March 1-3

2024

DeVos Place
303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
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Hours
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Hello flower friends!

Mark your calendars and get ready for the 2024 GLFEE event, “A World of Flowers”.

Throughout the weekend, enjoy floral demonstrations from world class designers, with flowers grown around the globe, and dive into business sessions that will help you blossom, personally and professionally.
 
Make new friends, participate in classes and design contests, and leave energized and excited about your connection to the world through flowers!
 
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Hollly Haveman, Kennedy’s Flowers & Gifts

2024 GLFEE Chair

2023 GLFEE Schedule

Friday

Presenter:
Bob Negen

Sponsored by FloristWare
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

Is running your store making you frazzled, frustrated, and overwhelmed? It doesn’t have to be that way!  There is a proven process to help you get control of your business and give you the freedom you deserve. In this lively, full day Boot Camp, you will learn proven strategies and tactics to get your business to work for you, not the other way around. 

You’ll learn:

  • The power of the Retail Accountability Blueprint and how to use it to make your business much, much more efficient.
  • The secret to creating a training program that gets everyone on your team doing things the same way – your way!
  • The mindset of the most successful retailers and how it allows them to get A LOT more done and at the same time work A LOT less.
  • And much, much more!

If you love your business but feel like it’s taken over your life, or even if you have a business that runs well but you want to make it run even smoother, this program is for you!

Instructor:
Jackie Lacey AAF, AIFD, CFD, PFCI

Special Guest:
Derek Woodruff AAF, AIFD, CF, PFCI

Sponsored by BloomNet & Syndicate Sales
Hands-On Workshop
Location: River Overlook A/B

In Today’s market you need multiple items doing multiple work. Gone are the days of having certain containers and set piece hardware for each typical theme. Today we need to have one container that can work in any theme, any setting. As we look at what the market demand is today and will be tomorrow, we see backdrops still hanging on and the return to “It’s not done till it is overdone” for fewer guest and in more settings. 

  • Has the wedding arched peaked?
  • How do we dress a stage and then reset the scene for the reception?
  • Show me the money in a backdrop!
  • The mechanics of an event.

Join Jackie Lacey as he sets the scene for what’s to come and how to be prepared to pivot.

Each student will have a chance to win one of the many arches created during this class.  Students will create smaller items to take home as well as being able to tag a few pieces to take home that are used during the Saturday Main stage show.  

* Additional Fees Apply, Bring Your Tools.   

Presenter:
Doug Bates AIFD, CF, CFD

Sponsored by DWF
Hands-On Workshop
Location: River Overlook A/B

Looking for something fun and funky? Doug will show you and teach students quick and easy way to make YOUR prom flowers stand out from the crowd with decorative wire, acrylic chains, and assorted accessories.

* Additional Fees Apply, Bring Your Tools.   

Presenter:
Renato Sogueco AAF, PFCI

Presenter:
Jackie Lacey AAF, AIFD, CFD, PFCI

Presenter:
Jessica Kegerreis

Sponsored by BloomNet 
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

Nothing sells your floral masterpieces more than an absolute gorgeous photo. Customers want to “see” what they’re buying, so you need a reliable set up in your shop to consistently capture high-quality flower photos to provide optimal presentations on your website and social media.   

In this engaging session, Renato, Jessica and Jackie demonstrate how to efficiently set-up, light and photograph your product using equipment they use for catalog and environmental photoshoots. Aside from basic photography best practices, you’ll get the scoop on peripheral gadgets ideal for mobile shooting, software and app tools they use to edit photos and best social media practices.

Social Session
Location: River Overlook Foyer

We’ll have fun and games accompanied by a playlist that will get your heart and soul
pumping. There will be chances to win a drink from the cash bar, plus a chance to win the Grand Prize of a Plaza Dream package overnight stay at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, all while enjoying some scrumptious hors d’oeuvres and conversations!

Saturday

Presenter:
Jenny Thomasson AAF, AIFD, EMC, PFCI

Sponsored by Teleflora
Hands-On Workshop
Location: River Overlook A

Modern weddings and Brides call for an updated twist on the usual. We will study and create a beautiful and contemporary wedding bouquet featuring some European tricks and techniques with a structural Armature.

* Additional Fees Apply, Bring Your Tools. 

 

Presenter:
Ace Berry AIFD, PFCI, TMF

Presenter:
Patience Pickner AIFD, CFD, PFCI, SDCF

Sponsored by Flower Shop Network
Hands-On Workshop
Location: River Overlook B

Create a gorgeous crescent bridal bouquet then learn the secrets behind getting all the shots and videos you need for your social media posts, ads and reels! Model and background included! You don’t want to miss this fun and informative hands on class! 

* Additional Fees Apply, Bring Your Tools.

Presenter:
Andrew Stinson AIFD, CFD

Sponsored by Mayesh Wholesale
Hands-On Workshop
Location: River Overlook C

Learn how to add a little southern charm into your sympathy designs as well as incorporate keepsake items for a profitable markup.

* Additional Fees Apply, Bring Your Tools.

Presenter:
Bob Negen

Sponsored by Floristware
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

In this thought-provoking session, you will learn a step-by-step process to discover and document what you want from your business and for your life. This is a hands-on session where you will think, dream, imagine, and most importantly, create the first draft of your vision of retail success. 

Once you have a crystal clear, super-compelling picture of what your ideal business looks like, you will feel an almost unstoppable energy to go make it happen. Your session leader, Bob Negen, has helped hundreds of retailers craft their visions and has seen first-hand the mind-blowing results this process produces.

Presenter:
Dr. Melinda Knuth

Sponsored by American Floral Endowment 
Main Stage Design Show
Location: Steelcase Ballroom B

Sustainability is a hot topic as of late. What are the factors affecting whether sustainable practices are implemented or suppressed? In this session, you’ll learn about the positive and negative pressures that are influencing the sustainable practices used the floriculture industry. Additionally, Dr. Knuth will discuss the goals and outputs of American Floral Endowment’s Sustainability Program.

Presenter:
Bob Negen

Sponsored by Floristware
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

New customers are the lifeblood of any retail business. But as big brands get more and more sophisticated, getting new customers gets harder – and more expensive – UNLESS you know what to do. In this fun, engaging program you will learn a simple, inexpensive, incredibly effective way to get customers in your store for almost nothing. 

This is an interesting, information-packed session where you’ll learn to use the humble gift certificate to bring in a flood of new customers, how to turn those pesky donation requests into hyper-loyal new customers, how to partner with other local businesses to get their customers into your store, and much, much more!

Presenter:
Jerome Raska AAF, AIFD, CF. CFD, PFCI

Sponsored by CalFlowers & FloraCraft
Main Stage Design Show
Location: Steelcase Ballroom B

One of the most exciting events at GLFEE is the Designer of the Year contest. Five outstanding floral designers from the Professional Division will compete for the title using identical materials.  A distinguished panel of judges will choose the winner who will be announced at the banquet on Saturday night.  Be sure to attend, cheer on your favorite, and be inspired by the fabulous design work. 

Presenter:
William Santos

Sponsored by Monarch Garden & Floral Design
Main Stage Design Show
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

Displays are the most important aspect of retail design. Learn ways to create displays that capture customers’ attention. Using big designs as inspiration and implementing them into our stores in a creative way. We will also play with ways to make budget-friendly designs.  

Presenter:
Helen Miller AIFD, CF, CFD

Presenter:
Derek Woodruff AAF, AIFD, CF, CFD, PFCI

Sponsored by Syndicate Sales
Main Stage Design Show
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

Today’s sympathy market is increasingly focused on the celebration of life. Telling a life story, florists can help a family through those difficult times with creative and meaningful flower arrangements.

Let Helen and Derek guide you through Sympathy Stylings for the home, multipurpose designs,

How to incorporate keepsakes, selling techniques, and alternative mechanics.

Presenter:
Bob Negen

Sponsored by Floristware
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

The simplest and most cost-effective way to increase your sales is to sell more to the customers you already have. This program teaches you simple, proven methods to mine your current customer base, the “Diamonds In Your Own Backyard.”

In this fun, energetic session you will learn a simple way to quickly build a huge customer database (this is critical to your long term success), how to quickly and easily implement a fantastic customer loyalty program, and a ton of simple customer service techniques to keep your customers shopping with you again, and again, and again.

Presenter:
Jennifer Linehan CF,CFD

Sponsored by Certified Florist Program
Main Stage Design Show
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

Watch three Certified Florist create designs you can sell in your stores everyday of the year.  They’ll show you the different techniques used to create the designs. Jen Linehan, Certified Florist of the Year in 2017 will talk about the importance of branding yourself as a professional and how the CF program can do this for you.  You’ll take how some great design ideas as well as inspiration and reasons to become a Certified Florist!  

Presenter:
Brenda Sterk

Sponsored by Eastern Floral
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

We’ve put together a panel of some of the industry’s best shop owners and designers from real life floral shops.  Come with your questions from your real life floral experiences.  The panel will provide answers and offer their perspectives and new ideas. 

Presenter:
Jackie Lacey AAF, AIFD, CFD, PFCI

Sponsored by BloomNet
Main Stage Design Show
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

Today’s wedding event is anything and everything. From the backyard to the pavilion and everywhere in between – today’s event is a celebration that is diverse/inclusive and all about ME.

  • What trends are we seeing that add style while taking into consideration inflation, supply challenges and sustainability? 
  • Outside to inside – above and below – from the left to the right
  • Say “I Do” to personal style, the aisle is yours
  • Maximalism is back in style for 2023

Table décor, aisle dressing, arches with pizazz and bouquets for the day. This is not your momma’s event, and the budgets are tight to twisted. 

Presenter:
Cliff McClumpha

Sponsored by Hyacinth House
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

Come join me to learn new and modern ways to increase your plant sales and profitability. The market and economy is changing constantly, so it’s important as a business owner to ensure you’re maximizing your profits every chance you can. You will not only learn (or get a refresher on) actions you can take inside the store, but you will also learn about new platforms that the younger generations are using to purchase goods and services to help adapt to the evolving market.

Social Session
Location: Tradeshow Room

Get a new headshot, meet new floral connections and find new inspiration at the President’s Reception. 

Social Session
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

Enjoy a delicious 4-course meal as we celebrate the new Certified Florist members and present the GLFA industry awards and announce the 2023 design contest winners.

Social Session
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

All are welcome to close the evening with great LIVE classic rock from “Straight Shot” with Kent Lavengood & friends. You won’t want to miss spending a couple of hours winding down with friends and this great band after a busy day at the GLFEE.

Sunday

Presenter:
Andrew Stinson AIFD, CFD

Sponsored by Mayesh Wholesale
Hands-On Workshop
Location: River Overlook A

This is a chance to learn techniques to help you appeal to the modern bride with new and innovative ways to wear flowers. From pocket squares to flower crowns, this class will help you be more efficient in design to maximize your profits.

* Additional Fees Apply, Bring Your Tools. 

Presenter:
Helen Miller AIFD, CF, CFD, PFCI

Sponsored by Syndicate Sales
Hands-On Workshop
Location: River Overlook B

Foliage is one of the newest exciting trends for today! This class will be using different methods of leaf manipulation to give your designs high visual impact and a modern-day twist. Learn many creative techniques that can be used as decorative, functional, or architectural elements that will make you stand out from your competition!

* Additional Fees Apply, Bring Your Tools. 

Presenter:
Jennifer Linehan CF, CFD

Sponsored by DWF
Hands-On Workshop
Location: River Overlook C

Take your wedding and event business to the next level by offering rental items. Learn where to purchase, how to price, and how to write rental contracts.  You’ll design a beautiful centerpiece to take home in a rental vase. 

* Additional Fees Apply, Bring Your Tools. 

Presenter:
Mike Huggett

Sponsored by American Takii
Main Stage Design Show
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

Establishing lines of communication throughout the entire supply chain can greatly influence how new products become a reality. In this presentation, Mike will illustrate how you, the professional designer, can ultimately impact the products you use and how the consumer will benefit. Learn about Takii & Company and its 185 years of breeding excellence and the rigorous process that experimental and pre-commercial products are subjected to before receiving commercial 

Presenter:
Bob Negen

Sponsored by Floristware
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

A team full of retail superstars giving each customer an exceptional experience is an independent retailer’s biggest competitive advantage. But a team excited by your vision, with a clear understanding of how things are done, and a high level of execution doesn’t happen by accident.  It happens when you, the owner, understand a proven process, make a commitment to your vision, and do the work that needs to be done.  

This eye-opening program explores what you can do to take your team, your culture, and your business to the next level!

Presenter:
Jenny Thomasson AAF, AIFD, EMC, PFCI

Sponsored by Teleflora
Main Stage Design Show
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

Taking a journey together on building a unique and special wedding day. Jenny will demonstrate how to sell, create and produce a wedding from start to finish as well as some truly unique bouquets to liven up your creativity. 

Presenter:
Renato Sogueco AAF, PFCI

Presenter:
Jessica Kegerreis

Sponsored by BloomNet
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

Do you incorporate sustainable practices in your floral business? More than ever, today’s consumers purposely direct their dollars to businesses they feel are earth and socially-conscious friendly. 

Attend this can’t miss session as Jessica and Renato, share best sustainable practices such as sourcing flowers locally, practical recycling, reuse of materials and more. They’ll also share how you can leverage social media and hold in-store events, to effectively communicate and engage with customers to showcase your shop’s sustainability. 

And there’s more! They will also preview research from an on-going landmark study on Sustainability and the flower industry, funded by the Floral Marketing Fund managed by the American Floral Endowment (AFE).

Presenter:
Bob Negen

Sponsored by Floristware & Great Lakes Floral Foundation
Main Stage Keynote Business Session
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

A tidal wave of change has swept over the retail industry in the last decade. The biggest drivers of retail success are no longer location, location, location… They are originality, authenticity, adaptability, and creativity. The top independent retailers are finding ways to take the best of traditional brick and mortar stores and add today’s game-changing technology to design businesses that deliver amazing customer experiences and generate massive revenue. They are giving customers many ways to connect, engage, and buy from their brand – including but not limited to shopping in a physical store. 

 

Presenter:
Patience Pickner AIFD, CFD, PFCI, SDCF

Presenter:
Ace Berry AIFD, PFCI, TMF

Sponsored by Flower Shop Network
Main Stage Design Show
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

A blend of two design styles… Romantic, earthy and organic, meets architectural, modern and Tropical Nuevo.  Join us as we create some of our favorite wedding designs plus showcase some of our favorite wedding trends for 2023! 

Presenter:
Samantha Belonga CF

Sponsored by St. Ignace In Bloom
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

Social media video content platforms…they are here to stay and you DON’T have to be afraid of them! Whether you have recently jumped into the Instagram and TikTok pools or you’re already doing Friday dances and 30 day Reels challenges, this class will help you turn your dance moves into sales! Your target audience is ON these platforms and that means you need to show up, engage and turn your followers into customers. Join us as we go through strategy, ideas, and even some silly videos to make your social media a money maker for your business.

Presenter:
Jacob McCall AAF, AIFD, CFD, FSMD, PFCI

Sponsored by FTD
Main Stage Design Show
Location: Steelcase Ballroom A

Don’t you just love that moment when a customer asks you to create something artistic and inspired for them?! In this program, Jacob shares tips and tricks for upselling, designing over-the-top arrangements cost effectively and delivering the most bang for the customer’s buck. Join Jacob as he creates everyday designs, and then takes them to the next level with his dramatic flair!

Presenter:
Dr. Melinda Knuth

Sponsored by AFE
Business Session
Location: River Overlook E/F

Join Dr. Melinda Knuth for an interactive workshop to identify common themes and perceptions of sustainability in your sector of the floriculture industry. This session seeks to serve as an opportunity to provide feedback on what you see makes an impact or not when it comes to sustainability in your business and voice questions you’d like answers to.

Get Social on Saturday

President’s Reception

President's Reception

Get a Professional Head Shot taken while networking with friends before the Banquet!

Do you hate having your portrait taken?

If so, we have the photographer you’ve been waiting for, Russ Climie from Tiberius Images. For nearly 20 years he has helped those that hate having their photo taken look confident and feel comfortable in front of the camera. He even guarantees that the next photo he takes of you will be your favorite!” 

Sponsored by: Experience Grand Rapids

Blooming Desert Recognition Banquet

Banquet Dinner

Come join fellow attendees as we transport into a “Blooming Desert” of the Sahara. Enjoy a delicious 4-course meal as we celebrate the new Certified Florist members and present the GLFA industry awards and announce the 2023 design contest winners. You’ll be sure to have a “Blooming” good time.

*Additional fees apply unless you register with a weekend Value Pass

Rock & Roll Afterglow

Rock & Roll Afterglow

All are welcome to close the evening with great LIVE classic Rock from “Straight Shot” with Kent Lavengood and friends. You won’t want to miss spending a couple of hours winding down with friends and this great band after a busy day at the GLFEE.

The afterglow is open to all registered GLFEE attendees 

Stay the Weekend

Amway Grand
Plaza Hotel

Traveling to the GLFEE? Need a Place to stay? Book a room at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel by Hilton. 

Book early and save on your booking with the exclusive GLFEE Early Bird Discount. Click below for event pricing.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be made 48 hours prior to arrival in order to avoid a one night’s room and tax fee.

Silent Auction

The Silent Auction is for big-ticket items!

Items like a “Consultant/Designer for a Day,” imagine having your own presentation by a professional consultant or designer in your shop for the day.  Other options might be “Wine and Dine” as someones dinner guest, or bid on concert and sporting events tickets!  No items are too small or too big.  

Help support Industry education by donating an item to the Silent Auction. Download the Donation Form to submit your item.

Attend as a Volunteer

Volunteer at this year's GLFEE

Volunteers will receive a volunteer time card from the registration desk when they arrive onsite. Volunteers are
required to have the Committee Chair for whichever committee they work for sign and document their “hours worked” on their time card. 

After the GLFEE, committee volunteers who work a minimum of 20 hours are welcome to submit their documented and signed time cards to the GLFA office for reimbursement of 50% of their weekend only pass registration fee.  

Thank You 2024 Sponsors

GLFEE Title Sponsors

GLFEE Platinum Session Sponsors

GLFEE Gold Session Sponsor

GLFEE Silver Session Sponsors

GLFEE Gold Exhibitor Sponsors

GLFEE Silver Exhibitor Sponsors