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The 40-year anniversary of the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition is expected to draw more than 6,000 industry professionals to sunny Fort Lauderdale, FL, Jan. 23-25, show officials told The Produce News. The 200,000-square-foot Broward County Convention Center exhibit hall will feature 400 companies and 800 booths showcasing lush tropical plants and foliage with palm trees soaring 28 feet to the exhibit hall ceiling.

Dan Waldschmidt, author of a leading sales blog, will speak at the show’s opening session (see schedule, page 72).

TPIE113-SESSION-2012Education sessions have been expanded for the 2013 TPIE show, officials at the sponsoring organization noted. This photo shows attendees conversing while waiting for a presentation to get underway at the 2012 TPIE show.“What’s Next To Grow Your Business: Getting the Edgy Perspective” is the title of Mr. Waldschmidt’s presentation, which will cover five key things to do to be successful in business despite past failure, a bad economy or difficult sales prospects. A news release described “edgy” as getting noticed and building customer loyalty.

The TPIE Short Course has been expanded this year and will have two tracks, one Jan. 22 for owners and sales and design professionals, the other Jan. 23 for technicians. The training is produced jointly by the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association; OFA; and PLANET. Sales and design topics include presentation skills, why plants appeal to people and consumer purchasing behavior.

The annual show is billed by FNGLA as offering the widest array of resources for foliage and tropical plants in the nation. It allows buyers to connect with vendors in person and get a first-hand look at their products and plants. Last year’s show drew 6,100 professionals, an increase of about 8 percent over 2011 attendance.

The 2013 edition of TPIE will offer about 500 exhibiting companies, a new plants and products exhibit, a pre-show grower tour, educational sessions and dozens of hands-on demonstrations covering topics such as green weddings, tropicals for holiday designs, National Indoor Plant Week, plant design trends and how to turn ordinary plants into extraordinary plants.

Attendees will vote for a Best New Product and judges will select awards for exhibit booths. Buyers will select a Best New Flowering Plant and Best New Foliage Plant. “Cool Stuff at TPIE,” facilitated again this year by Robert Hendrickson of Garden Center Group, will reveal what buyers think are the top 15 potential best-selling plants and products on display. This session features exhibitors with winning products who share information about them.

An orientation for attendees new to the TPIE show offers information on the show and a chance to pair up with industry volunteers who can help newcomers learn the ropes.

For those attendees who already “have resume, will travel,” FNGLA offers a booth where jobseekers can post their resumes and internship opportunities can be listed at no charge. Resumes and internships also can be posted online at the booth.

FNGLA will again hold a Horticulture Career Fair, bringing together high school students, industry educators and potential employers in an educational and competitive event. Afterward, students are invited to tour the show floor to learn more about Florida’s nursery and landscape industry.