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TPIE expected to draw 6,000 to exhibits, new products, sessions on tapping into creativity

An indoor garden of living plants covering some 200,000 square feet and offering 400 exhibitors will greet an expected 6,000 visitors from the United States and 15 other countries at the 41st annual edition of the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition Jan. 22-24 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Sponsored by the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association, the show will debut new Create Theater workshops, offer short courses for managers and technicians, present dozens of hands-on demonstrations, introduce new plants and products, select TPIE Cool Products, host a jobs and internships booth and a career fair, and hold a Happy Hour event with Calypso dancers.

A pre-show grower tour in the Homestead, FL, area on Jan. 21 will visit Costa Farms, Plant Creations, RF Orchids, Sunshine Tropical Foliage and The Jungle Nursery. The bus tour will leave the convention center at 7:30 a.m. and return at 5 p.m.

A new feature of the show for 2014 is the Create Theater, staged with the American Institute of Floral Designers. The theater offers two free workshops each day on themes ranging from Tropical and Green Weddings to Plants as Event Décor to Holiday Celebrations. Also new this year, a way for visitors to plan their time at the show through a mobile web application, http://m.TPIE.org. Here they can mark listings for exhibits and events they want to visit.

General sessions Jan. 22 will feature John Kennedy, a business strategist, with the keynote address, “Innovate & Create —Change That Brings Success,” and Melissa Laughon on the strengths and liabilities of the four generations that make up today’s work force, the important role they play in the talent wars and strategies to build an organizational culture that benefits from their varied talents.

For Jan. 23, the topic will be “Take a Walk on the Wild Side,” with Amanda Campbell Bennett, manager of Atlanta Botanical Garden, focusing on tapping into creativity on garden displays. Also on tap that day is a popular feature of the show, the Cool Products presentation led by the Garden Center Group, which commissions buyers to stroll the exhibit hall and then vote on the 15 top products with sales potential.

TPIE introduces many new items to the industry. Among them will be LivePicture, a plant display that hangs on a wall like a painting, and Crispy Wave, an exotic, sculpted fern with shiny, pleated leaves billed as “highly effective at purifying the air.” Buyers vote for their favorite new plants and products, and winners are announced on the final day of the show.