Only nine months separate us from the event that all European florists – and a great many non-European ones too – are anxiously waiting for. It will be a fantastic opportunity to meet countless colleagues; further improve your floral design techniques, and see the best of the best compete for a very prestigious title. We are, of course, talking about the European Floristry Championship, in Poland: Florint’s 2020 EUROPA CUP!
You may not have realised it, but we are in the middle of the final countdown to the most significant Polish floristry event ever! History will be written in the proud city of Katowice, when the 3-day European Florist Championship officially begins on June 5.
As many people can’t wait to attend the Europa Cup 2020, the organisers of the championship recently sat down for an interview. Zenon Rek and Daria Tomala, the President and the Manager of Polish Florist Association SFP, know more about the upcoming championship than anyone else. Below, they will unveil some of the secrets of the Europa Cup 2020 for you:
Interviewer: In 2016, Poland was selected as the organiser of this prestigious event. Never before have Poles been faced with such a massive task. Zenon, we know that being chosen for this task, as such a young association, is already a huge success…
Zenon Rek: It’s true. We approached this challenge filled with courage and hope. SFP is a young association that is working continuously to build a strong position for itself, both in Poland and internationally. Becoming an organiser of pan-European championships in floristry is both an honour and ennoblement for us. For me, personally, it is a dream come true. We are aware of the trust placed in us – and we will do our best so that all European florists are impressed.
Daria Tomala: We always keep in mind that this is a competition for professionals. The participants are challenged through tasks that verify their knowledge, technical skills, creativity and innovation. Preparations for the championship are an enormous undertaking, requiring a lot of focus, work and time both from the participants as well as the organisers.
The florists will be competing in this event next year but we, as organisers, are faced with this great challenge right now. I admit that the pressure and responsibility that is on us is enormous. However, it motivates us to work even better.
Interviewer: Close to a year until the Championship; it seems to be quite distant still. What is your main focus at the moment?
Daria Tomala: Contrary to appearances, the preparation time is shrinking very quickly. Especially when we realise what a multi-level task it is. For several months now, we have been working in groups on a coherent concept, marketing strategy and completing the documentation. At the core of each major project always are the numerous hours spent on developing a meticulous plan.
Zenon Rek: The first Technical Committee meeting took place at the beginning of May. Katowice, where the Europa Cup 2020 will take place, was visited by Tracy Tomlinson, Karolina Ładyżyńska Skrzypek and Ferenc Kruzslicz. The judges had the opportunity to visit the International Congress Centre facility, which will host the competing florists next year. The primary purpose of the meeting was to work on regulations for the Europa Cup. I am very pleased that everything is proceeding according to the schedule. 80% of the Europa Cup regulations have been finished. We are in the process of fine-tuning the final details.
Interviewer: Probably, many florists throughout Europe are waiting for the moment they get the regulations in their hands. When do you plan to make it public?
Zenon Rek: We are fairly sure this will take place in October.
Interviewer: Katowice is the capital of the industrial part of Poland – Silesia. This area has been associated with heavy industry and mines for years, rather than with flowers, nature or art. Can we expect any references to these associations during the upcoming championships?
Daria Tomala: In recent years, Poland has undergone a massive transformation in many respects. Katowice is a city that transformed spectacularly. From a working space, it has turned into a modern metropolis, where art, design and innovation are as important as technology and the mining industry. This transformation was a factor when choosing this city as the host of the championship. Katowice has the title of Creative City of UNESCO in the field of music. We can reveal that those associations will be the keynote of the event.
Zenon Rek: Music will accompany the florists at every stage of the Europa Cup. It will be present in the challenges as well as decorations and accompanying events.
Daria Tomala: We are also working on technological innovations that we plan to use during the championship. I am convinced that the combination of innovation and art will bring the guests a new level of experience and will make it easier for everyone. It is worth mentioning that the competition will be accompanied by additional events. Thanks to cooperating with various organizations, SFP is preparing an exciting programme that includes presentations and seminars that should be exciting for the attendees. Soon we will release the details.
Interviewer: What about the tickets? Can you share any information on that? Can we expect a variety of packages that can be tailored to individual needs?
Zenon Rek: Ticket sales will also begin in October. We plan to sell in several tranches and offering priority and preferential prices for members of the organisations associated with Florint, the International Florist Organisation.
Daria Tomala: I encourage you to look at our website www.europacup2020.eu and to view our profiles on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EuropaCup/ and Instagram: www.instagram.com/europacup2020/. These are the platforms through which we provide all the information that is important at every stage of preparation. There will also be contests where the prizes are VIP tickets for the Europa Cup!
Interviewer: As we can see, you are not wasting any time. Is there any area of your preparations that would require support? Maybe you could use some extra hands to work?
Daria Tomala: There is a lot of work in different areas. Many of our projects would not have been possible without the support of our partners. The people we work with are the most important factor at every stage of the preparations; people that we can count on. Their help and energy are invaluable. Anyone who would like to support us with their talent, time or experience, we encourage to fill in the volunteers form that can be found on our website.
Interviewer: I am convinced that no one has any doubts that the Europa Cup 2020 will be an exceptional event in every respect. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for all your plans to succeed, and I look forward to seeing you in Katowice soon!