Exhibitors at the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition wowed attendees with their creative displays, innovative research and, of course, beautiful plants. Here are just a few things that caught our eye at the show. Look for more coverage from TPIE on gardencentermag.com
People went all out brainstorming and executing their booth concepts at the show, and many were rewarded for their efforts. Costa Farms built a tiny house, complete with a bed, a glass coffee table with succulents encased underneath, stairs, a bathtub filled with plants, a mailbox and more, and took home the “best of show” booth award. The paparazzi flooded J. Berry Nursery’s glamorous set-up, inspired by its Hollywood Hibiscus series and complete with a red carpet and film reels. They may not have walked away with an Oscar, but they did take home first place in the 10x10 booth award category. United Nursery looked to the other coast for its “Plants in the City” booth, which included a floor-to-ceiling tapestry of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline, brick apartments with stoops and plants for all of the main characters of “Sex in the City,” and even a real New York Post newspaper stand, which they scored on Craigslist.
The University of Florida and the National Horticulture Foundation are partnering on a consumer research project, studying the eye movement of shoppers in retail situations to discover what interests them and to help growers and retailers be more strategic about plant selection. They conducted some of their research right on the show floor, and attendees had an opportunity to participate in the study using images of booths. Insights from a different consumer study conducted by Delray Plants were displayed right on their award-winning booth. Consumers surveyed explained why plants are important to them, with responses like “plants as décor,” “plants add personality and atmosphere” and “add color to your living space with plants,” and Delray displayed them on a structure built of reclaimed wood to both reveal results and inspire attendees. Plants that respondents could identify and name were featured around the booth.
Plants hung from ceilings, walls and even necks at the show. Roses in light bulb-shaped vases were suspended over Koen Pack’s booth. Attendees could pick up an “Air Plant Necklace” featuring a tiny potted Tillandsia from LiveTrends. Interior design vignettes showcased at TPIE included a kitchen scene with magenta orchids wrapped by their roots on a fixture above the counter. The serene bathroom vignette featured a green wall behind the tub.