April 21-22: One Weekend, Two Great Conferences

Could you use a jolt of inspiration?

Mark your calendar for April 21 and 22, when a dynamic lineup of presenters descend on St. Catharines, Ontario, mere minutes away from beautiful Niagara Falls.

The weekend combines two conferences — the Canadian Florist Business Forum and the Niagara International Association of Florists’ Design Show — offering florists a well rounded curriculum covering such topics as sales, marketing, visual merchandising, customer service, management, e-commerce, weddings, trends, and design techniques.

The Canadian Florist Business Forum kicks off the weekend, running from 8 a.m to 5 p.m., Saturday, April 21 at the Holiday Inn & Suites Parkway Conference Centre.


“This year’s CFBF is shaping up to be the best one yet,” said Canadian Florist Publisher Ryan Freeman. “We’re featuring some of our readers’ favourite CF contributors on stage, which gives our florists a great opportunity to interact with the people they learn from each issue. Partnering with NIAF this year means florists have a unique opportunity for top-notch design and business education in one fantastic weekend.”

Here’s a sneak peak of the program:

Book Those Money-Maker Weddings

Jennifer Harvey, CAFA, CFD

 Designer and consultant Jennifer Harvey, CAFA, CFD, will help you explore the exciting new wedding market and offer tips to diversify your design portfolio. Learn how to navigate emerging trends, millennial brides’ expectations, and budget constraints. Whether you’re recreating the most grandiose trends on Pinterest or servicing a DIY budget bride, you can do so profitably and without sacrificing your brand. It’s time to get the biggest payout for their biggest day!

Additionally, she’ll discuss cultural communities and how to break into new demographics, tactics that inspire your staff and prevent burn out, and where to invest your marketing dollars and talent to get the most traction in the wedding industry.

Let Harvey reinvigorate your excitement for one of the oldest and most celebrated moments of life.

Conversational Commerce: Building Connections with Customers

Michelle Brisebois

 Your flowers tell your customers’ stories. Whether the message is “I love you” or “Thanks for being my mom,” the flowers start a conversation. Independent florists are perfectly positioned to thrive in the emerging retail environment. Your brick and mortar and online retail spaces are merging, while social media connections are facilitating a deeper relationship with customers.

Do the people who like you on Facebook also buy from you? Why do online shoppers abandon their carts before completing the transaction? If every home is about to have an Alexa or other virtual assistant ready to “send flowers to Jane,” how can you interlace your retail experience with this new technology?

This presentation is about nurturing a strong connection all the way through the shopping experience, regardless of where or how your customers are connecting with you. New technology means the online shopping experience will more closely mimic the traditional in-store environment. Michelle Brisebois, a marketing consultant and regular Canadian Florist contributor, will show how the personal touch of traditional retailing and the convenience and measurability of e-commerce, have finally realized they need each other to thrive.


Tim Huckabee, AIFSE, FSC

 Sales and customer service expert Tim Huckabee, founder and president of FloralStrategies will break down the most pervasive bad habits and mindsets in the floral industry and offer easy solutions to reverse them. His no-nonsense presentation will tackle every aspect of operating a flower shop including management, profitable design, sale tactics, and customer relations.


Neville MacKay, CAFA, PFCI

Neville MacKay, owner of My Mothers Bloomers in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canadian Florist columnist and a Smithers-Oasis design team member, will share his secrets for designing pieces with a high perceived value and a hefty profit margin, visual merchandising to entice new customers, the art of upselling and more.



Click here to register.

World-renowned designer Heather de Kok, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, founder of Canada’s Maple Leaf Cup and a Canadian Florist columnist, will headline the Niagara International Association of Florists. Her presentation, “The Circle of Life in Your Shop,” will highlight the various milestones florists help customers celebrate including proms, promotions, weddings, new homes, births, retirements, funerals, and more.

To register, click here.