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Floradecora success story: the new market place is a flourishing sales platform for Gebroeders Van der Lugt Lisianthus

Nov 9, 2017

lisianthus in different colours

The Russians like them two-tone, the Scandinavians in shades of blue, the British in light pink and the Germans in a variety of colours: lisianthus, also known as prairie gentian due to their origins in North America. With their slim, twisted leaf buds, they are one of the most attractive and finest cut flowers. Their broad blossoms are reminiscent of tulips while their daintiness brings poppies to mind. One of the world’s biggest nurseries specialising in lisianthus is Gebroeders Van der Lugt Lisianthus with branches in the Dutch towns of Honselersdijk and Gravenzande. Every year, the company sells 40 million flowers to countries around the world. The most important buyers are wholesalers and florists. “But also an increasing number of wedding designers, event managers, hoteliers and retailers from different sectors”, says Marketing and PR Manager Jolanda Van der Lugt. Initial contacts to these new customers came via Christmasworld in Frankfurt am Main and are now being reinforced by the concurrent Floradecora, Order Fair for Fresh Flowers, Plants, Floral Displays and Ready Made Floral Arrangements.

According to Marketing Manager Jolanda Van der Lugt, the family-run company with its roots in vegetable and freesia cultivation decided to focus solely on growing this challenging cultivar around ten years ago. “Lots of experience, expertise and care is necessary to be able to offer a fine-looking product.” The company cultivates lisianthus flowers in sixteen attractive colours, on an area of 74,000 square metres the whole year round.

Moving from Christmasworld to Floradecora results in more customers and increasing sales figures

The van der Lugt Lisianthus exhibition stand at Floradecora 2017, photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / 2dezign
The van der Lugt Lisianthus exhibition stand at Floradecora 2017, photo: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / 2dezign

Jolanda Van der Lugt had the chance to speak with florists interested in this decorative flower when her company took part in a special event showing seasonal and festive decorations together with fresh flowers at Christmasworld 2016. Hence, deciding to take part in the première of Floradecora earlier this year was not difficult. “In the first year, we gained an impression that was confirmed by numerous florists.” They were helped in this not only by having their own exhibition stand but also by contacts to new customers made by sales partners such as FleuraMetz, Hamifleurs and OZ Export who also took part as exhibitors in the first edition of Floradecora.

The marketing expert was more than pleased with the reaction of visitors to the range of lisianthus flowers on show. “They were really enthusiastic and we achieved growth in terms of both sales figures and customer numbers.” For Jolanda Van der Lugt, Frankfurt is the right place to make a presentation with potential for growth with more visitors and more exhibitors. She gives two reasons for her positive assessment. Firstly, she believes there is a need for the new kind of market place offered by Floradecora. “There are not many flower fairs where customers can order directly and immediately. At Floradecora, they can see the goods with their own eyes and find out about the varied range of products we offer.” Secondly, she sees advantages from holding Floradecora concurrently with Christmasworld: “It gives florists and furnishing-store buyers the chance to order decorative materials and flowers at the same time and place. And they can see how flowers represent an ideal theme for every season.”

As a marketing expert, Jolanda Van der Lugt is particularly interested in promotional activities for lisianthus and, via social-media channels and printed publications, she shows many of the varied and attractive ways of arranging lisianthus. She also draws attention to the potential of these delightful flowers via workshops for wholesalers. At the same time, however, she attaches particular significance to the direct, enthusiastic reactions of Floradecora visitors: “We came to Frankfurt with completely new cultivars – with bigger varieties and extraordinary examples, which fascinated people there.” With her company’s presentation at next year’s Floradecora, Jolanda Van der Lugt aims to build on the contacts made at this year’s fair.

The 360° tour of Floradecora 2017 at offers insights into the spectrum of products to be seen and who to contact. For inquiries about taking part in Floradecora please contact Martina Bullack on
+49 69 7575-6466 or at

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Floradecora: The freshest way in floral business
From 26 to 30 January 2018, the new trade fair specifically designed for placing and taking orders, Floradecora, offers immediately available fresh flowers, decorative plants and flower arrangements for seasonal decoration – at an ideal time at the beginning of the year, right at the heart of Europe’s ‘strongest market for flower sales’. This innovative trade-fair concept puts fresh flowers and plants centre stage and guides the professional buyers from their intuitive selection of products to the appropriate flower / plant growers and producers, wholesale florists, importers and exporters, selling consortia, cooperatives or suppliers of ceramics and floristry requisites. At the premiere of the fair in 2017, 67 suppliers reached more than 10,700 professional buyers from the three parallel trade fairs Christmasworld, Paperworld and Creativeworld.

Christmasworld: Seasonal Decoration at its best
Christmasworld is the world’s most important order venue for the international decoration and festive articles sector. Held annually in Frankfurt, it presents the latest products and trends for all festivities of the year and provides innovative concept ideas for decorating large-scale and outdoor areas for the wholesale and retail trades, shopping centres, DIY markets and the green sector. The last event was attended by 1,061 exhibitors from 42 countries and over 43,200 visitors from 110 countries (including Floradecora). Christmasworld is characterised by the complete spectrum of festive decorations while a wide-ranging complementary programme with Trend Show, special exhibitions, events and expert lectures is a valuable and informative source of supplementary inspiration for everyday business life in the sector. Next event: 26 to 30 January 2018.

Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,300 employees at some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €647 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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