New connections, world-class education, and a broader understanding of the floral industry, all in a destination city — San Diego. This year, the Society of American Florists' Next Gen LIVE! conference will be held from February 25-27 at the Doubletree by Hilton San Diego Mission Valley in San Diego, CA. It is a one-of-a-kind industry experience for floral professionals aged 45 and under. Find out all the essential info you need to know here.
SAF's Next Gen LIVE! Aims to Help the Next Generation Grow and Make Connections
If you've been wanting to attend an event in the floriculture industry this new year, this is your chance! The education, networking, and activities during SAF's Next Gen event are designed for and by the Next Gen to help them grow in their careers and make deep, insightful connections for their future.
And no, this event isn’t just for florists! It draws young professionals from across the industry to support each other as they learn and grow together. Next Gen committee member and the recipient of SAF’s inaugural Next Gen Rising Star award, Nicole Palazzo, shares:
“Next Gen is such a great community. We’ve really found our people."
For Nicole, the community has forged long-distance friendships and mentorships that span across the supply chain — and the globe. The group keeps in regular contact via a private Facebook group and monthly virtual meetups. The event is also a great way for floral pros to meet and talk with new vendors, from growers to tech providers and manufacturers, whose goods are on display throughout the conference.
Learn, Grow, and Connect With People in the Industry
The education at Next Gen LIVE! is tailored for young professionals, with guidance from the Next Gen committee. Join floral pros age 45 and under from all segments — retail, event, wholesale, importer, grower, and manufacturers — at an event designed for the next generation of industry leaders. Education focuses on leadership skills, product development, data-driven decision-making, navigating workplace conflicts, using technology to improve processes, and proposing new ideas.
A big part of what the team is doing at Next Gen is helping young floral professionals understand that if you want this to be more than just a job, but a career, there are paths to that. Sam Bowles, General Manager and Creative Director at Allen’s Flowers & Plants says he hasn't seen or heard yet someone who didn’t come back with more ideas, more energy, and ready to try things out in their role after visiting this yearly event. If you're going to be visiting San Diego during the days of the Next Gen, you should definitely consider visiting!
An Opportunity to See San Diego While Learning About Next Gen LIVE!
San Diego, known for its mild year-round climate and extensive beaches and parks, is a popular destination. It’s also the city that Palazzo and Bowles call home, and they’ve been working closely with The Society of American Florists to ensure the event showcases the best the city has to offer at an affordable price. For this event, the whole team behind SAF has made sure that everything is affordable because they are very well aware that businesses are going to be sending their staff and they want everything to be as comfortable and accessible to everyone as possible.
So, why should you attend this year's Next Gen LIVE? Here are a few reasons:
- You'll get to be a part of interactive educational sessions led by floral experts and 'up and comer' Next Gen members of the floral industry.
- Get to know the vendors at the Supplier Showcase
- Behind-the-scenes tour of growing operations in San Diego
- Lots of opportunities for networking at breaks, lunch, and receptions all designed to help you meet new peers and make valuable connections
To register in advance and secure your spot, make sure to visit SAF's website.