December 15, 2013
By Kristen McIntyre CHT

Now entering its 41st year, Congress has grown to become Canada’s premier green industry trade show and conference.

It’s the perfect place to find the new products, ideas, equipment, tools, services and connections to build a better business.

Are you planning to attend Congress 2014? If you said, “No,” then we need to talk. This annual event brings together more than 600 leading manufacturers and suppliers, along with 12,000-plus industry professionals from around the world on more than eight acres of show floor to share their products, expertise and secrets to success in this vibrant and ever-changing industry. This is the best opportunity to get caught up with industry trends, see what’s new and coming down the pipe, and meet and mingle with your peers.

Congress provides the ideal mix of products and professional development where owners, managers and buyers from the green trades and horticultural industries gather together once a year to shop for new products, meet vendors, attend inspirational educational sessions and exchange ideas with thousands of fellow professionals from all industry sectors.

The conferences at Congress are 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. This is an unparalleled opportunity to be inspired, learn about emerging industry trends and build new relationships.

Conference sessions will cover topics from how to get your business on the front page of Google, to ways that you can reinvent your business and respond positively to a cyclical recession model. Special owners-only workshops will focus on how to expand your business, how to understand the threats of growth and how to avoid the pitfalls. New for 2014 is Coach’s Corner. It’s an opportunity to receive free one-on-one consultation from our speakers. It’s open to conference pass holders only; sign-up will be available on-site.

“With a full schedule of guest speakers, sessions, networking events and a show floor crammed with new and exciting products, Congress is the ideal platform for discovering innovative ways to expand your business,” says Heather MacRae, director of events and trade shows for Landscape Ontario.

Several affiliated associations and organizations also make Congress a destination for their members and hold events in conjunction with the show. Consider hosting your organization’s special event at future shows.
The popular New Product Showcase is the ideal platform for launching new and exciting items that will help improve service, set new trends and inspire customer interest throughout the 2014 season. A variety of new and improved products will be on display at Congress. It is Canada’s largest collection of new products and services, featuring the latest tools, equipment, plants and related merchandise that industry professionals seek to meet the demands of their clientele in spring’s gardening season.

The student gardens will again be a feature of the show; welcome back to the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus, and Fanshawe, Humber, Niagara and St. Clair Colleges. New in 2014 is the addition of Durham College. We all look forward to seeing how the younger generations interpret and create in their respective spaces.

Several inspiring and entertaining events not to be missed are held in conjunction with Congress: Legacy Room — celebrating our history; Awards of Excellence ceremony featuring winners in landscape construction, maintenance and design; Annual General Meeting (AGM); Tailgate Party (includes free dinner for every badge holder); Irrigation Conference, as well as numerous hospitality suites and networking and social activities hosted by our suppliers. New in 2014 is the Feminine Factor in Horticulture. This event is designed with a female audience in mind, though everyone is welcome to attend and hear what the hot issues are in horticulture. Warm-up Monday (pre-trade show) also hosts the IPM Symposium, the Landscape Designer Conference, Effective Management Short Course and the GPGB Living Walls and Green Roofs workshop. These are all separately ticketed events.

There are too many exciting sessions and events to list them all here; you have to come to Congress and see how you can Get Green in 2014. Please feel welcome to drop by the show office or the conference office and say hello. Let us know how you found your experience.

We’ve gone mobile! New for 2014, delegates can access the mobile app and have instant access to the floor plan, speaker and session information and the schedule at a glance. The app can be accessed at

Follow all of the activities and news from Congress 2014 on Twitter @LOEvents and join in the conversation with the hashtag #LOCongress or like Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association on Facebook to keep informed of the latest news and happenings in the green, fencing, garden and landscaping industry.

So I’ll ask again, “Are you planning to attend Congress 2014?”  If you have said, “Yes,” then congratulations, you have already made your first-best decision for 2014.

For detailed information and the entire schedule of events visit Registration for the trade show, conference and special events may be done on-site at the Toronto Congress Centre, South Building, 650 Dixon Rd., Toronto.

All sessions at Congress qualify for Landscape Industry Certified Continuing Education Credits (CEUs). Visit for more details. Register for Congress at All conference passes include admission to the trade show. Badges will be mailed to those registered by Dec. 6, otherwise badges are held for pick-up at the pre-registration desk.