This past July 4th-9th, the American Institute of Floral Designers
(AIFD) brought home some beautiful floral fireworks to San Diego. The AIFD
National Symposium "Waves 2002" was the first International Protea
Association's attempt to bring member countries together to promote Protea
on a united front. It is sad that all IPA members did not choose to
participate, but at least we know we can do it! Member's associations
contributed money and or products for this promotional effort. IPA,
together with Associations from California, Hawaii, Zimbabwe and SAPPEX
contributed. Individuals from Australia and South Africa also made
contributions. I would like to thank everyone who was
The name of our program was "Ancient Echoes, A Future Wave"
presented by Dean Yale AIFD. Yale is a designer for the Disney Corporation
in Florida. Yale gave IPA members "a big thank you! The IPA is an awesome
group of people. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect the products I
received for this program. It was truly an experience to see so many
varieties in one place and of such fantastic quality."
program started off with a dark stage, rolling fog and then sounds of
thunder with lightning. Flowers started appearing on two large screens and
shooting into hyper-space like Star Wars. After most of the commercially
known flowers and foliages were presented on the screens the house lights
came up to show 15 or so Protea arrangements on the stage. Yale walked
around the stage describing his arrangements. Upon the completion of his
presentation he received a standing ovation from the audience. The
arrangements were removed from the stage to the hallways after the
presentation where the mad rush for photographs began.
Products incoming from members was
gathered in L.A., unpacked, put in water and trucked down to San Diego.
Local material was collected in water and also trucked down to the hotel.
Hawaiian material was picked up at the San Diego airport, unpacked and put
into water on site. When all of the material was in place Yale needed
additional room to stage all of the products sent. Yale was able to choose
the best of everything there for his presentation. Yale was able to
contribute products to other designers to use throughout the hotel,
banquet halls, and information desks. Proteaceae material was also
included in the design mix provided to the student designers of which they
used in their design competition.
IPA's initial showing was
at the Associates/Partners Reception earlier in the week. The table had an
8' high by 4' wide arrangement to draw attention, and that it did! Around
the table we had individual stems in vases with botanical and common names
to show new unusual flowers and foliages. IPA members Carver & Maureen
Wilson, (Hawaii) and Ben Gill, (California) spent 3 hours answering
questions and providing information to the numerous designers crowding the
table. On several occasions there were people two to three deep around the
8' table. I have never seen people attack a display like I saw that night.
"I believe Protea has gained a lot more recognition as to the varieties
and usefulness in floral design", stated Yale. I think Carver and I both
will agree with that.
achieved what we set out to accomplish. We learned a lot about AIFD and
how designers see our flowers and are willing to use them. I think we
should be involved in other programs when the end user is a participant.
This will help to pull the products through the system. The now
knowledgeable designers will ask for a product by name. Brokers and
wholesalers worldwide will need to find Proteaceae from all parts of the