Hundreds of flower shows and festivals occur every year across the country. Labor day weekend you could find one such show in Gold Beach, Oregon featuring dahlias.
Garden tourism in the U.S. attracts more visitors than Disneyland and DisneyWorld combined, and more than Las Vegas in any given year. People will often combine garden tourism activities with Flower Shows.
The economic impact of flower shows are typically not measured, unless is it is a major show. Larger shows, like the Philadelphia Flower Show, generates an annual regional impact around $65 million with its 250,000 visitors each year. Proceeds from the Philadelphia Flower Show are funneled into thousands of community revitalization projects.
While our flower shows are significantly smaller, they may be, or have the capability to, generate some direct economic benefits, while avoiding horrific traffic snarls of the big show. Profits from some of these shows may also be poured back into the local economies often covering club educational expenses.
Putting on a flower show is not for the faint of heart!
The actual number of flower shows appear to be unknown. If you have ever been involved in a garden club of any type, you know that there are many shows, with several clubs sponsoring more than one every year.
These shows would be put on by a garden (public and private – like Hindsdale Garden near Reedsport), general garden clubs (such as the Sunset Garden Club of Port Orford), plant specific clubs (Siuslaw American Rhododendron Society), parks or arboretums, botanical gardens or educational groups, or other organizations (County and State fairs), and commercial entities (Home and Garden shows), etc. They can be private (for training purposes) or public (open to the public).
The actual economic impact would, of course, vary from show to show; and area to area. But many of the potential expenses and incomes would be similar. For instance, if we look at the Gold Beach Dahlia Show one might find similar potential expenses and incomes:
--Starts (tubers for Dahlias, seed, soil amendments, labor to plant, weed, water, tools
--Display containers, flowers, tools/mechanics for creating the displays, and accessories (a nice display container, for instance, often costs a couple of hundred)
--Basic design and plant education and training materials, membership, training fees
--Travel to participate in the shows or training, or purchase products and supplies
--Lodging, food, consumables
--Judges training, travel, printed materials, speakers, staff support, demonstration materials
--Education, speakers, certification for judges
--Regular club meetings, presenters, marketing, newsletters
--Display containers, entry tickets, classification guides, show schedules, marketing
--Location, tables/furniture, special tables (like awards) or lights
--Scheduling and other support (bookkeeping, tax preparation, etc.)
--Food, gas, gifts, etc.
--Lodging and travel costs
--Sale of products at show (like plants, flowers, tools) and services (perhaps consulting)
--Taxes, permits (could be income to city, county, state)
Want more? See “Garden Tourism” by Richard Benfield
Shows can offer creative options, such as garden tourism. These activities can play into the economic numbers with people going to flower shows and adding on extra garden side trips. This could include tours before, during, and after a show that cater to spouses not interested in plants, plant-centric quirky tours, and totally independent excursions (like shopping).
The floral industry is considered to be a ‘Traded Sector’ because many of the flowers and accessories are brought in from and shipped to other countries. For instance, nearly 80 percent of our fresh flowers come from Columbia and only one percent of roses purchased in the U.S. were actually grown here. Some of these flowers are used for shows, often in the artistic design competitions where the designer is not required to grow their own blooms. The floral industry is also amazingly recession-proof with only a minor blip during the recent recession.
Putting on a flower show is not for the faint of heart. It is a lot of work, educational, yet a lot of fun, and helps one learn how to be creative. Who knew it was also good for the local economy? Amazing! Support your local flower show!
1 Garden tourism benefits the economy and much more (https://buffalonews.com/2013/03/22/garden-tourism-benefits-the-economy-and-much-more/)
2 A groovy turnout: Crowds jam opening day of Philadelphia Flower Show (https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia-flower-show-convention-center-tourism-20190302.html)
3 Wikipedia: Philadelphia Flower Show (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Flower_Show)
4 The Economics of Flowers: A Mother’s Day Must? (https://smartasset.com/insights/the-economics-of-flowers)
This BLOG is all about using creative talents to create and support the economy in Oregon. First Blog out of the shute is how film in Oregon helps bring in money and jobs into the state. Business Recruitment, Retention, and Expansion (BRE) comes in many forms and flavors. The entertainment sector is alive and well on the South Coast!