More than 6,100 people attended the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition (TPIE) at the Broward County Convention Center last week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. TPIE attendance was comparable to last year’s show, which had a 5 percent increase in buyers this year.
The show also had 32 percent more interiorscapers walking the show floor and 16 percent more growers/brokers than last year.
“It looks like TPIE is setting the tone for a great 2010,” says Rachel Tippit, chairperson of the 2010 TPIE committee. “Orders are being made, the aisles are full–everyone is optimistic for what this new year holds.
For people who haven’t attended TPIE, this is the place to be for tropicals, whether you exhibit or attend the show.”
More than 500 companies exhibited this year at TPIE, showcasing a range of tropical plants and related products. “The booths on the show floor this year are outstanding.” Tippit says. “Our exhibitors went above and beyond to showcase their plants and products.”
One Florida grower felt optimistic after exhibiting on the show floor.
“The quality of the attendees was outstanding for our evolving nursery business,” says Sanford Stein of The Jungle Nursery in Homestead, Fla. “We took orders on the show floor, but far more importantly for us, we felt a great deal of optimism about 2010 after we received a good number of very specific commitments for this coming spring and beyond.”
In addition to the eye-catching displays on the exhibit floor, TPIE Short Course sessions offered more opportunities to focus on tropicals. Several sessions featured new ways business owners could promote their plants and products. Dr. Bodie V. Pennisi of the University of Georgia, for example, revealed the power of plants as she shared research results from Project Carbon, a study being conducted to provide supporting data to substantiate the argument for using indoor plants as part of sustainable certification programs such as LEED.
Before the show, the TPIE Road Show took attendees to Homestead for a day of visiting local tropical foliage nurseries. The tour visited Florida Ornamentals, Costa Farms, R.F. Orchids and Bullis Bromeliads. Attendees had the opportunity to see growing facilities for tropical foliage, bromeliads and orchids, as well as a special visit to Costa Color to see its annual trial gardens.
At the show, the TPIE New Plants and Products Room continued to be one of the most popular spots of the show. With 40 new items on display, attendees saw a mix of new plants and products coming into the marketplace. Buyers were given the opportunity to vote on their favorites with the following coming out on top:
–Favorite New Foliage Plant: Kalanchoe ‘Fantastic’ by Hawaiian Sunshine Nursery
–Favorite New Flowering Plant: Gloriosa lily by Deroose Plants
–Favorite New Product: All-In-One-Bucket by Gloves, Inc.
Costa Farms took home the Best of Show booth award for its display and use of outstanding plant material. Botantics Wholesale won Most Unusual Single Plant Specimen for its Coccothrinax sp. More booth award winners and their can be found online at TPIE.org.
To view a GreenhouseGrower.com slideshow of photos from TPIE,.