October 3, 2020
While Congress Connect is not live, but virtual…
BY TERRY CHILDS
VOLUNTEERING FOR CONGRESS is a part of my resume I value a lot. I am chair of its Show Committee this year — isn’t it just like me to get the most unique year ever!
To me, the show has always been about connecting. Congress has always been a “relationship show.” So, when it became clear the government would not allow a live event, our committee and the show management team jumped in to create a virtual event with the same mission: to bring Canada’s green industry together, coast to coast. In that spirit, we called it Congress Connect, and I am proud to be a part of the behind-the-scenes planning and execution.
As a landscape contractor, I understand everybody is having a hard time dealing with the pandemic. Things will change when they change, and in the meanwhile, we can work together on the certain things we can do to make a difference. We have to “bear and grin it,” as I say. For example, I asked for larger-than-normal deposits on two jobs I have scheduled for next year. I was able to order the materials for delivery in November, and helped my supplier make two sales for this year instead of in 2021. And I see suppliers work with us by keeping us informed on potential shortages or price increases. It helps everybody to be open with each other.
Back to Congress, I see the spirit of cooperation and positive thinking is just as strong, and I really enjoy the sense of excitement building for Congress Connect.
The Conference education opportunities will be great, and even better, they will be available on demand after the event. This is a huge advantage. The virtual format can get everybody engaged, from every province, even people who are not in our trade. Our suppliers will be providing yet more education, such as how to properly build a wall or set end block, and that great information could even be sponsored for the general public! It really opens up the profession and shows what we do.
Networking is essential, and Congress Connect will provide new opportunities — you just have to be open-minded enough to take advantage. I think it’s really important for the industry across Canada to sign up now and show our confidence and pride.
Our committee and show staff are setting everything up to be ready in January. We already see one more big advantage: nobody has to worry about snow. Since there is no time limit, you can plow now, and learn later.
I have always been an optimist, and I love the idea of Congress Connect because it’s all about opportunity and partnership. See you at the show!
Terry Childs operates Nature’s Way Landscaping in Gananoque, Ont., and serves on Landscape Ontario’s Congress Committee and Covid-19 Task Force.