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SAF Annual Convention meets Sept. 12-15 in California

Last year, Hurricane Irma forced the cancellation of the Society of American Florists’ Annual Convention in Palm Beach, FL, so this year they’ll be convening in the desert during SAF Palm Springs Sept. 12-15 at the Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, CA.

“It’s been way too long since I’ve seen some of my dearest friends and colleagues,” Cheryl Denham, chief executive officer and owner at Arizona Family Florist in Phoenix, said in a press release. “I have left every convention a better and more empowered person, and the information I’ve learned is immeasurable.”

New this year will be a Field to Vase Networking Dinner, Design Demos, Experience Zones, Tech SOS, Sunrise Yoga, and a Next-Gen Reception.

“I dreamed of going to one of these Field to Vase Dinners, so this is very exciting,” said Heather Waits in the release, owner at Bloomtastic Flowers & Events in Columbus, OH. “What a memorable experience for those who attend the SAF convention.”

During the Design Demos, convention participants will have one hour to rotate through five stations where an experienced designer demonstrates an advanced technique.

“This is a fabulous way to gain extra knowledge we can take back to our team at the store to better the experience we offer our customers,” Waits said.

Experience Zones are mini demonstrations between sessions where participants can learn quick tips on a variety of topics including how to use Outstanding Varieties flowers in everyday designs, how to up your engagement on Instagram, terrarium bars made easy and quick exercises to reduce fatigue and backaches.

“These mini demos are genius,” Denham said. “To interact with experts is such a great way to literally learn ‘hands on.’ Plus, you get to have one-on-one conversation with others in the industry and share ideas. I think creativity comes when you are simultaneously using your mind and your hands in unison.”

In addition, on the convention schedule there will be 51 educational sessions, and Outstanding Varieties Competition, a Supplier Expo, the Sylvia Cup Design Competition, a Premier Products Showcase, as well as the SAF President’s Welcome Party, Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner and Afterglow Party.

“SAF’s annual convention is an investment in myself,” said Waits. “A great refresh button and a chance to learn what others are doing, and what I can do to better support my team.”

Early-bird registration ends Aug. 17 and saves you $205.

To learn more, go to