How to collaborate better on a post-pandemic world in the flower industry
The post-COVID world looks different for every industry, flowers have not been the exception. Events are slowly starting to come back with some restrictions but with a much-needed human interaction, connection and face to face conversations.
Last month, WFFSA Floral Distribution Conference 2021 took place under the topic “Stronger Together Better Than Ever”. Wholesalers, growers, distributors and the key players of the flower industry got together to discuss deals, strengthen the eroded relationships made pre-COVID and connect with the new kids on the block. This was actually one of the first events that happened after the pandemic crisis. Following this event, a happy hour was hosted at a local Miami brewery, Tripping Animals, which had over 7 sponsors: Flowers Cents, Berkeley Florist Supply, South Florals Groups, Above All Flowers. Speaking Roses, Native Blooms, South Florida Transit, New Bloom Solutions and Thursd.
For the flower industry, 2020 looked different than other industries. Events were canceled but people never stopped buying flowers. In fact, the flower industry has been growing for the past years. These events showed that the industry is stronger than ever and with the correct integration and technology implementation, the future of the flower industry will only bloom exponentially for the years to come.
The organizer of the happy hour WFFSA after-party, Sahid Nahim, Founder of New Bloom Solutions and with 16 years of experience in the floral industry, acted as the link to connect the main personalities of the flower industry in South Florida and beyond. Many of the participants mentioned that 2020 taught them how to implement technology in a better way but there is still work to do.
“My vision is to bring more attention to the flower industry in South Florida. Our industry truly has an impact on the economy of this country and the city of Miami and we need to make sure to keep it growing. My vision was shared by the local brewery Tripping Animals which became the first official Brewery of the flower industry offering happy hour discounts and corporate events at a special price”. Sahid said.
“As an industry, we need to start having these conversations and create a safe place to explain our difficulties and challenges to learn from each other. Education, information, collaboration and communication are key to grow”.
How to collaborate successfully?
“Collaboration to me is not seeing people as competitors or vendors or customers but to see everybody as potential partners that you can learn from or share ideas on specific projects, switching the transactional part of this business to a more inclusive framework will help build a better ecosystem.” said David Lam, Native
In order to reach more customers, build a better ecosystem and keep the industry growing, these types of initiatives should happen more often to be able to enhance those connections and move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset.
“I like being able to come out to things like these and collaborate with other vendors. The flower industry is a small world so everybody knows each other and through personas like Sahid I am able to focus more on doing things together, collaborating with retailers, wholesalers, importers. The power of togetherness is the way to go.” Danny Sánchez, South Florida Transit.
“This event was very good, I finally got out and see people which we haven’t done in a long time and it is always a good thing, hopefully, this will be the start of many more to come.” George Fernandez of U.S. Greens Stated.
“Collaboration for us means good communication from the farm, to the distributor, to the transportation and to the customer. Sometimes we are all on different pages so it’s important to be aligned so we can have the same result and make sure to provide our customers what they need. The industry will have it’s best years in 2021 and 2022 after that we need to wait and see how the market moves.”
“There are a few pioneers in the industry like Sahid Nahim and David Kaplan who are doing a good job connecting the industry talking about issues and getting face to face to discuss and collaborate. To collaborate better,we should keep these gatherings going to connect and brainstorm about the post-COVID world.” Daniel Oribe, Allure Farms.
“Whenever you bring people together to connect and learn about what they do there is a lot of common ground to find a way to work together and use contacts from people that you know for the needs people have.” Daniel said.
The event ended on a high note with all the participants exchanging new ideas about innovation, technology and collaboration for the coming year. Many things need to be done but the path in the right direction has been made.
The Bloom On happy hour was just a small example of how the floral industry can come together to celebrate all the hard work and impact our industry has on the world and our country. This event will happen again next year and with a few pop up happy hours along the way. Stay tuned to hear about Tripping Animals Floral industry happy hour specials and corporate event promotions. If you would like to be a sponsor for the next event feel free to reach out.