November 15, 2019
Denis FlanaganFor all those Landscape Ontario members who paid their 2019/2010 membership dues by phone, cheque or online, thank you! Your company name will continue to show up on our popular website that connects your services with eager clients.

Your choice to continue being a member means you will also benefit throughout 2020 from the many programs and initiatives we produce on your behalf. We will continue to distribute press releases and reach out to our special Media Members to promote the many reasons why the public should hire you as a member of LO. This includes making sure they check for references, and ask for Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and liability insurance — all things that are required to become an LO member.

One of the main reasons why I believe LO members stand out as professionals is their ongoing commitment to education and professional development. This is always obvious at our Congress trade show and conference each January, where hundreds of companies attend to view the latest products and services, and to sit in on live demonstrations and seminars. The conference rooms will be packed with people eager to take in advice from experts like Randy Tumber on how to design a natural water feature, and Sean James on how to incorporate native plants into your clients’ gardens.

These are both hot topics, and when your potential clients read about the latest trends in gardening magazines, they then want to deal with a designer or contractor who is up-to-date on those trends and has experience with those elements. A mark of a true professional is someone who has taken the time to educate themselves in order to provide clients with a new landscape that gets the same results as one they dreamed about after seeing it in a glossy magazine.

While those nice magazines still exist and are great to flip through while waiting at the doctor’s office, we all know that consumers today rely heavily on social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram as their go-to source for inspiration. The stunning images from winning projects in the LO Awards of Excellence Program always attract a lot of attention on our Instagram account. Open only to LO members, your dues renewal means some of your incredible, trend-setting projects could also be featured on social media, plus to over 14,000 professionals at Congress, and featured in our popular Garden Inspiration magazine distributed at Canada Blooms.

The result of all this exposure to the public drives potential clients to the LO website where they can connect with an LO member to create the oasis they are looking for. Paying your LO member invoice each year means your work could be showcased to hundreds of thousands of people each year.

In addition to Congress, the LO Professional Development Seminar Series that runs from November to April each year features a diverse range of subjects, such as stonemasonry — a traditional art form that has seen a resurgence in today’s marketplace and demands hands-on instruction. Perennial bed design is another title that can result in gorgeous gardens and attracting clients that are willing to pay for a professional to piece together a complicated botanical jigsaw puzzle.

We all know that the consumers of today are well-educated. So being involved with, and maintaining your status as a professional member of Landscape Ontario is something that can be used to your advantage. Members proudly display the logo and advertise their membership in the association to show that they belong to a special, elite group. If you have won awards, attended courses, or earned a certification, be proud of those achievements and boast about them. Include them on your website, in your emails an on your social media.

Thank you for taking the time to maintain the high standard of a Landscape Ontario, green industry professional.
Denis Flanagan CLD
LO Manager of Membership and Public Relations