Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the 2023 Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE) brought together thousands of plant professionals and industry leaders for its three-day industry trade show in January.
Closing out its two-year stint in Tampa, Florida, the show saw roughly 6,500 attendees hailing from 48 U.S. states and 44 countries around the world.
And, the sold-out trade show floor was nearly back to pre-pandemic attendance, according to show management, and featured 365 exhibitors across nearly 840 booths.
Exhibitors turned out in force this year, showcasing their newest varieties. Among them were new textures and robust color which abounded in aisle after aisle of the massive trade show floor.
Also front and center were many new and exciting plant presentations, sizes, and growth patterns which yielded interesting plant shapes.
“TPIE 2023 was full of energy and served as the perfect lift-off as we move into the 2023 business year, Erik Dietl-Friedli, TPIE Chair (Flamingo Road Nursery, Davie, FL) said of the event. TPIE not only showcased in-demand plants for the consumer market, it also provided opportunities to fine-tune and upgrade customer offerings -- and even enhance category merchandising. Attendees can now return home informed, inspired and charged up with renewed and new business connections.”
TPIE once again provided an impressive stable of education opportunities at the show this year, from its Opening Session which featured world-renowned trends analyst Christine Boland, to a variety of cutting-edge education workshops, to an on-location Road Show production tour of Apopka nurseries.
At the show's Opening Session, Boland, who works for the Netherlands-based firm Trends & Mindsets, helped the standing-room-only crowd of more than 600 attendees to understand key 'Principles of Progress' points which she believes will resonate with consumers in coming months. Boland also encouraged attendees to capitalize on the plant industry's natural advantage in helping people feel connected with one another and nature.
TPIE's education workshops this year focused on a myriad of industry topics from interiorscape fundamentals to cutting-edge design. Sessions also highlighted design behaviors, social media strategies for increasing customer service, and preparing business exit strategies.
And, TPIE’s education would not be complete without the TPIE Road Show which featured a Production Tour of Apopka-area nurseries the day prior to the show's opening day. Attendees visited Costa Farms, Moss Hill Foliage inc., AG2TC, and LiveTrends Design Group where they saw state-of-the art production facilities growing orchids, hanging baskets and a variety of foliage. Attendees also saw tropical foliage liner production and a tissue-culture lab. The tour's final stop at LiveTrends Group provided a sneak preview of the company's mass market brands which strive to bring living décor to consumer households.
Nearly 6,500 attendees from across 48 U.S. states and 44 countries took to the trade show floor for this year’s show.
“TPIE is always an exciting event, yet celebrating the show’s 50th Anniversary made it even more special,” noted Linda Adams, TPIE show manager. “TPIE was started by seven individual foliage growers in 1973 to benefit the industry. Their dedication to growing plants for people around the country and their passion for the industry was ingrained in the show’s DNA from the beginning and continues today.”
Other notable show happenings included the largest-ever group of garden center retailers as judges at TPIE this year, all helping to find great products to present a Cool Product Award for. A total of 14 companies received coveted Cool Product awards for 15 products. See the 2023 TPIE Cool Product Award winners here.
TPIE’s Booth Awards program also recognized a host of creative and inspiring exhibitors. See the winners here.
And, attendees also voted on their favorite plants and products in the TPIE Exhibitor Showcase. Winners this year included:
Another significant highlight of the show took place during the National Horticulture Foundation’s (NHF) reception and the International Plantscape Awards Gala. NHF’s annual reception has been where endowment holders bring contributions or make their annual pledge for the year. In its second year, the International Plantscape Awards Gala, hosted by I-Plants Magazine and NHF, also provided an opportunity to raise money for horticulture research and marketing, and to educate future leaders, according to NHF Director Linda Reindl. "By growing forward together, we can make a vital impact on the future of the horticulture industry," Reindl added.
TPIE will move east across The Sunshine State to Ft. Lauderdale's Broward County Convention Center January 17 – 19, 2024. The Broward County Convention Center has added additional exhibit space as part of its impressive renovation plans.
For more on TPIE, visit TPIE's website.