With an agenda that featured a captivating stage presentation by one of the world’s foremost floral designers, Napco and BloomNet welcomed the floral community to Jacksonville, Florida, January 18-19, for Fresh Forum 2014. Napco is a leading source for floral, garden, gift and seasonal decor and BloomNet is an international wire service and world class business solutions provider. The event, which continued the celebration of Napco’s 75th anniversary, was the largest Fresh Forum ever held by Napco and BloomNet...attracting over 150 attendees representing 25 states and 65 retail flower shops.

Among the highlights of Fresh Forum 2014 was the demonstration from renowned German Florist Gregor Lersch, who presented a stage program, entitled “Personalizing Floral Design – International Trends in Structural Design, Forms & Shape.” Recognized as the Master of all Master Florists, Mr. Lersch is one of the premier floral artisans looked to internationally for bringing new trends and design evolution to the global floral design industry. He is the author of more than 30 books on floral design and he travels to more than 35 countries around the world sharing his expertise. Mr. Lersch’s program at Fresh Forum 2014 featured innovative European designs that florists can re-create in their own shops. An additional highlight of Fresh Forum 2014 included a sold-out workshop instructed by Gregor Lersch, during which he offered hands-on techniques for creating unique structures and personalizing floral designs.

Another focal point of the Fresh Forum event was the informative 2014 Fall & Holiday Trend presentation by Jackie Lacey, AIFD, CFD, PFCI. Mr. Lacey’s 25 year career includes experience in the retail floral market and ownership of shops in Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina. He currently serves as Senior Design Analyst and Education Consultant for the Floriology® Institute, BloomNet and Napco. Mr. Lacey’s stage presentation paired 2014 Fall, Holiday & Everyday Trends with latest products offered by Napco. Throughout the weekend, Fresh Forum guests were given a VIP shopping experience and opportunity to see and purchase the nearly 2,000 newest trend-forward products from Napco, including exclusive designs that cannot be found anywhere else.

In addition, BloomNet Technologies held a hands-on training workshop for the BloomNet Business Management System as well as the floral industry’s first, retail tablet App which integrates with florists’ Point-of-Sale System choice.

Kicking off Fresh Forum 2014 was the second annual Floriology Institute Florist Design Competition. The first place winner was Bob Tucker, FSMD of Miss Daisy’s Flowers & Gifts in Leesburg, Florida. Second place went to Andie Muller of The Flower Studio in Altamonte Springs, Florida and third place went to Nishazad Khan of Rosemary’s Flower Shop in Sunrise, Florida.

“I want to thank everyone who attended Fresh Forum 2014 and helped make it not only our biggest Fresh Forum event ever, but also our best,” said Mark Nance, AAF, President of BloomNet. “The stage presentations were amazing, the workshops were enlightening and as always it was great to get together with friends from throughout the floral industry and exchange ideas. Also, I want to congratulate and thank everyone who participated in the Floriology Institute Florist Design Competition...your gift for creative floral artistry is both impressive and inspirational.”

During 2014, Napco and BloomNet plan to offer three more Fresh Forum events at locations throughout the country. Details about these events will be announced shortly.

About Napco

With more than 75 years as a trusted source to the floral and related industries, Napco ( www.napcoimports.com) is the one-stop-shopping home for floral, garden, gift and seasonal decor needs. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, the company has a 180,000 square ft. distribution center and 10,000 sq. ft. showroom in Jacksonville, a 7,000 square ft. showroom in Atlanta, Georgia and a 4,500 sq. ft. showroom in Dallas, Texas. Napco creates, imports and distributes a vast line of products featuring exclusive designs. The company’s diverse product line includes floral containers in virtually all shapes, sizes and colors along with decorative accents, inspirational and sympathy products, a wide variety of garden items, superior quality glassware, and trend-forward products carefully selected for holidays throughout the year including Valentine’s Day, Christmas and many other special occasions. Dedicated to providing unparalleled customer service, Napco has a highly experienced team of sales associates located throughout the United States and the company offers flexible purchasing options as well as state-of-the-art order fulfillment capabilities. Napco is a division of BloomNet® and a member of the 1-800-Flowers.com family of brands.

About BloomNet®

BloomNet® ( www.mybloomnet.net or 1-800-BloomNet) is an international wire service and a world class business solutions provider offering quality products and diverse services to a select network of professional retail Florists who utilize BloomNet’s resources to grow their businesses profitably. Professional Florists who are part of the BloomNet network can take advantage of several key benefits including the highest published rebate in the industry with the easiest rebate qualifications, tiered membership costs, state-of-the-art technology solutions, and a complete suite of value-added products and services. BloomNet has established and maintains the industry’s most stringent business standards for participating Florists. BloomNet, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2010