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Show Stoppers 2020

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Updated: March 12, 2020

Shows, expos, conferences, conventions and summits (call them what you will) are must-attend events for all commercial and residential landscape contractors, landscape designers and architects, landscape service and product suppliers, maintenance specialists, students and educators.

Meeting with peers, suppliers and customers is a vital part of developing any business, and these events offer at least one full day of networking and inspiration to all attendees.

TIP: By design, these events are not held every year and sometimes change their venue; it’s best you attend the next upcoming Show of special interest to you.

On March 19 and 20, 2020 a huge combined Expo is happening at the new Sydney International Convention Centre with over 10,000 attendees expected, 300 speakers and 350 exhibitors. The combined event is called CIVENEX, Sydney Transport 2020 and Sydney Build Expo. This master stroke of planning is set to be the largest construction, architecture and infrastructure show covering all sectors of the construction industry in NSW. This Summit provides us with a unique opportunity to gain a valuable insight into all the upcoming construction and infrastructure projects across Sydney while taking advantage of networking opportunities with key industry players.

FREE Admission.

On March 28-29, 2020 The Australian Landscape Conference in Melbourne (www.landscapeconference.com/2020- conference/) will host some of the world’s finest landscape and garden designers. Having previously attended this Conference, I can highly recommend it. The private garden tours and Conference dinner are  first class.

TIP: Take a day pack with water, snacks and a device for plenty of note taking.

This year, presenters include experts from Australia, Japan, Sweden, the UK and Germany.

Looking for the chance to have a long weekend? Then you need to be in Melbourne at least a couple of days before the Australian Landscape Conference to be totally overwhelmed by the world renowned, and second only to the Chelsea Flower Show in England, Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show hosted in the exquisite heritage listed Royal Exhibition.

Building and Carlton Gardens. The fragrance of bursting blooms constantly fills the air.

The Show features the best landscape and floral talent from within Australia and around the world, alongside an extensive array of garden products, sculptures, paintings, demonstrations by media personalities, and roaming entertainers all across the Gardens. It is the Southern Hemisphere’s largest floral and garden event with over 100,000 people attending over five days.

A number of Victoria’s finest art societies come together at the Show to exhibit and sell their beautiful pieces. The artists are on site throughout the five days of the Show  to assist with any questions and explain the motivation behind their  work.

Also in the Royal Exhibition Building, leading Australian and international florists will create a range of interactive and memorable floral displays, transforming the ground floor into a floral wonderland in full bloom. The artists have truly amazing talents. Even if you think you are not a flower lover, this will change your view when you see the competition displays. One year, they covered a VW sedan in thousands of flowers, fixed in place one by one. Another year, there was a full-sized Samurai warrior made from different flowers, shrubs and trees! It’s totally awesome.

The Show is transformed at night by innovative lighting displays on all Show gardens and exhibitor stands. Visitors attending at night will enjoy drinks from several outlets including popup wine bars, beer garden, Prosecco vans, food village and gourmet eats. With small space gardening now a fact of Australian life we are seeing the emergence of the balcony garden trend. Being without a traditional backyard no longer means we must be without a garden! This year will feature a selection of Balcony Show Gardens. This unique take on mini landscapes adds yet another creative twist to this world class event, injecting a new way of thinking about how we can enhance the space available to improve your customers’ quality of life.

Having attended both of these Flower Shows, including consecutive Show Garden judging at MIFGS, I believe you will find this experience provides you with lifetime memories and possibly sees you returning annually. This is a bucket list event foreveryone!   See: www.melbflowershow.com.au

Landscaping Victoria Master Landscapers (www.landscapingvictoria.com.au) will once again host the Landscape Advisory Centre at this year’s Show.

If you need to know all there is about sourcing product from China and the built environment, then you must not miss going to Melbourne between April 21-23, 2020 to check out a combined Expo at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre called China Build and Design Build: www.chinabuild.com.au and  www.designbuildexpo.com.au.

The China Build trade show enables us to source directly from over 150 reputable Chinese suppliers and manufacturers in building and construction supply covering practical, economical and sustainable building products; interior fixtures and finishes; and supply chain services. At its seminars, we will learn how to enter and nurture successful business partnerships with Chinese suppliers, get expert guidance, training and strategies to help us navigate our China sourcing journey.

At Design Build you will learn how innovation and technology is changing the face of the construction industry. Australia is on the verge of widespread adoption motivated by the competitive edge that new technologies can bring to future growth. The venue offers visitors exclusive insights on how to capitalise on the huge market opportunity by showcasing digital solutions and technological advancements across the planning, design and building phase using such technology as artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation, bim (building information modelling) and cloud-based  management software.

The Digital Building Zone offers visitors an industry-exclusive opportunity to connect with enterprise companies and start-ups in the construction tech market to realise the potential of digitisation to deliver increased value across their built asset lifecycle.

The annual National Diesel Dirt & Turf Expo is Australia’s largest construction expo and will be on between May 15-17, 2020 at the Penrith Panthers Showgrounds located at 123 Mulgoa Rd, Penrith, NSW. Last year over 60,000 visitors enjoyed the Show and with over 200 exhibitors there was plenty to see. This year promises to be even bigger! To add even more excitement to the event, the biggest Auction group in Australia, Pickles, will bring a huge variety of stock and their team. In 2019 it had over 150 lots up for auction. Pickles will conduct a live and simulcasted auction from the show.

FREE Admission with Loads of Onsite Parking.

The Landscape Show returns to Victoria on Wednesday May 27, 2020 at Ladbrokes Park – Sandown racecourse. See: www.thelandscapeshow.com.au

Last year there were 80 exhibitors and 1200 attendees. One of its industry sponsors was the Landscape Association, which is the peak Industry body for landscaping in NSW and ACT. See: www.landscapeassociation.com.au

Between July 29-30, 2020 at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, you may like to stroll around the SPLASH! Pool & Spa Trade Show (www.splashexpo. com.au) in the Gold Coast Convention  and Exhibition Centre. The founder and organiser, Simon Cooper, says it is by far the largest pool and spa trade show in the southern hemisphere, attracting over 2000 visitors and close to 200 exhibitors under one roof. Take the opportunity to attend both days of the conference and training, whilst networking at the National Awards.

At the same time and at the same venue, The Australian Swim Schools Association is running their annual Australian Swim Schools Conference. Presentations will include: Inspiring teamwork to drive change, and water safety practices and inclusion.

The Irrigation Australia International Conference & Exhibition to be held between September 22-24, 2020 at the Sydney International Convention Centre promises to be the biggest irrigation event in the southern hemisphere. See: www.aha.net. au/event/irrigation-australia-international- conference-exhibition-2020/

This International Congress is being held in the southern hemisphere for the first time since its inception in 1951. The theme for the 24th Congress is ‘Innovation and research in agricultural water management to achieve sustainable development goals’. The expert installation and sustainable management of landscape watering systems is now a critical skill all landscapers should possess; in this, the driest continent on earth.

At every show, industry bodies are always well represented by volunteers from those organisations. Being a member of an association is worthwhile if you are just getting started, trying to reach the  next level in business and need to get connected with the right people, or to learn more skills and mix with a group of like- minded people. They also provide members with valuable, and often free, educational seminars and webinars. In each state there are associations for landscape contractors, landscape architects, landscape designers, horticulturalists, irrigators, arborists, nurserymen, and pool and spa builders.

When you stroll around an industry show for the day, you can reinforce existing business relationships, generate leads, and witness new product launches and demonstrations. It might even lead you into different areas of your business that you had not considered before attending such a show.