December 1, 2020
Congress Connect

Congress Connect

Canada’s new green community launches Jan. 12-14, 2021

It’s time to put on your thinking cap. Whatever stresses to your business Covid-19 has missed, the government is finding, and it has become commonplace to see people wearing masks, alone in their cars. Entire sectors are idled, not by direct regulation, but by entire employee pools paid to not work. Raw materials are either in abundance or absent without leave. The landscape is, in a word, bizarre.

Making, saving and investing money is difficult under any circumstances. In this, mid-Covid environment, it is even tougher. You can make progress, but you need to be careful.

Let’s be honest. The general attitude toward virtual trade shows has been skeptical to cynical. However, communication is the one human trait that is absolute in any attempt to move forward. In an industry — any industry — there are three communication channels: the media, the associations and the trade shows. Without at least one of these vital modes of communication, there is no industry — just a bunch of individuals across the country, each doing the same thing independently, making the same mistakes at the same time and reinventing the wheel. Two of three is better, and three is best.

What is the reality of a virtual show, you ask? Well, you need to go to basics. Clearly, you can’t walk the aisles, run into friends, kick tires and hammer deals in the same manner.

However, properly done, you have fewer inputs. For example, there are no travel expenses, and no per diem. You save a bit of shoe leather and a bit of back strain. Cost savings are, of course, the blood of business. It does not matter how much money you make; what matters is what money you keep.

On the up-side, every exhibitor is both waiting for you to take notice, and anxious to make certain once you do take notice that you not click them off.

The exhibitors, too, have less capital investment, and may be amenable to passing those savings into attractive packages for attendees, but you have to ask. Nobody wants to show his cards to a competitor.

On your end, you certainly have to invest your time and attention, and that puts some of us off. Time is a scarce commodity. However, you have already saved time and money on the trip, you have an open line of communication with your association, your media and your trade show, and everybody is weary of fear and ready to deal.

Products are consistently the top reason you cite for attending shows, so Congress Connect is positioned to serve your exact needs. The virtual platform gives you continuing access to pictures, videos, spec sheets and sales reps who can answer your questions all year long.

Education is a close second. Congress Connect is offering Canada’s finest lineup of speakers for all green sectors. Again, that content (detailed at right) will be available for a full year.

Think about it. Sign up.

Congress Connect Conference schedule

Monday, January 11, 2021

IPM Symposium
Speakers include: Eric Lyons, University of Guelph; Nancy Cain, Cain Vegetation; Guillaume Grégoire, Université Laval; Scott Olan, Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks; Jen Llewellyn, OMAFRA, and John Bladon, The Chimera Group.

Landscape Designers Conference
Speakers include: Ron Koudys, Ron Koudys Landscape Architects; Danée Marie Lambourne, Eden Projects; plus two panel discussions and a closing keynote by Mark and Ben Cullen.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Get New Clients and Retain Them With Effective Marketing
Catherine Luzena-Hall, Practical Marketing Group

Eat that Yard: Edible Home Landscapes
Steven Biggs, Food Garden Life Media

To be announced
Mark Bradley, LMN

11:00-12:00 p.m.

Collaboration Between Trades
Paul Brydges, Brydges Landscape Architecture

MTO Facility Audit - What You Need to Know
Ian and JoAnn Walters, Ian Walters Commercial Vehicle Consultant

Details to Make Wood Last Longer
Yuill McGregor, North on Sixty

12:30-1:30 p.m.

KEYNOTE: Embrace the Unexpected
David Bastedo, Photographer for the Tragically Hip

1:45-2:45 p.m.

If Only Trees Could Talk
Jennifer Llewellyn, OMAFRA

Open Book Management
Grant Harrison, Nextra Consulting

Strategic Planning for Your Landscape Company
Mark Bradley, LMN

3:00-4:00 p.m.

Specialist Fruit Tree Pruning
Susan Poizner, Orchard People

Professional Sales for the Professional
Rob Redden, in-lite Outdoor Lighting

Sustainability: Leading Your Team, Clients and Community to a Better Way
Paige Parker and Scott Wentworth, Wentworth Landscapes

Thursday, January 14, 2021

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Why Some Companies Rise to the Top
Peter Guinane, Oriole Landscaping

The ‘Unfair Advantage’ of Using Augmented Reality for Landscape Projects
Mansoor Ma, LANDinc

How To Impact Your Performance in Real Time
Laura Cole, Your Latitude

11:00-12:00 p.m.

Using Ecological References in Planting Design
Jonas Spring, Ecoman

The Stormwater Management Crisis in Ontario
Kyle Vander Linden,

Credit Valley Conservation Which Comes First? The Disengaged Employee or the Frustrated Employer?
Jacki Hart, Consulting by Hart

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

9:45-10:45 a.m.

The Accountability Fix
Jacki Hart, Consulting by Hart

2020 Trial Garden Results
Rodger Tschanz, University of Guelph

Mental Health in the Workplace
Dana Hurst, People Corporation

11:00-12:00 p.m.

How To Increase Your Profit per Employee by $1,000 Per Year
Domenic Richichi, EIO Solutions

Stories That Sell
Alyssa (Twist) Light, The Profitable Innovator

Landscaping for Crime Prevention
Amy Boudreau

12:30-1:30 p.m.

KEYNOTE: Why What You Do and Who Your Are Matters
James Orbinski, York University

1:45-2:45 p.m.

Building a Landscape Empire: How It’s Done!
George Urvari, Oriole Landscaping

Marketing Systems for Attracting Homeowners
Vanessa McQuade and Robert Murray, Intrigue Media Solutions

Coordinating Supply and Demand of Local and Ethically Sourced Native Plants
Stefan Weber, Ontario Plant Restoration Alliance

Building a Lean Landscape Company
Mark Bradley, LMN

3:00-4:00 p.m.

The Construction Act
Josh Winter, JD, Kennaley Construction Law

Landscape Lighting: Another Layer of Creativity
Carl Hastings, Moonstruck Lighting
Ken Martin, Ken Martin Landscape Lighting and Design
Jamie Riddell, SiteOne Landscape Supply