I write this blog post every year because I firmly believe that all landscape professionals in British Columbia should make time for the CanWest Hort Expo. I’m luckier than most in that my employer sponsors my CanWest visits by covering both my work time and the expo fees. But, whatever your circumstances may be, make time and budget to attend the 2019 expo.
Urban Forestry Symposium
What’s so special about CanWest? Well, let’s see. I attend the event because I want to learn new things, collect CEUs (education credits) and pump out blog posts out of it. I usually spend the entire Wednesday learning at the Urban Forestry Symposium which leaves me a little bit of time to check out the trade booths.
The symposium covers three to four lectures and many times the speakers are Ph.D. experts in their field. I fill up my notebook with notes and marvel at how articulate the presenters are. There is always a gem, one big idea or aha moment in every lecture. It’s money well spent.
Lunch is included so try to mingle and network. I often steal extra pens and notepads. Take extra handout copies for your employees. And sign the CEU sheet for credit from the ISA.
Last year I attended three short seminars which is all I could squeeze into my Thursday. You can pick whatever seminar topics interest you and go to those. There are usually several concurrent seminars going on and they all give you CEUs.
Plant ID contest
This is the best booth at CanWest. Yes, you can put your passing score paper in for a draw prize but I do it for the challenge. Usually it comes down to the last two specimens. So, visit this booth and take the test. You could win a prize. Check out my blog about last year’s plant ID booth.
Walk the floor and see what’s available for sale from tools and machines to nursery plants. This is another great opportunity to talk to people and network. Last year I ran into my ex-municipal foreman boss which was fun; and into some former co-workers. Always stay in touch with industry people. You never know.
You can eat and drink alcohol at CanWest and there is live entertainment. I don’t normally care about this aspect of the show but some people get excited about tailgate parties.
If you need workers or a job, there is a huge job board at the expo so stop by. The industry always needs good workers.
The 2019 CanWest Hort Expo is on September 24 and 25. Don’t miss it. See you there!