4 Important To-Do’s at Landscape Ontario Congress 2013

Posted: January 6, 2013 in Between A Rock And A Hardscape

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The 40th Anniversary of Landscape Ontario’s Congress is about to kick off on Tuesday, bringing together landscape professionals from across the industry. It is your opportunity to get your first glance at new equipment, plants and products, network with industry experts and participate in the hundreds of product demonstrations. So much to see and do.

So what’s your plan?

With over 13,000 industry professionals and 600 vendors spread out over eight acres, it is more important than ever to understand where you need to spend your time effectively. So whether you are a hardscaping rookie or seasoned vet, here’s 4 items that should be on your to-do list:

1. Determine what booths and/or vendors you need to see

More than likely you will want to visit the booths of your go-to vendors. These are the people that make the products you use the most and you will want to see what changes they have in store for 2013. Notice that I said changes, not just new products. That’s because its just as important to beware of price increases, discontinued products and dropped colours as the shiny new pavers or retaining walls they have on display.

P.S. Don’t forget to visit vendors of the products you are competing against. You will gain some valuable information that will help you compete for those landscape prospects. Who knows, you may even find a product that fills a void in your current vendor’s selection.

2. Know what you want to accomplish

Now that we can see the tail lights of 2012, what are your plans for 2013?

Do you need new equipment this year? Are you looking to add lighting to your list of services? Do you want to install more retaining walls in 2013?

Great! Now make a list of questions you want to ask to help you make your decisions on each item. Print off or save a list of vendors and highlight their booths on the LO Congress floor plan. Here’s a link for both http://tinyurl.com/acu957q

3. Take notes that you can use after the show

After a long day or two of visiting booth after booth and attending one or more of the many conference sessions, what are you left with? Forty-five business cards, 14 pages of notes and countless numbers of pictures on your smartphone. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some way to capture all of these items in one place?

Download the Evernote app on your smartphone or tablet.

Now you can take pictures of those business cards, take notes on your smartphone or tablet and upload photos from the tradeshow and save them all in a notebook in Evernote marked LO Congress 2013 for future use.

Even if you still feel that handwritten notes are more your style than typing them into your iPhone, take a picture of those notes and put them into Evernote. The optical character recognition built into Evernote will scan your handwriting and now you can search by keyword to find what you want. How cool is that!

Here’s a link to learn how to use Evernote and download it too http://evernote.com/evernote/

4. Attend at least one Conference Session

Have you been to LO Congress for years but never attended a conference session? Whatever you want to do better in 2013, there is a session to help you make it a reality.

Are you interested in learning more about social media? There are 3 sessions to choose from. Do you own your landscaping business? You have four sessions specifically for you. There are also sessions on paying for your equipment, retaining employees and two on job costing. Make this the year that you take something from your list of goals for 2013 and learn more about it from some great speakers.

Here’s a link to this years schedule of key note speakers and conference sessions http://tinyurl.com/axvv3wo

Everyone at Landscape Ontario Congress hopes that 2013 will be a prosperous year for the entire industry. But they don’t have the ability to make that happen for your company. You do.

Be prepared to walk into the show with a plan. Without it, you’re liable to end up shaking hands and talking about the weather.

Happy Hardscaping!

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