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Floral Marketplace and rousing reception on horizon at PMA Fresh Summit

The 2018 Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit Convention & Expo is one of the hottest tickets of the year for the mass-market floral community. The floral lineup in Orlando, FL, Oct. 18-20 features more than 130 exhibitors in the new Floral Marketplace, over 80 confirmed floral buyers to date, a Floral “Flamingle” Reception, inspirational Forums for the Future speakers, and more.

Fresh Summit is where the entire floral supply chain that supports the U.S. retail market meets to buy, sell, network and have fun. And this year’s event promises more of all of that.

PMA-FLORALThe Floral Pavilion at the 2017 PMA Fresh Summit in New Orleans was the visual center of the show floor. This year, the expanded Floral Marketplace will be a show-within-a-show and floral floor space has increased by 10,000 square feet over previous years. Floral buyers, sellers, breeders and growers will come together in an expanded show-within-a-show Floral Marketplace located in a dedicated area on the Fresh Summit show floor. Floral floor space has increased by 10,000 square feet over previous years.

Fresh Summit provides an opportunity for those across the mass-market floral supply chain to see what’s new and what’s next. Breeders and growers interested in entering, or expanding in, the U.S. floral retail market will have an opportunity to connect with buyers.

The Floral Marketplace includes 35 new exhibitors, and the Floral Fresh Ideas Showcase features innovative floral products and services. At the center of the Floral Marketplace is a lounge, which will provide a dedicated area for floral buyers — as well as space for attendees — to network, recharge and conduct business.

On Friday night, Oct. 19, the floral community is invited to the Flamingle Reception to enjoy food, drinks, entertainment, and networking with movers and shakers. The 2018 Floral Marketer of the Year Award, which honors lifetime efforts to advance and improve the mass-market floral industry, will be presented at the reception.

“This year, we really pulled out the stops and planned a floral reception we hope participants won’t soon forget,” said Debora Coleman, vice president of floral for retailer Alberton’s Cos. and chair of PMA’s Floral Council.

“Floral is a serious business; however, our community is connected through products that are about celebrations, fostering well-being, and making people happier through beautiful, colorful products. So, the Flamingle is our turn to celebrate our industry, ourselves, and our Floral Marketer of the Year.”

Fresh Summit is the global produce and floral industry’s largest gathering in the Americas. More than 1,200 exhibiting companies overall from around the globe will participate in this year’s record-setting expo.

All-Access Pass holders can attend PMA’s new “Forums for the Future,” which feature four big voices — from both inside and outside the industry — speaking on big topics that impact our industry. Forum speakers have proven track records in their respective fields inspiring others, making good decisions under pressure, being pioneers and entrepreneurs. The lessons they will share are applicable across all industries.

Cathy Burns, PMA’s chief executive officer, will open the convention Thursday, Oct. 18, with the first Forum for the Future. Burns will highlight emerging produce and floral trends in her State of the Industry address, including developments across science and technology, talent, and demand creation.

Two additional Forums for the Future will be held Oct. 18 and those speakers will be announced soon. Between the Forums for the Future, PMA will host “Experience Extensions,” which are times to connect with peers, join industry leaders in informal conversations about hot topics, or take part in discussions around the critical topics facing our industry. One of these will focus on transportation challenges facing the floral industry. Then the Global Street Festival Welcoming Reception will take place from 5-6:30 p.m.

On Fri., Oct. 19, Peyton Manning, two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, five-time Most Valuable Player of the National Football League, and 14-time Pro Bowl selection, will share how he has motivated, inspired and lead others through adversity.

Manning will present “Lessons in Leadership Both On and Off the Field” from 8:15-9:45 a.m., then the expo doors are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Immediately following, the Floral Flamingle Reception takes place at 6:15 p.m.

Sat., Oct. 20, begins with the Center for Growing Talent’s Women’s Fresh Perspectives Leadership Breakfast and separate registration is required. This event typically sells out, so register early if interested in attending. Finally, the expo show floor is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Early-bird registration discounts end Sept. 14. Visit pma.com to register or call 302-738-7100.

 Lisa McVey is public relations manager at the Produce Marketing Association. She can be contacted at LMcVey@pma.com.