2012 TPIE Sees Rise in Attendance Numbers
More than 6,100 green industry professionals gathered in sunny Fort Lauderdale, FL for the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) 2012.
Taking place January 18 to 20 at the Broward County Convention Center, TPIE offered a trade show with nearly 400 exhibiting companies, a full-day nursery tour in Homestead, FL, a thought-provoking opening session, cutting-edge educational programs, dozens of hands-on demonstrations and a fantastic outdoor Opening Day Happy Hour.
“TPIE is always an exciting show. This year the mood was even more upbeat as people are finally feeling a turn in the economy,” noted Charlie Martin, owner of HB Martin, Inc. and TPIE chairman. “Our attendance was up by 8%, orders were being written and buyers were excited by the products they saw. The fabulous weather didn’t hurt either!”
This year’s Best of Show award went to DeRoose Plants, Apopka, FL. A complete list of award winners is available at www.tpie.org.
The first day of TPIE 2012 ended with the TPIE Happy Hour, sponsored by Sun Parasol/Suntory Collection, as thousands of TPIE attendees shifted from the confines of the exhibit hall to the balmy winter temperatures as attendees basked along the fountain plaza, enjoying drinks, appetizers and entertainment.
Other activities at TPIE included a TPIE First-Timers’ Orientation where TPIE rookies were provided an overview of the show and the foliage industry, as well as tips to get the most benefit from the show. Industry buyer Gary Mangum, Bell Nursery, was recognized for attending every TPIE since it began in 1973.
The management track introduced participants to biomimicry, a process of applying nature’s solutions to human design applications. In addition, sessions with Jason Cupp, a business growth consultant, provided insights on creating the best internal team, as well as improving external sales with new marketing methods.
Technical sessions also were popular as they focused on biological pest controls, including a hands-on workshop.
Offered as an optional event to the TPIE Short Course, the TPIE Road Show was a full-day tour which took attendees to Homestead, FL, a major foliage production hub. The well-attended trip included visits to Farm Life Tropical Foliage, Bernecker’s Nursery, Schnebly Redland’s Winery, Kerry’s and Burr’s Berry Farm.
TPIE is well-known as the trade event for exhibitors to introduce their newest plants and products. Many of these are included in the TPIE Exhibitor Showcase, sponsored by Farm Credit. This year’s winning favorites are: favorite new flowering plant, Medinilla magnifica, by Northland Floral, Ontario, Canada; favorite new foliage plant, Calathea lancifolia, Stewart’s Greenhouse, Apopka, FL; favorite new product, Xanadu Collection, Wesnic, Jacksonville, FL.
A complete list of new plants and products is available at www.tpie.org.