Top Tips For Participating In Floral Competitions

Entering a floral competition can be a great way to showcase your skills and gain recognition in the industry. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your first floral competition!

Choose The Right Competition

Look for competitions that align with your skills and interests. Some competitions focus on specific styles or techniques, so find one that suits your expertise. Make sure to read all of the dates and deadlines to ensure that you will be able to compete in the competition with no conflict. 

Make sure you thoroughly read and understand the competition rules and guidelines. This will help you avoid any disqualifications or penalties. Do not be afraid to ask questions! The organizers are there to help you ensure that this competition is the best fit. 


Plan Ahead and Select High-Quality Materials

Start planning your design well in advance of the competition. Take into consideration the theme, color scheme, and any other requirements. Sketch out your design and list the flowers and materials you will need.

Choose the best flowers, foliage, and other materials available to you. Use fresh, high-quality flowers that are in season for the best results. Do not be afraid to use unconventional materials if the competition permits! Consider ways to let your creativity shine while staying within the competition guidelines. Be creative and experiment with new techniques or styles. Judges are often looking for unique and original designs.


Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice your design several times before the competition. This will help you work out any kinks in your design and perfect your technique. If it is a timed trial, have someone time you while you create your designs! This is a great way to test your skills in real-time. 

Attention to detail can make a big difference in the final presentation. Make sure your design is clean, symmetrical, and well-balanced. Practicing your techniques before the competition is a great way to see what you need to improve on. Seek advice from another floral friend or someone who has participated in competitions to help you improve.


During the competition, stay calm and focused. Take your time, and don't rush (too much!) creating your design. Remember to enjoy the experience and have fun!

Advice from Jenny T!

Our Floral Friend, Jenny Thomasson, has participated in many competitions throughout her career. Most recently, she won the FTD Americas Cup at Symposium this last year, where she qualified to represent the USA in the Interflora World Cup this year in Manchester, England! We are so excited to see her journey to Interflora. Here is some great advice from Jenny based on her experiences competing in floral competitions! 
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All photos provided by JennyT Floristry (@jennyt.floristry)
For all you first-time competitors out there, here are a few words of advice--It isn't easy. You think to yourself, "I do this every day. I can totally tackle this like a boss!" (or if you are not thinking this, then you should :) because you can and you will, but maybe not every time. And that is ok. Not all designs are masterpieces, and not all time frames are enough for the intricate, exquisite idea you have in mind, and that is ok. You will learn from what you experience.
Some competitions have themes that you are not in love with. Just like some customers ask for items, you wouldn't dream of. You are there to make it as beautiful as possible. The same goes here. Take it in and modify it to your own taste so your personal design aesthetic still shines through.
Don't use everything they give you. Most of the time, there is a massive amount of products and hard good items that you could never use and shouldn't use just for the sake of using it. Dictate and edit what works for you and your compositions, trust your instinct, and follow through. Sometimes there is too much and honestly done on purpose to confuse those who don't have a solid idea.
Do not look around. This is a recipe for disaster. Your mind and eye sees and thinks about what others are doing, which could ultimately sway your ideas or add doubt to your designs, style, and pace. This is advice not only for competition but also for any accreditation you should be going for. If it is a blind judging (meaning the judges or evaluators didn't see who designed what piece) and you were influenced by another designer in your proximity, it is fairly obvious to them who had the initial concept and who added this later.
Lastly, prepare as much as possible, but have fun once you are there! 
If you're interested in learning more about the judging side of floral competitions, check out our blog, "Expert Tips for Judging Floral Competitions," as well as our Masterclass Replay with Karen Barnes, who is known for exploring the world of weddings and floral event planning, floral education, floral competition, trend forecasting, and business consultation.

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