ON: Mr. Robert
Fuchs, as a co-chairman of the 19th WOC, you should have many important
things to tell us about this event. First of all, could you tell a little
about the sponsors?
RF: The South Florida Orchid Society (SFOS) and
Fort Lauderdale Orchid Society (FLOS) are two of the largest orchid
societies in the U.S. (they are the two largest in Florida). Both societies
have been affiliates of the American Orchid Society for decades and
both produce large annual orchid shows. The Miami International Orchid
Show is the largest annual orchid show in the western hemisphere, and
the Ft. Lauderdale Orchid Society’s spectacular annual Show marks
the beginning of our very busy Florida “show season” each
January. We’re confident that the combined experience of both
societies will make the 19th WOC one of the best event in 2008. Col.
Kone was show chairman for the 11WOC in 1984, and he brings a lot of
experience to our board of directors. I have been chairman of the Miami
International Orchid Show a number of times, and have participated in
all World Orchid Conferences since 1984.
ON: When and where will the 19WOC be held?
RF: The 19th World Orchid Conference will be held
in late February/early March of 2008, at the Miami Beach Convention
Center, Miami Beach, Florida, USA. Our tentative schedule now is Feb.
23 – 25 for show setup, judging Feb. 26 (daytime), opening party
Feb. 26 (evening), and the show and conference open on Wednesday, Feb.
27 through Sunday, March 2.
ON: February-March is still winter in the northern hemisphere, however,
it seems that Miami Beach doesn’t have a hard winter, isn’t
it? It means that the weather is agreeable by this time?
RF: The weather in South Florida is excellent
at that time of the year! Temperatures are very mild, days are sunny
and beautiful. In fact this is our prime tourist season because the
weather is so perfect on most days. Visitors will love the weather!
The Convention Center is only a few blocks from the beach!
ON: What exactly means “Orchids – Nature’s Masterpiece”?
RF: This is our conference and show theme. To
us it means a focus on orchids in the natural world, particularly the
species and how they are surviving in their habitats and in “captivity”
ON: Is there already a program? There will be a main subject or it will
cover a variety of subjects?
RF: We’re working on the program now. It’s
a little too early to have the entire lecture program finished, as of
course we will want to include the most current scientific papers based
on research that’s being done now. We do plan to have two lecture
series, one for the scientific papers and one for the horticulture presentations.
There will be lots of interesting and educational programs during the
19WOC from as many of the world’s orchid experts as possible.
ON: Do you have any idea of the number of the lectures included in the
RF: We’re still organizing this, but we
hope to be able to offer about 40 lectures in the four days of the conference.
There will also be educational opportunities at the show, the informal
kinds of presentations that we do at the Miami International Orchid
Show… we have walking tours of the show, informal programs on
orchid culture for beginners and that sort of thing.
ON: Do you have any idea how many nurseries you think will participate
in the orchid show?
RF: We hope to have more than 100 exhibitors from
all around the world, including commercial firms, orchid societies and
individual growers, and of course we hope all of the commercial firms
will also participate as vendors.
ON: How many visitors are expected to attend this event?
RF: We expect several thousand conference registrants,
and perhaps as many as 100,000 visitors to the show.
ON: People can already do their inscription?
RF: Not yet. We are currently working on the details
of the registration process and will have that information available
on the conference website as soon as possible. We will be making more
conference information available on the website as we finish our planning
for all of the different aspects of the conference and show. The 19WOC
website address is www.19WOC.com
ON: There will be accommodation and travel facilities?
RF: Yes, absolutely. We are in discussion now
with a number of hotels near the convention center for special conference
rates, we will also have an official conference travel agency to assist
visitors with travel planning. We’ll be offering tours before,
during and after the conference, too, both local and in other parts
of Florida and the Caribbean.
If I may also add a comment about something… we are also working
closely with the US government agencies that oversee plant import and
export, so that the movement of orchid plants and flowers for the conference
goes as smoothly as possible. We will have all the information available
at a later date. We’re confident that exhibitors, vendors and
visitors who follow the US procedures will be able to bring orchids
in, and take orchids out, without problems. Miami is the most important
US port-of-entry for the cut flower industry, so the federal agencies
here are very professional and experienced in handling delicate flower
Thanks for your interest in and support of the 19th World Orchid Conference!
We hope to see you, and your readers, in Miami Beach in 2008!
ON: Thank you, Robert Fuchs.
19th World Orchid Conference
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