Jan. 23, 2015, Toronto — Crowds and suppliers were focused on the future at Congress, held earlier this month at the Toronto Congress Centre.
Over 12,000 professionals attended the show, which featured 586 exhibitors on eight acres of floor space.
Landscape construction and maintenance are the primary sectors served by Congress, as well as other green industry specialties ranging from retailing to nursery growing to landscape design.
According to the mood of attendees, the recent economic downturn is history; delegates were energized and looking to grow their businesses.
“Congress is always a great start to my new year. It is where I catch up with my industry contacts and start to develop new ideas, while at the same time, seeing what’s new in the industry at such a world-class event,” says Alan White of Turf Systems, a Burlington, Ont.,-based lawn care and snow management provider.
Congress is an initiative of Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association. It consistently ranks as one of Canada’s Top Ten trade shows.
• Hutcheson Sand and Mixes, Mar-Co Clay and Stone, Techo-Bloc, Battlefield Equipment Rentals and Stihl received Best Booth awards for the 2015 show.
• Kubota Canada won the Best of Show award for its outstanding display, which included a full-sized loader done up as a cellophane and cardboard-packaged toy.
• NewRoads National Leasing was honoured with the Special Promotion award, for its creativity in promoting show attendance electronically.
• A high visibility opportunity offered to exhibitors was display space in the New Product Showcase.
Congress is also the Canadian industry’s professional development hub, offering over 30 sessions and keynotes through the Congress Conference series. Integrated Pest Management, landscape design, peer mentoring and irrigation were all topics of special conferences.
An annual Congress highlight is Landscape Ontario’s Awards of Excellence ceremony. Over 600 attended the gala that showcased breathtaking landscape projects. The ceremony featured professional staging and a live band, in talk-show format. The evening’s host was Frank Ferragine of Breakfast Television.
The green industry is committed to matching young people with rewarding careers in horticulture. Students from horticulture programs at Durham, Fanshawe, Humber, Niagara and St. Clair colleges and the University of Guelph built (and dismantled) high-style display gardens at Congress.
Next year’s Congress takes place Jan. 12-14, 2016, at the Toronto Congress Centre. Bookmark www.LOCongress.com for up-to-date show information.
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