2024 SAF NextGen LIVE! in Sunny San Diego, CA

by Details Flowers ● 18 March ● News & Events, Partners

This year's SAF NextGen LIVE event in San Diego was spectacular, offering a blend of education, networking, and unforgettable experiences for floral industry professionals. Hosted in sunny San Diego, attendees were treated to various activities showcasing the best of the floral world. Corrine, Avery, and Olivia represented Details and connected with our floral friends out west. Here is our official recap of the event!

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Throughout the event, we had the opportunity to participate in various educational sessions led by industry experts. Topics ranged from sustainable floristry practices to the latest trends in floral design. These sessions provided valuable insights and practical tips that attendees could take back to their businesses. We also learned valuable tips for sales and customer service. Moderated by Erik Hagstrom of Albin Hagstrom & Son (who gave us quite the laugh with his jokes), Casey Black of Jet Fresh Flower Distributors, and Irving Casiano of Flower Shop Network, focused on the discussion of cultivating sales skills and converting leads into loyal clientele. 

Led by Moderator Paul Miller of Sunshine Bouquet Company, a panel of breeding experts from Dummen Orange, Deliflor Americas, Ball SB, and Danziger, among others, revealed the secrets behind creating new flower varieties. This panel gave us a greater understanding into the breeding process of flowers; learning that each new flower variety can take nearly 7 years to perfect! Attendees gained insights into the development process, the factors affecting pricing, and the impact of consumer trends on the floral market. Learning about the growing and breeding process of flowers we use daily was extremely insightful and brought forth new perspectives for our team. 


Networking was also a key focus of SAF NextGen LIVE, with ample opportunities for attendees to connect with fellow florists, suppliers, and industry leaders. From casual meet-and-greet sessions to structured networking events, fun was had by all! We had such a great time sponsoring the Into The Wild rooftop dinner, where we all dressed in our animal gear and got to continue networking with our floral friends! 

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One of the event's highlights was the exclusive tours of Kendall Farms and Mellano and Co., two renowned names in the floral industry. At Kendall Farms, attendees were immersed in sustainable flower farming, learning about the meticulous care and attention to detail that goes into cultivating premium blooms. After nearly an hour on a large bus through the California hills, we ended at a spectacular hilltop view for snacks, 360-degree views, and an incredible drone demonstration. From fields of vibrant roses to fragrant eucalyptus groves, the beauty of nature was on full display.


The tour continued at Mellano and Co., where attendees gained insights into the intricate logistics of flower distribution. From the bustling warehouse operations to the efficient shipping processes, it was a behind-the-scenes look at how flowers make their way from farm to florist. The scale, efficiency, and hospitality of Mellano and Co.'s operations were unforgettable. 

For those who missed this year's event, mark your calendars for SAF NextGen LIVE 2025. Stay tuned for updates and announcements as we continue to celebrate the artistry and innovation of the floral world. Check out the Society of American Florists Events and Education page to learn more about the next event!

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