In an earlier blog that you can read here, Ken Cousineau was speculating on how the economy might affect his members’ budgets, often the first to get cut in downturns such as the one just past, in 2010.
A few weeks later, the executive director of the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association is still cautious, but admitting that he is getting some good vibes.
The latest positive sign is in the number of companies signing up for the Canadian International Turfgrass Conference and Trade Show, which gets underway on Friday with pre-conference discussions and seminars at the Sheraton Centre Toronto.
“I think it’s one of a few positives that we’ve seen in the last six months,” said Cousineau. “Our membership numbers are holding steady, which is a positive.
“The events we held in the fall, generally speaking, were successful. Those things, combined with what appears to be a good conference and show are all good, positive signs for us,” he added.
Cousineau reports significant increases over last year, when there were 138 booths and 76 exhibitors by Cousineau’s estimates. As of last Friday, he says there were 209 booths and 101 exhibitors preparing for this year’s show.
“If we compare that to Calgary the year before in ’08, which is probably a fairer comparison, in Calgary, we had 97 exhibitors and 234 booths, so we have more exhibitors, fewer booths and a better result than we had anticipated from a budget standpoint for the current year,” said Cousineau.
“The biggest surprise is the number of new exhibitors,” he added. “Of that 101, we have, I think, 21 exhibitors that have never been at the show before. We anticipated a recovery to a certain extent, but we didn’t anticipate that number of new companies coming in.”
Cousineau also added that the conference and show is also up in attendees planning to come from across the country. “We’re probably a little ahead of our projections,” he said.
“Hopefully, it bodes well for the industry generally in the upcoming season.”
For more information on the conference and trade show, check here.