Changes Are in Store for the Floral Distribution Conference

Molly Alton Mullins, WF&FSA Executive Vice President


Molly Alton Mullins HeadshotEach year hundreds of wholesale florists and floral suppliers attend FDC, WF&FSA’s Floral Distribution Conference. This event has taken place for many years in Miami and attendance continues to grow, to more than 770 wholesale floral professionals in 2017. WF&FSA leadership is very proud of this success and wants to ensure that FDC continues to meet the needs of the ever-evolving WF&FSA membership and industry at large. So what does this mean? Well, some big changes are coming to FDC. 

So, what’s about to happen?

Wholesaler Incentives. We want to encourage more wholesalers to attend FDC and experience all the exceptional growers, importers, suppliers and partners who exhibit at the Table Tops. 

How will WF&FSA encourage more wholesalers to attend?

  • WF&FSA will offer a buy-one, get-one incentive for ALL attending wholesalers. This has never been done before and will provide an opportunity for more wholesalers at the show.
  • Any wholesaler who has not attended FDC since 2010 will be allowed to attend the show free of charge to see firsthand everything FDC has to offer.
  • To help reduce additional costs, WF&FSA will also provide a contest for a free hotel stay open to all registered wholesalers. All wholesaler promotions will run through June 15. 



    2017 Fdc

What other changes are in store?

Table Tops. We want to protect and promote the exceptional suppliers who purchase Table Tops and ensure the best possible experience for all WF&FSA attendees.

  • Only WF&FSA members will be able to secure Table Tops in 2018. This will provide an opportunity to properly vet each company through WF&FSA’s membership criteria. And, you save money exhibiting as a member which makes it a win-win for everyone!
  • Only suppliers affiliated with a WF&FSA-approved exhibiting Table Top company will be allowed to register for the Conference. No other suppliers will be allowed in the Table Tops.
  • WF&FSA is also working to attract additional types of suppliers that do business with WF&FSA members. Look for new exhibitors in 2018!

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Last year we heard from some attendees that it was difficult to attend FDC as it overlapped with the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit. As a result, we shifted FDC one day earlier this year (October 16-18 instead of October 17-19, 2018) to avoid a direct overlap, among other changes. Stay tuned as there is more to come. 

Please know we take your comments and suggestions very seriously and we want to ensure we plan an event that benefits ALL WF&FSA members. Please look for FDC registration to open in early May and we encourage wholesalers to register early to take advantage of these money-saving incentives. 

If you have comments, I would love to hear from you at mmullins@wffsa.org. See you in Miami this October for an exceptional FDC 2018!

Molly Alton Mullins is the Executive Vice President of WF&FSA. Contact Molly at mmullins@wffsa.org or 410-940-6360.

Share your thoughts on the 2018 FDC changes below!

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8 Comments

Kimberly Tozier on Wednesday 04/04/2018 at 02:18PM wrote:

Our company regulary attended the WF&FSA conference for several years, however we have not had a presence there for more than ten years. When the dates were changed to the month of October it became impossible to attend because the conference falls during the Christmas production season; our busiest time of year.

Keith Taylor on Wednesday 04/04/2018 at 05:33PM wrote:

October is one of the most crucial months in a wholesaler's fiscal year and the mandate should be "all hands on deck". Ditto Kimberly. Truthfully, love to see my competition management leave town.

Marla O'Dell WF&FSA President on Wednesday 04/04/2018 at 05:38PM wrote:

We are all super excited about all of the changes taking place for the 2018 WF&FSA Floral Distribution Conference (FDC). As a long time member and attendee at FDC and current member of the Board, I am very familiar with all of the advantages of attending. The changes will allow more industry peers to attend the event and take advantage of the invaluable networking and education. Hope you can join us! Spread the word! Thanks.

Tom J. Wolfe, Sr. on Wednesday 04/04/2018 at 06:11PM wrote:

Don't like the date change at all. I was able to get some work done at home on Monday and part of Tuesday, but now it kills the whole week. I used to take a vacation day on Saturday to enjoy Miami, flying home on Sunday, but now I will need to leave on Thursday to fly back to work. PMA should not dictate the FDC dates. Really unhappy about this!

Tom Wolfe, Jr. on Thursday 04/05/2018 at 09:08AM wrote:

I am excited about the convention as always, but I feel that shifting the conference a day ahead is detrimental to the wholesalers. There is much work to be done on Monday and Tuesday to ensure that our operations run efficiently in our absence. I understand the importance of PMA, but I'm only in Miami for WFFSA.

Robert Shibata on Monday 05/07/2018 at 03:27PM wrote:

Apologies for a long post.
The above replies are about two different topics.
The first comments refer to a change that was made in 2011 when the Conference was moved to October. Understanding that no date is perfect for everyone, October had the least conflict with other industry events at that time.

I've attended the WF&FSA convention from 2006 until now. There is no comparison between "then" and now. 120 people then, nearly 800 now. 50 vendors exhibited then, 128 vendors last year. Lack of direction for the association then, forward, focused, strategic thinking now. A traditional 4 night convention then, a two night power packed floral Conference now.

October is one of our busiest months since we carry a full line of Christmas products. Yet we make time for our Sr. managers to attend WF&FSA for a couple of days to connect with the rest of the industry. (Last year there were 10 company meetings)

The second topic is the FDC schedule change to Tues - Thurs (previously Wed - Fri.) This change was made to avoid overlap with the PMA Convention, which affects both vendors and attendees. WF&FSA might be able to change the Conference to a different week in the future, but it was not possible for this year.

Although Tue - Thurs is not optimum, two for one registrations (or free one if you haven't attended since 2010) and a free room raffle help. In addition, the program and table top exhibitors will be amongst the best WF&FSA's ever had.

I would encourage everyone to go. C'mon Keith - grace us with your presence for a couple of days. I think you'd enjoy the table tops especially.

Lenny Walker on Monday 05/07/2018 at 03:51PM wrote:

Thanks for changing the days for the conference. Being able to be back in the office on Friday helps improve the work life balance for many of us. I see traveling back home on Thursday much easier and an added benefit and cost saver.

Rob Shibata on Wednesday 05/09/2018 at 12:54PM wrote:

If October doesn't work for you, WF&FSA has more to offer than just the Conference. Consider Management Institute (M.I.) from Aug 1-3 in SoCal. http://wffsa.org/aws/WFFSA/pt/sp/mgmtinstitute

There will be one and half days of education and networking. The day before M.I., there is an optional event called the “Emerging Leaders Road Trip”. Its a blast! Basically a bus load of industry people visit 4 or 5 local floral companies to get an idea of what the industry is like in the region.

This year the tour will include stops at the LA Flower Market, Gelson’s Supermarket, Mellano & Co, and Kendall Farms. The day will end with a sunset dinner overlooking Kendall Farms.

There are two scholarships available for M.I.: The Mike Garcia scholarship & the Laura Kantakis scholarship. Both will cover the registration fee and hotel.

WF&FSA is on a roll. Come and see what it is all about.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the comments shown above are those of the individual comment authors and do not reflect the opinions of this organization.