressed were the judges that she was invited to take part in the special Competition Workshops being held during the events as Interflora begin their Search for a Star in the Florist of the Year and World Cup championships taking place over the next two years and which are now open to EVERYONE! Watch this space as we follow her journey!!
After a night of dancing and the 30 under 30 Awards (see the winners here) on the business side delegates, most of whom made a weekend of it, were entertained, inspired, and educated by a team of speakers from across the industry on five very different but vitally important subjects.
Clockwise: Lesley Nash, Neil Whittaker, Claire Mitchell, Morgan Douglas Nuth with GFG Business Develpment Director Karen Lindsay, Caroline Marshall -Foster and Conference chairman Ian Lloyd
Morgan Douglas Nuth, who owns Old Oak Floral Designers in Ascot and London, removed the mystery of taking the perfect picture with a fun and informative session that set the pace for the Conference and saw the event featured across the social media platforms with thousands of posts.
Lesley Nash, owner of Jennifleurs in Colchester, pulled no punches when it came to Pricing for Profit, encouraging delegates to not only realise their worth but protect their margins in the face of rising costs.
Phil Suarez, by his own admission a bit of an electric van geek, managed to make what might have been a seriously boring subject both entertaining and informative and highlighted the serious cost savings and eco benefits of switching to electric transport
Claire Mitchell, one of the UK’s most successful social media gurus and entrepreneurs, spoke passionately about the way florists have a unique opportunity to engage with customers and came up with easy-to-use ways to achieve more interaction.
Ending the second day Neil Whittaker, who owns Design Element in Manchester, not only inspired the audience with a host of new packaging ideas using the fabulous range of Suttons Packaging but led the delegates in a hands-on session which, with the incredible support of Chris Wolfe from Southeast Flowers, saw over 100 florists simultaneously make a beautifully wrapped hand tied … was this a world record!! … which could be taken home and used as yet another way of ‘petalling it forward’ to create goodwill and promotion for their shops.
Take 100 florists, add in fabulous flowers and some very luxurious packaging and you have a roomful of fun!
Speaking about the event, organiser Caroline Marshall-Foster, owner of The Florist Magazine and Good Florist Guide said: “It is almost impossible to described just how fabulous it was. There is a unique essence about these events which is hard to put into words but not only was I delighted by how well it went but humbled by such a positive reaction.
To see over 100 florists, most of whom had never met before, convene in one room and share openly and willingly their experiences, their fears, and their solutions so that everyone could benefit was amazing.
I can have all the plans, ideas and spreadsheets in the world but it can only work if everyone gets involved. To know that friendships have been formed and ongoing support for each other is in place is everything I wanted to achieve; I am just so grateful for the amazing support I was lucky enough to receive to make it possible.”
The dates of the next two Florist Trade Magazine/Good Florist Guide events will be announced shortly. Given the incredible take up to this one early booking is advised! If you want to be on the VIP priority mailing list email email@example.com.
To see the full photo gallery visit the Good Florist Event page on Facebook and see how many florists you can recognise!