The Flower Trials are invigorating

You can’t possibly have missed it. This week it’s the Flower Trials where plant breeders exhibit their product range and any new concepts.
Today it was my turn; off to Westland, together with a colleague.
As soon as we arrived on FloraHolland’s rooftop car park, we heard that it was busy and that was no understatement. Of course, my first stop was the samples greenhouse to admire our own presentations. Not just the product presentations but I was particularly interested in the product-market combinations, concepts and a great deal of inspiration;
where different disciplines come together.
Breeding is step one, production is two but there are still many steps to take if you want your product to reach the market in the best possible condition.
And that doesn’t just happen!

Using plants to inspire and styling presentations is a profession in itself and this can give a product an extra impulse. This year our presentation was styled by Meesterlijk Geschikt, and that was indeed a masterful arrangement.
The Christmas Cyclamen stand made me think it was December already, Miss Petticoat was simply beautiful and the styling of the Make-Upz cyclamen was very glamourous.
The catering area was also a sea of colour, stylish blooms everywhere.

But however beautiful and stylish, it is nothing without a story and that story can only be told by people. That is where it becomes invigorating.
This morning I met Sarah Dikkers and I was curious about her feelings, her emotions and her reaction to everything she, as a florist, saw. Because everyone looks from his or her field or discipline with different eyes. Again, talking about it now and looking together is invigorating. And then, sure as eggs are eggs, we talked about how important it is to tell the story behind the product, again and again.
Her comments prompted me to see our own products in a slightly different light and that is good, that is added-value and it works both ways.
Always a little more, a little further and forwards.

Walking around I saw how my fellow growers and other contacts greet each other and give their guided tours,
I saw their enthusiasm and how animated their conversations were. Sharing experiences, listening to each other. Stef, our intern conducting research into house plant watering systems for consumers, explaining the various options exhibited side by side. He’s still immersed in the research phase, not ready to start writing up yet, but the enthusiasm radiated from him.

Just as I was getting into the lift to leave, I bumped into a grower from Italy who I’ve known for years and only meet at trade fairs. It’s wonderful to be able to catch up with each other’s news, to make the connection again; that is only possible face to face.
Then getting in the lift with a big smile on my face, on the way to another location, and in the meantime, exchanging experiences with a friend, who also works in the ornamental plant business.

What struck us was how important it is that you are greeted when you arrive and how fine it feels when someone talks to you and tells you about what you’re seeing. This interaction adds value and makes the difference.

I drove home with a pile of new ideas and new insights.

That is what I mean when I say the Flower Trials are invigorating.

By Carin Parie


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