This past summer Jackie Leshko, Certified Floral Designer® and owner of Blossoms by the Beach Floral Designs, attended the 2013 Annual American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) National Symposium in Las Vegas. This is her recap of the five day long conference which showcased some of the best floral designers from around the globe.
As the slogan goes, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” But that was not the case for the floral designers who attended the Annual American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) National Symposium held June 28 – July 2nd at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Passion” was an action-packed educational extravaganza that included high-level stage presentations from renowned floral design artists from the U.S., Belgium, Japan, and Russia, among others.
The AIFD, established in 1965, is the floral industry’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to establishing, maintaining and recognizing the highest standard of professional floral design. Several days prior to the kickoff of Passion, qualified floral designer candidates participated in AIFD’s rigorous Professional Floral Designer Evaluation (PFDE) session. Earning a CFD® (Certified Floral Designer) is the first step of the PFDE; the ultimate goal is to become an Accredited AIFD Member. Results of this year’s exam were announced in August. One hundred and thirty-four candidates were bestowed with the CFD® designation and forty-five were invited for induction as an AIFD Member at next year’s Symposium.
During the 5-day conference, top designers from around the world showcased their incredible, and in some cases, outrageous floral designs. Highlights included; “Spectacular, Spectacular, a tribute to Moulin Rouge, “Tool Belt Diva” designing with home improvement store supplies, and “Top This” creating tabletop floral
arrangements. “Spectacular, Spectacular,” included singing, dancing and over-the-top floral decorations, adornments and costumes. During the Can-Can scene, rose petals flew from the inseams of the burlesque dancers’ dresses. During other presentations, elaborate structures built with PVC pipe, wood or steel beams were used to create flower-adorned canopies and overhangs.
The highlight of the Symposium was the induction of the fourteen new AIFD members who completed the 2012 PFDE with such outstanding scores they were invited into this most elite group in the industry. The AIFD Symposium also included a welcome reception, two lunches, two celebratory dinners, a student competition, a half-day expo of floral industry suppliers and a community service project, Blooms Over Las Vegas. With only 10 months until AIFD’s 2014 “Transition Transformation” Symposium in Chicago, I am counting the days!