Monday, July 30, 2012

Medals & Bouquets: Congratulations to All the 2012 Olympic Medalist

Yi Siling of China celebrates with her
gold medal during the Victory Ceremony

Gold medalist Marianne Vos of The Netherlands
        reacts on the podium after the women's cycling road race event,              during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

London Olympics: The medal winners on Day 3
Gold medalists South Korea's Ki Bo Bae, Lee Sung Jin and Choi Hyeonju (R) celebrate on the podium of the women's team archery event next to silver medalist China's Cheng Ming, Fang Yuting and Xu Jing Xu (L) during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 29, 2012 in London. South Korea won the gold medal, China the bronze medal and Japan the silver medal.

London Olympics: The medal winners on Day 3
(from L) Cuba's silver medalist Yanet Bermoy Acosta, North Korea's gold medalist An Kum Ae, France's bronze medalist Priscilla Gneto and Italy's bronze medalist Rosalba Forciniti, pose on the podium of the women's -52kg contest of the judo event at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Ryan Lochte of the United States acknowledges the crowd after receiving his gold medal for winning the 400m Individual Medley during the 2012 Summer Olympics at the Aquatics Centre on Saturday, July 28, 2012 in London, England.


American Olympic swimmer Dana Vollmer waves after being awarded her gold medal for winning the women's 100m butterfly final. Vollmer won with a world record of 55.98 seconds at the 2012 Summer Olympics, July 29, 2012, in London, England. UPI/Mike Theiler

  • Silver medalist Sylwia Bogacka of Poland, gold medalist Siling Yi of China and bronze medalist Dan Yu of China celebrate during the victory ceremony for the Women's 10m Air Rifle Shooting Final. (Getty Images)

  • Kimberly Rhode of the US wipes away a tear as she stands on the podium after winning the women's skeet competition at The Royal Artillery Barracks. Rhode scored a new Olympic Record of 99 points.

    Lizzie Armitstead won Team GB's first London 2012 medal with silver in the women's road race (Pic: Action Images)

    Daniel Purvis, Max Whitlock, Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas and Sam OldhamGreenwich dream-time: (From left) Daniel Purvis, Max Whitlock, Louis Smith, Kristian Thomas and Sam Oldham salute the crowd during their medal ceremony (Picture: AFP/Getty)


     Missy Franklin, Jessica Hardy, Lia Neal and Allison Schmitt (L-R) celebrate their bronze medal in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay on Day One.
    Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski and Jacob Wukie (L-R) pose after winning the silver medal in the men's team archery event on Day One.


    How to "Pull Your Head Out of the Sand" and Use Social Media in Your Small Business

    SBA.GOV site - U.S Small Business Administration
    Social media is one of the fastest growing channels for businesses to connect with existing and potential customers. However, taking that first step or next step can be a challenge. How do you find the time for it? How do you build a following and engage with your audience? What social media platforms are the best for your business?

    If any of these questions have crossed your mind, you’re not alone. During this year’s National Small Business Week Conference in Washington, D.C., in May, hundreds of small business owners posed these and other questions to a panel of experts from Twitter, Yelp, Google, GrowBizMedia and Constant Contact during a well-attended Social Media Forum.

    Despite the cultural and marketing phenomenon that social media has become, many small business owners still struggle to juggle the demands of business and justify the effort it takes to engage social media, despite the opportunity social media represents – or as panel moderator, the Wall Street Journal’s Brian Moran observed: “ … stick their head in the sand and pretend social media isn’t there!”.

    If this sounds like you, here are some social media best practices shared at the event that may inspire you to pull your head out of the sand!

    Getting to Know Your Customers Again

    Why is social media so important to small businesses?
    Panelist Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBizMedia, sees social media as an opportunity for small businesses to reignite what they once did automatically in the past, before the advent of big malls. Today, those traditional small town relationships are harder to build. But “…social media lets you have a relationship with existing and potential customers… you’re not just some anonymous business owner to them.”

    Luther Lowe, director of Business Outreach at Yelp agreed: “…social media is an extremely powerful way to retain existing customers… and keep that person educated about why they should continue to use you as a small business.”

    Jenna Golden, a member of Twitter’s Public Affairs and Public Outreach team, stressed the importance of not thinking about it as a digital relationship, but something as something that can actually turn into an in-person relationship.

    Which Platform is Right for Your Business?

    Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest—the list goes on. But which are right for your business? There is no silver bullet when it comes to answering this question.

    As Lesonsky explained: “...find out where your customers can be found, go there first, and then spread out from there… if you run a restaurant, yes, you probably should be on Twitter, but you should really be on Yelp first.”

    Erica Ayotte, social media manager with Constant Contact, recommends businesses start with one channel test it and nurture it. Erica also recommends a little diversification, suggesting you “spend a little time each week exploring new platforms and figure out if they might be for you.”

    Reaching the Right People

    A fundamental challenge for small business owners is finding the right people to follow and engage.

    Twitter’s Golden stressed the importance of asking yourself who it is you want to reach? “If you have the right people following you, you can count on them to re-Tweet the information and really get it out further.” In this case, quality of followers is often more important than quantity.

    The panel also recommended using search tools to identify and follow people who are influencers in your industry. For example, if you are in the restaurant business, identify the food bloggers in your region, give them a follow, and slowly you’ll start to build and grow your followers and influence.

    The panel also stressed the importance of connecting your social media activity to your already loyal email subscriber list. Send them an email to let them know about your social media presence and quickly generate new follows from those who are already engaged with you.

    Get Ready to Engage

    Engagement isn’t always easy; it takes time to build up a loyal following of like-minded people.

    Starting with information that is perceived as interesting is one step. Jeff Aguero, head of Local Marketing for Google, encourages small business owners to “…start with quality content, something that you do really well, and then use social media and web tools to amplify it.”

    Web chats, contests and surveys are also great ways to engage, but the panel cautioned small business owners new to social media to resist this form of heavy interaction until their network has had time to grow. “Once you’ve established awareness and trust, then look to step up your approach,” suggested Constant Contact’s Ayotte. “Don’t let perfection be the enemy of progress,” she explained. “It can take some time to figure out what content is going to resonate with an audience… Try something new if no one responds to your Facebook posts. It’s OK. Tweak your posts until you find your sweet spot.”

    And last but not least, authenticity is critical. “Try to use your authentic voice,” stressed Twitter’s Golden.

    2008 & 2010 Olympics Bouquets

    The Vancouver 2010 Olympic bouquets

    Beijing 2008 Olympics Bouquets
    They are created by using 9 perfect China red roses, six leaves of fragrant plantain lilies (hostas), six pieces of ophiogon japonicus (grass), hypericum berries (St. John’s wort) and obedient plant (physostegia).

    Models present bouquets designed with mobile-phones...

    Wedding season marketing: Models present bouquets designed with mobile-phones and other electronic gadgets at the Techno Mart in Seoul Tuesday. With fall traditionally a strong wedding season in Korea, consumer electronics stores have been upping their marketing efforts for newlyweds.

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

    Bexley students arranging Olympic bouquets
    Students from Bexley Adult Education College have been chosen to put together victory bouquets for Olympic winners.

    The Brampton Road institute in Bexleyheath is one of three which will be working in partnerhsip with Jane Packer Flowers in adding their touch to the Games.

    Tutor Linda Barton said: “It’s an honour and a lovely opportunity to be involved in the Olympics.

    “We’ve got to produce about 600 in total which will be a lot of effort but it will be totally worth it. This is something that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.”

    About 50 past and present students will work on a rota system, starting tomorrow (July 27), to put the bouquets together for medal winners on the podiums.

    They attended a training session at Jane Packer’s central London headquarters, hearing how the bouquets have been designed, the concept behind the colours and themes and how to construct the floral icon.

    Georgia World Congress Center Green Roof/Plaza: 1 of The 10 Largest Green Roofs

    The 10 Largest Green Roofs

    Green roofs are gaining acceptance in dozens of countries, joining other forms of green infrastructure that are being used to mitigate environmental problems of urban centers.

    For example, vegetated roofs “are very good at managing stormwater. Most extensively planted green roofs will hold the first inch of rainfall and slow any additional rainfall, thus reducing peak flows and lowering the stress on combined sewer overflows,” says Steven Peck, founder and president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (CRHC).

    The group is a professional association with both corporate and individual members, ranging from large manufacturers to contractors, nurseries, landscape architects, structural engineers, roofing consultants and horticulturalists. "Stormwater management has been a driver [of green roof construction] in the U.S.," adds Peck.

    "The Environmental Protection Agency is working on rulemaking for municipal separate stormwater sewer systems (MS4s). It's very clear there is going to be a very significant green infrastructure component (green roofs and green streets)," says Nancy Somerville, executive vice president of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

    Many cities throughout the U.S. and Europe have green-roof mandates or incentives in place. Stuttgart, Germany, requires green roofs on all new flat-roofed industrial buildings. In 2007, Pittsburgh enacted an law establishing stormwater volume reduction standards for properties greater than 10,000 sq ft, including on-site retention of the first inch of rainfall through any combination of infiltration, evapotranspiration and rainwater harvesting. Portland, Ore., requires new city-owned buildings and existing buildings in need of a roof replacement to install a green roof on at least 70% of the roof area.

    Green Roofs for Healthy Cities' annual survey of its corporate members found that the green roof industry in the U.S. and Canada increased 115% between 2010 and 2011. The annual growth rate is derived by averaging the square footage of green roofs installed by a representative sample of corporate members.

    "Increasing numbers of building owners in the public and private sectors are recognizing they can design, build and maintain green roofs profitably with a good return on investment," says Peck.

    "Green roofs have a higher cost up front, but the payback over time is significant, not just in energy savings. It's protecting your roof membrane—you can skip one or two or three roof replacement cycles," says Somerville.

    2012 Olmpics in Flowers


    Thursday, July 26, 2012

    2012 AIFD National Symposium Video Clips

    AIFD Made Miami "Caliente!" 

    AIFD Symposium 2012 Caliente in Miami - Beautiful Designs 
    2012 AIFD National Symposium "Caliente" - Mayesh Booth

    Flowers in the Hair of a Beautiful Bride!

    Bridal Headpieces

    Bridal HeadpiecesBridal Headpieces

    Bridal flower hair piece

    Double silk flower headpiece forget me knot by tessa kim