January 15, 2014
Congress is your first, best decision of 2014
Congress is Canada’s premier green industry trade show and conference.
By Kristen McIntyre

Excitement has been building for months, and now the main event is here, Congress 2014, on Jan. 7 to 9 at the Toronto Congress Centre on Dixon Rd..

The ever-expanding, always-changing green industry has Congress as its kick-off event of the year. It’s your best opportunity to meet and mingle and catch up with peers. The event, now in its 41st year, has become the most anticipated annual meeting place for the Canadian horticulture industry.

Congress is Canada’s premier green industry trade show and conference, which includes a concurrent conference and several special events, and offers more than 600 exhibits from Canada, the U.S. and Europe. It showcases the latest and best products for landscaping, including large and small equipment, pools, fencing, plant products, irrigation and paving products.  

The Congress Green Industry Conference is the most highly anticipated landscape industry education and networking experience of the year. A dynamic speaker line-up, composed of industry leaders and successful entrepreneurs, offers an interesting variety of practical sessions, owner-only workshops and popular lunch-’n’-learns. The Conference is an unparalleled opportunity to be inspired, learn about emerging industry trends and build new relationships. Sessions cover topics from how to get your business on the front page of Google, to ways to reinvent your business and respond positively to a cyclical recession model. Special owners-only workshops focus on how to expand your business, how to understand the threats of growth and how to avoid pitfalls.

Membership: What’s in it for you?

  • Trade show
  • Strong partnerships
  • Recognition
  • Awards
  • Social
  • New products
Warm-up Monday’s pre-trade show includes the returning Effective Management Short Course, the Landscape Designer Conference and the 49th Annual IPM Symposium. Monday also includes the Living Walls and Green Roofs GPGB Train the Trainer workshop.

The popular New Product Showcase at Congress is Canada’s largest collection of new green industry products and services, featuring the latest tools, plants and products that industry professionals seek to meet the demands of their clientele for the coming spring season. The New Product Showcase offers a broad range of equipment, live goods and services to help green industry professionals run their businesses more effectively, efficiently and profitably. From new plant species to efficient systems for trucks and equipment, business owners and public green space managers will find new and innovative products that will help them grow and prosper.

“Congress really does cover every facet of the lawn and garden industry. From apprenticeship students studying horticulture to seasoned landscape and maintenance contractors working on multi-million dollar projects, our new products showcase features items that will inspire and help improve the way they get the job done,” says Heather MacRae, Director of Events and Trade Shows. “In addition to the diversity of the products in the showcase, we also have a number of green products, as well as many new plant varieties.”

Congress is not just a trade show and conference; several special events are held during the three show days. Opening day Tuesday is topped off with the evening’s Awards of Excellence ceremony, where the talents and creativity of landscape construction, maintenance and design contractors is showcased. The awards portray a competitive spirit, and how industry members strive for continuous achievement and improvement. The award winners consistently raise the bar for the rest of the industry. This event is not to be missed.

Wednesday morning opens with a full breakfast at Landscape Ontario’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), where all members are welcome. Members are encouraged to attend and hear about association accomplishments and
issues, and have their say in the direction for 2014.

New to the Wednesday line-up is the Feminine Factor in Horticulture. This will take place before the Tailgate Party at the hotel. This new event was created specifically for women in this industry. A keynote presentation from Beth Edney CLD, will be followed by round-table discussion.

At Landscape Ontario, we like to say thank you and show our appreciation, so Wednesday night ends with the famous Tailgate Party. It’s a big thank you event for everyone at Congress. All that is required for entry is a trade show badge. A full dinner is complemented by superb entertainment and lots of fun new items for all to enjoy. What are the new items? Join us at 5 p.m. and find out!

Thursday morning will host the annual Irrigation Conference, featuring a keynote presentation from Brent Mecham from the Irrigation Association.

We know it is a lot to keep track of — so Congress has gone mobile. Get our 2014 app at App.locongress.com.

Registration for the trade show, conference and special events may be done at www.locongress.com or onsite at the Toronto Congress Centre, South Building, 650 Dixon Rd., Toronto.