Go After Grads

Cue Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance. It’s just about time to toss the caps in the air.

Graduation may not be a major boon to florists, at least not compared to other spring events (Easter, Administrative Professionals Week, Mother’s Day, prom). But there’s still a place for flowers during this milestone ritual.

I remember when I crossed the stage to receive my diploma, I was handed a hibiscus, which my class had voted as our class flower. (Well, actually, we made the moronic choice of “poison ivy,” but school officials wisely went with the runner up selection.) The next day, my parents hosted a party, complete with a couple centerpieces.

In the next week or two, consider calling your local schools to see if they’d like to offer graduates a flower (or lei—a popular look on the west coast) during their ceremonies. Also make some simple centrepieces in local high school colors (as well as your state’s universities) and advertise them online as the perfect finishing touch for graduation parties.

Here’s another idea, courtesy of Rick Rivers (aka “The Bootcamp Guy” for readers active on our message boards). Encourage grads to buy and advertise your flowers by running a selfie contest. Rivers, the owner of A Floral Boutique in Ormond Beach, Florida, asks teens to post photos of themselves holding flowers on social media and tag the shop and mention it in a hashtag. (Consider adding some bud vases, or other offerings budget friendly designs, to your website to make this more enticing for teens with little spending money.) He draws a random winner for a $50 Visa gift card. “We attempt to gain attention anytime there’s an event,” he said of the low-cost promotion.

For more tips and strategies from Rivers, don’t miss the Canadian Florist Business Forum, May 29. Click here for tickets.