2020 Convention (St. Petersburg, FL)

Gesneriad Treasures in the Sunshine State
June 30 to July 4, 2020

The Tampa Bay Gesneriad Society invites you to attend the 2020 Convention, “Gesneriad Treasures in the Sunshine State” to be held at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront. Our hotel rooms offer views of the bay or the pedestrian-friendly, park-filled city. A free downtown trolley stops opposite the hotel lobby every 15 minutes and makes 20 stops around town allowing easy access to the many eateries, shops, museums, and many other activities nearby.

For those who would like to extend their stay before and/or after convention, and enjoy more of Florida, there is an amazing variety of things to do. Tourism is a mainstay of the state and it is easy to see why: great beaches along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean; the Florida Keys; Walt Disney World; Universal Studios; the Kennedy Space Center; and, of course, many botanical gardens, some world-renowned, and specialty plant nurseries all along the coasts and throughout the center of the state.

Sunken Gardens

Of course, the first stop for plant shopping will be the sales tables at the convention. We will have many familiar genera, including new and old species and hybrids, and for those who look for the rare and unusual, we plan to have many plants available for purchase that you may not see elsewhere.

The convention program begins with registration on Sunday (and open throughout the rest of the week). Please look at the revised program events for the week as the program has changed.

We invite you on Monday to join us for both morning and evening tours. (See details on the tours page.) Tuesday will be filled with Judging School sessions, the opening dinner, and the Conservation Committee meeting/program. Wednesday morning offers another tour (if you missed the one on Monday) while your Board of Directors is busy at work. The afternoon includes other activities as well as the first of four exciting lectures (details on the speakers page). The Annual Meeting and dinner and the ever-popular GHA meeting follow that evening.

Thursday morning will include a short meeting of the new Board and our second lecture, followed in the afternoon by flower show entries and an informal discussion. Evening includes dinner, our third lecture and the eagerly awaited opening of plant sales. Flower Show judging will happen on Friday morning, along with other activities like the opening of the silent auction and the first viewing that afternoon of the flower show. Friday evening will again highlight the flower show award winners at the awards banquet.

Saturday will include the flower show critique for judges and clerks and another opportunity to photograph and enjoy the beautiful show entries. If you still have the desire to look (and have the space to cram in “just a few more” gesneriads to take home), the sales area will again be open. That morning our Student Grant recipients will give their presentations followed by our final featured speaker. Lunch and the live auction and other activities will complete the afternoon before breakdown of the show and sale.

Saturday evening wind-down activities will be casual with an optional dinner on your own at a nearby restaurant followed by viewing the spectacular St. Petersburg fireworks at the new pier and/or enjoying the social hosted by the Tampa Bay Chapter Social in a suite on the top floor of the hotel with long-distance viewing of the fireworks. Join us and your fellow conventioneers as you re-live the fun you’ve had at convention and say goodbye to friends old and new … until next year.

As the most popular tourism destination on the American Gulf Coast with outstanding weather, the St. Pete/Clearwater area is the treasure of Tampa Bay. Downtown St. Petersburg is the area’s cultural heart, with iconic museums (Dalí, Chihuly, Museum of Fine Arts, Imagine Museum, James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, Holocaust Museum, and many others), a mix of gleaming new condos and historic neighborhoods, and a stretch of public parks lining the bay that many say give it a distinctly European flair. The New York Times recently placed the Sunshine City of St. Petersburg on its list of “52 Places to Go in the World.”

  • Join us in St. Petersburg, Florida, for “Gesneriad Treasures in the Sunshine State.”

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