OFA - an Association of Floriculture Professionals, will host its annual OFA Short Course July 9-12, 2005 in Columbus, Ohio. According to OFA, "The OFA Short Course is known as U.S. floriculture's premier educational and trade show event. Exhibitors representing various sectors of the floriculture industry will be on display for three days and seminars will be held throughout the four-day event."
Delivering the keynote speech for the 2005 OFA Short Course is Harold Lloyd, an acclaimed business management and marketing consultant. His speech titled, "Am I the Leader I Need to Be? - 10 critical leadership qualities that measure your propensity to lead," will provide a qualitative analysis of an individual's tendency to assume a leadership role as well as give individuals the tools they need to be successful leaders.
This year's greenhouse grower sessions include topics such as disease management, greenhouse technology, orchid production, vegetative annuals, herb production, crop production improvement, sampling (media, tissue and water) and managing the bulking of seed and vegetative plants. The greenhouse grower sessions are divided into three main categories: greenhouse intermediate, greenhouse advanced and greenhouse production.
The Floriculture College of Knowledge, a Michigan State University program, will offer its Track I and Track III courses at Short Course on Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9. Learn how other growers do business by visiting Diefenbacher Greenhouses Inc. and Krueger-Maddux Greenhouses on the grower study tour to the Cincinnati area. A second grower tour of Cuthbert Greenhouse Inc. and Dill's Greenhouse, both in Groveport, Ohio, is also planned - featuring an inside look from the Extension perspective. The tour concludes at The Ohio State University's Horticulture and Crop Science facilities. Don't miss this year's town meeting on "Surviving after 2005," planned for Sunday morning.
Other special Saturday workshops will focus on digital photography, diagnostics, insect and pest management, and mixed container production.
The garden center sessions will kick off the weekend with the garden center tour Saturday, July 9. Come see large, medium and niche floriculture operations on this year's tour - A Proper Garden, Cross Creek Gardens, deMonye's Greenhouse Inc. and Oakland Nursery. Garden center sessions include sales training, business etiquette, consumer trends and garden center safety. Additional sessions will teach you how to conduct garden center housekeeping, increase average sales and establish a container garden department.
Sessions in the retail florist category will feature several hands-on workshops as well as sessions on a floral shop extreme makeover, sympathy keepsakes, wedding arrangements and business beyond the mom-and-pop operation.
Interior plantscape workshop topics will focus on motivation and teamwork, evaluation of a business for acquisition, troubleshooting for IP technicians, dealing with challenging customer service situations and the art of interiorscape design. Attendees can also learn about the many options in palms and the reality of on-the-job costs.
Educational sessions that feature management and marketing will highlight topics such as schmoozing - meeting, greeting and speaking with ease, communicating effectively, recognizing and capitalizing on trends, and retaining and motivating workers. Come participate in sessions that feature software to assist managers in performance evaluation and policy development efforts. A special sales training workshop will help you teach your staff that selling is serving your customers.
Individuals who are just launching their careers as floriculturists, should attend the industry newcomer outreach sessions. Come refine your business skills, learn more about Short Course, how to benefit from internships and how to market a business once it has been created.
In addition to the workshops and sessions, there are several other attractions at the 2005 OFA Short Course. Be sure to visit the New Products and New Varieties displays, attend the OFA Short Course reception, and visit the OFA MarketPlace.
OFA Short Course programs are available. Registration and hotel reservations will open on April 25. All OFA members and 2004 Short Course attendees will receive a complimentary program in the mail. Visit OFA online at www.ofa.org  for additional Short Course information.