November 28, 2023
Take Charge of your Future at Congress
Everything you need to plan for a successful 2024
BY JULIA HARMSWORTH
Everyone wants to start the new year off on the right foot, and there’s no better way to do that than by attending the Landscape Ontario Congress trade show and conference. Held Jan. 9-11 at Toronto Congress Centre, it has everything you need under one roof to get you well on your way to having your best year ever. With a wide range of special events and show features, Congress is a fun, interactive event that thousands of landscape and horticulture professionals look forward to each year. Here’s how Congress can help you plan ahead and take charge of your future:
New productsThe Congress trade show features hundreds of exhibitors from across North America, displaying products ranging from electric equipment to backyard living products, to grower and plant innovation. Whatever you’re looking for, Congress has your 2024 shopping covered. Year after year, attendees say one of the top reasons they attend Congress is to see new products that can enable them to work more efficiently and more productively. You can get tickets to the trade show on us by using the Landscape Trades VIP code, LT2024, at LOcongress.com.
Learning opportunitiesMake your 2024 self the best you yet by taking advantage of the many learning opportunities available at Congress. Leaders across Landscape Ontario’s sector groups will discuss the latest trends, issues and training on the LIVE Stage for each of the three trade show days. All the sessions are free with your trade show pass.
Landscape Ontario’s Peer to Peer Network is hosting their annual kick-off event on Jan. 9 at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport. Designed for business owners and upper managers, this year’s workshop, titled Linking Leaders: Building Resilience Under Stress, will help you motivate a strong team and be the best leader you can be. The cost to attend is $225 for an LO member or $295 for a non-member, and includes lunch and an end-of-day reception.
The Congress Conference Jan. 9-11 is your opportunity to deep-dive into self-improvement with a range of inspiring and informative topics, including business optimization, climate change mitigation, digital marketing and team management. Sessions are held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. daily, giving you the afternoon to explore the trade show. See the sidebars for more about the speakers.
Tickets to the Congress Conference are $225 for a Landscape Ontario member, $275 for a non-member and $40 for a student or educator.
Awards of Excellence CeremonyThis year’s Landscape Ontario Awards of Excellence ceremony on Jan. 9 at the Delta Hotels Toronto Airport will give you the creative jolt you need heading into 2024. Featuring stunning photography of winning projects spanning seven landscape and horticulture categories, the awards ceremony showcases the master skill, creativity and vision of Landscape Ontario members. It’s a celebration of all our profession has to offer, including some inspiring stories of longstanding volunteers and individuals who have devoted entire careers for the benefit of all.
Tickets to the ceremony sell out every year. The cost is $100 per person or a table of 10 for $900. Get your gears turning and energize your team to set the bar even higher.
NetworkingTalk to anyone about Congress and they’ll rave about the many networking opportunities. Congress is an annual homecoming for those in the landscape and horticulture profession and while a lot of business transactions take place within the walls of the Toronto Congress Centre, countless conversations can also be heard about families, vacations and what the future may hold.
Congress is all about community building. Whether you connect with new or existing clients or suppliers, or strengthen an existing relationship with a colleague, Congress’ atmosphere just makes people want to share, connect and recharge. People are our ultimate resource, so make sure you start the year off on the right foot by building your business and social network through the many opportunities available at Congress.
So now that you’ve got the new products, the new you, the knowledge and the inspiration, you’ll have everything you need to plan for the best possible year ahead, thanks to attending Landscape Ontario’s Congress.
For full details and registration, visit LOcongress.com.
Included in your trade show pass, the LIVE Stage offers free learning opportunities for all attendees to refresh their knowledge and pick up new skills. It features experienced industry professionals passionate about educating their peers on a variety of topics.
Learn about Landscape Ontario’s impact and initiatives from Joe Salemi, Landscape Ontario executive director. Terry Childs of the Contractors Sector Group will take you back to basics and the Landscape Designers Group will teach you all about the storytelling power of landscape design. Scott Sim of the Landscape Lighting Sector Group will share the Landscape Lighting Tool Kit and the Snow and Ice Sector Group will share an update on their government relations work to create a level playing field for snow and ice management.
Find the full LIVE Stage schedule at LOcongress.com.
Economic Predictions for 2024 and How to Respond
“In light of the looming recession there are huge opportunities on the horizon. Are you prepared?”
Nathan Helder is the third-generation owner and CEO of Gelderman Landscape Services and has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Guelph. Helder took his passion for finance, human resources and business development to create Southbrook Consulting in 2014, which provides customized management solutions for business owners.
Helder has the insight and knowledge to prepare you for the economic future of 2024. Catch his talk 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Jan. 9.
Digital Engagement, Digital Influence and World of the “NOW” Customer
“What does your digital footprint look like today? Are you easy to do business with in the ‘NOW’ economy? The company that kills you will look nothing like you.”
Kevin Battistoni is the National Customer Experience Manager for Hunter Industries, which manufactures irrigation and outdoor lighting products. He has seen a rebirth in technology-driven products and services entering the green industry, and helps businesses leverage those technologies to grow their profits.
Battistoni will review the recipe for a successful online and social media presence in our increasingly digital world. Catch his talk 11 a.m.-12 p.m. on Jan. 9.
DANEE MARIE LAMBOURNE
Project Management for the Design/Build: Leveraging Opportunities in the unknowns!
“An overview of design integrity management, project management and the art of leaning into your construction trades.”
Danée Marie Lambourne is the owner of Eden Landscapes and Eden Projects Ltd., focusing on design and build management. She is a business expert in marketing, branding, user experience, portfolio management and finance, and has infused this expertise into her work in horticulture design.
Lambourne will give you the fresh design management perspective you need going into 2024. Catch her talk 9:30-10 a.m. on Jan. 10.
Root Rescue Environmental Products
Landscape Professionals and Public Land Managers in Canada are Uniquely Important in Slowing the Pace of Climate Change. How and Why is the Landscape Industry Changing — Perhaps Just in Time?
“Landscape professionals, public and private land managers are already well underway on a path of technology change. These folks have seen and accepted what science makes clear: plants need healthy living soils to flourish; plants are the stewards of the air and water.”
Bob Reeves is the founder and CEO of Root Rescue Environmental Products. He believes the secret to plant and professional success is in the soil beneath our feet, and advocates strongly for a regenerative approach to growing. In his work, he strives to marry his love of plants with industry innovation.
Climate change is an increasingly important concern in the future of the industry, and Reeves will help you address it. Catch his talk 11 a.m.-12 p.m. on Jan. 10.
WPE Landscape Equipment
The True Cost of Equipment
“When we step back and assess the original price of our landscape/construction equipment, along with maintenance and repairs, life cycle and depreciation, not to mention down time, the numbers can be astounding.”
Vince Borgdorff has taught small engine courses at Mohawk College and equipment maintenance courses at Landscape Ontario. He strives to bring professionalism to the landscape construction industry, believing that when one does better, we all do better.
Borgdorff will teach you about ways to save on equipment amidst the increasing cost of doing business. Catch his talk 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Jan. 11.
Sylvia Szot Landscape Design
Making Ontario’s New Excess Soil Regulations Work for You, Your Residential Clients and the Environment
“The age-old practice of removing ‘poor’ garden soil and replacing it with ‘fresh soil’ has seen its day for residential landscape construction projects.”
Sylvia Szot provides landscape design consultation services for her clients in the west GTA, holding a Bachelor of Science in botany from the University of Toronto and Landscape Design Certificate from Toronto Metropolitan University. She enjoys incorporating native plants and sound horticultural practices in her designs.
Keeping up with government regulations and best practices is important to planning your business’s future, and Szot can help. Catch her talk 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Jan. 11.