Floriology Contest Promotes Education, Social Media Skills

To encourage florists to share their knowledge with customers and to feel more comfortable with social media, The Floriology Institute launched the #TeachFloralContest, with a really covetable prize attached: a VIP experience at AIFD Symposium this summer in Washington, D.C.

“We wanted to do something that could socially engage as many people as possible to bring attention to education and industry partners, such as the American Institute of Floral Designers and the Society of American Florists,” said Jackie Lacey, AIFD, PFCI, director of education and lead instructor at The Floriology Institute in Jacksonville, Florida. “We want to make people comfortable with the fact that we’re all teachers.”

The contest has three rounds, the first of which passed a week ago. Contestants receive a topic (the first was color) and have one to three minutes to discuss that topic as it pertains to the elements of floral design in a video. The contestant is the only one allowed in the video and the video must be shared on The Floriology Institute Facebook page, marked with the hashtag #TeachFloralContest.

“We decided to do it on social media because we were able to test its effectiveness,” Lacey said. “Additionally, we thought it would make florists more comfortable sharing informational and instructional videos with their fans.”

Five judges, comprised of five well-known (but anonymous) designers and evaluators in the industry, judged videos for innovation, creativity, verbal presentation, product demonstration, expression of scene.

“No one gets bonus points for advanced video editing” Lacey said. “We’re comparing apples to apples, evaluating teaching ability not videography skills.”

In the first round, a number of florists discussed Ultra-Violet, Pantone’s color of the year, “but it was surprising how diverse the coverage was for the same topic,” Lacey said. Some were very scholastic (how lighting affects color, for instance), while others more emotional (why we like certain colors).

The first round of the contest reached more than 23,000 people, Lacey said. Twenty-six florists entered. That group will be whittled down to 15, which will be announced live Thursday, February 15 on The Floriology Institute’s Facebook page. The contest ultimately ends on March 15. The prizes are as follows:

First prize: free airfare to Washington, DC; a 5-night stay at the Marriott Wardman Park, the official Symposium hotel; premium registration including tickets to galas and seats at the officers’ table

Second prize: free registration to Symposium, worth almost $1,000

For more information, visit floriologyinstitute.com.