March 15, 2009
An energetic crowd of 1,000 people filled the aisles of GreenTrade Expo on Feb. 18th in Ottawa.

“There’s a positive energy today, a buzz in the air…the people here are feeling optimistic about the season ahead,” stated show chairman Bruce Morton, as the mid-day crowds flowed into Landsdowne Park.

Visitors had a lot to see and do. There were more companies exhibiting than ever before, and that meant lots of new products and services on display. The coffee bar, sponsored by Twin Equipment, was at capacity all day, as old friends and new colleagues spent time talking and reconnecting.

The day’s seminars were filled to overflowing, thanks to seminar area sponsor Connon Nurseries/NVK Holdings. At one point over 100 people waited in line for the complimentary lunch presented by the show lunch sponsors. Many thanks go out to B & T MacFarlane Ottawa, Donnelly Automotive Group, Gro-Bark (Ontario), Manotick Tree Movers, Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance, Permacon Group and Petersen's Turf Farms. Thanks also to our show bag sponsor Manderley Turf, and show guide sponsor Greely Sand and Gravel.

This year the Ottawa Board of Directors brought in Leonard Lee to speak at the noon Profit Builders Lunch. “We are trying to help companies focus on being positive and proactive in the upcoming season,” said Bruce Morton. Lee talked about how he grew Lee Valley Tools, and how he weathered, changed and grew his company over many different economic cycles in the last 20 years.

Lee then joined a panel discussion with prominent local industry people, Chris Burns of Clintar Ottawa, Darrell Kekanovich of Ritchie Feed and Seed and Bill Hamilton of Mountainview Golf and Athletic Turf Specialists. The goal of this event was to get people talking about how their companies will thrive during the next years. A few of the highlights of this discussion include:
  • refuse to participate in the recession
  • be proactive
  • stay on top of your business
  • the spoils are going to go to those who work the hardest and refuse to give up
  • refuse to give up
  • do what you’ve been doing all along…just do it harder
In short, do the things you should be doing anyway: advertise, watch costs, watch receivables, and network with others in the industry.

Thanks go to all who participated. Funding for this project was provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), through the Agricultural Adaptation Council's CanAdvance Program. Many thanks also go to the sponsors: Clintar Ottawa, Smith Petrie Carr and Scott Insurance Brokers and Turf Care.

Watch for GreenTrade Expo 2010 when it takes place at Lansdowne Park, on Wed., Feb.17, 2010.

Caption: GreenTrade Expo had a record number of exhibitors this year.