Highlighting the individuals & attitudes that define the floral industry.
While topics like color trends and sustainability dominate the discussions that take place across the floral industry, it’s the people who are having these conversations that actually define this community. How are merchandizers approaching challenges that are unique to their team or organization? Do category managers see changes to buying patterns around the major holidays? What does it mean for high-volume buyers to get ahead of a given trend? Should you ever check your email after hours? These are the types of questions we’ll be asking on the Floral Talk podcast.
Every month, we’ll showcase the thoughts and perspectives of someone in the floral industry or someone who has insights that are relevant to this community. A mix of personal and professional, these conversations are designed to facilitate further connections at Floriexpo itself, where you’ll be able to jump right into a conversation with one of our guests.
We’ll be launching the first podcast in February, and if you have any suggestions for an interview, please do get in touch. To give you a sense of the type of conversations you’ll soon be able to hear, we asked Floriexpo Key Buyer Coordinator Autumn Dubel a few questions. Find out how she’s approaching her Key Buyer conversations, where other than Ft. Lauderdale she’s headed this year and much more.
Floriexpo: How are some of the trends we’re seeing in 2023 related to color and sustainability impacting the Key Buyer conversations you’re having?
Autumn Dubel: Sustainability is a big one, because that term means so many different things to so many different people. It’s also changed over the past years. Making the floral industry more “sustainable” had typically been about less packaging or using products that are made out of something like sugarcane, but recently there’s been more talk about carbon footprints and the impact on supply chain logistics. So everyone wants to know if what they’re seeing with this evolution of the topic is being reflected elsewhere.
For color, there’s lots of questions of how we’ll address things like Pantone’s Color of the Year, which is Viva Magenta for 2023. It’s been great to talk through how that is set to anchor the Education Day sessions.
What’s something that’s surprised you about the floral industry as you’ve learned more about the people and trends that define it?
I couldn’t believe how deep decisions about flowers at my grocery store actually go! As someone without a background in floral, I thought what flowers and products were in the floral section of the supermarket was more of less of a standard, and you’d get the same stuff everywhere. I now know that is definitely not the case and it’s been enlightening to hear about what buyers are thinking about when making these decisions.
Outside of that, I was initially surprised to see how many different types of people make up this industry. There really isn’t one type of personality or profile that all of our key buyers fit into, and coming into this job I thought that was going to be the case. That’s been great to see though, because it shows how much variety and passion goes it.
Since you’ll literally be working on your trip to Florida for Floriexpo, what are your plans for an actual vacation this year?
I absolutely love going to different places around the world. This year I am very excited to be going to Italy. I look forward to exploring the smaller fishing villages of the southern coast, taking a cooking class or two, and making a wish in the Trevi Fountain.
How do you explain your job to anyone who isn’t in the industry?
First, I have to talk them all the way through what goes into organizing and running a trade show. It’s always way more then they think!
When it comes to my role in terms of engaging with the buyers, category mangers and merchandisers that define our Key Buyer Program, it’s actually pretty easy because they quickly understand the value of an event that is specific to this audience. We’re proud of the fact that Floriexpo is really the only event exclusively dedicated to this category of the floral industry. There’s literally nothing else at this show, but that’s a good thing because we can go that much deeper and get more specific. And the value of that is something that’s easy to explain to anyone.
Most recent favorite video on TikTok?
Videos about cooking and recipes are my favorite, I could watch them all day. I don’t have a favorite video, but Erin O’Brien (@erinnobrienn) is my absolute favorite creator. She creates amazing recipes that are delicious, easy to make, and she always has fun with it.
What kind of feedback have you gotten from previous event attendees around why they keep coming back to attend?
I can’t tell you how many people talk about how they love being able to stop by each and every single booth at Floriexpo, and many attendees do exactly that because they know everyone has something relevant to them, even if they don’t have a fit or the need at moment for that product. They also talk about how important it is for them to see these products in real life and have conversation with suppliers that they are or will be working with.
That face-to-face networking is really what people value the most through. That’s always been something we’ve highlighted as the value of our event, but I think we all saw in 2020 that it’s not just a talking point. Getting together in person matters, and people want and need to do it more than ever. And since they can do it in a place that is specific to their job and industry, it’s really a win-win.
What’s one thing you want people to know about the 2023 edition of Floriexpo?
I think the Education Sessions that our Conference Manager is putting together for this year are going to be huge. Floriexpo has always been a place to come to discover new product and network with colleagues, but we’re set to pull in speakers from outside the floral industry that can talk about things that are specifically relevant to this community. That’s going to be enlightening to attendees in ways they’re only going to realize when they’re out for the event.
So I’d say to keep an eye on that show schedule page, because there’s going to be a lot there that you need to plan on being part of!