The 27th annual International Floriculture Expo (IFE) has come to the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans this week. This massive four-day trade event bills itself as “the leading trade show, education resource and connecting point for the floral industry.”
It’s the only US trade event that brings people from every aspect of the floriculture industry together under one roof. The floral marketplace is always evolving, ever-changing, so these events are important to stay competitive and up-to-date with the latest trends. IFE just so happens to be one of the biggest as it showcases new products and offers educational events and networking opportunities within the cut flower industry.
Who is IFE for?
If you’re an exhibitor, you’ll get the chance to get up-close with major decision makers and buyers. It’s only open to registered members of the trade industry, but those that qualify shouldn’t miss out. This still consists of quite a wide range including mass market buyers, supermarkets, distributors, commercial growers, greenhouses, designers, event planners, nurseries, retail florists, and many others.
Thanks to programs like IFE’s Key Buyer Program, the event is one of the world’s most attractive to major floral buyers. They are offered complimentary hotel rooms and air fare to make sure they can attend the event and make important buying decisions stress-free. There are also events specifically for buyers like the Buyer Walkabout where for one hour only serious buyers are allowed on the expo floor. These buyers are the real-deal, too, as they are all pre-screened.
What Can Attendees Expect?
A big focus at IFE is education. That’s why they dedicate an entire day to educational events and keynote speeches put on by expert merchandisers, floral buyers, designers, and executives who are there to share industry insights and tips.
The other three days include events and exhibits. With over 225 exhibitors there is a wide range of innovative varieties and new products to check out. These days are all about networking and making connections that will last long after IFE is over.
There are also many special events for those attending including Center Stage Design Demonstrations, an Iron Designer Competition, and the Annual International Floriculture Expo Flower Naming Ceremony.
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