June 14, 2019
Beth Edney
Landscape Ontario’s Congress trade show and conference continues to improve year after year. The challenge to constantly improve the event and offer new experiences to both exhibitors and visitors falls largely onto the shoulders of the LO Show Committee. This seasoned group of volunteers bring their own expertise, passion and experience — ranging from veterans to those in the early stages of a career. This issue, we sat down with Show Committee volunteer, Beth Edney CLD, owner of Designs By The Yard.

Why did you get involved with the show committee?
Paul Day, Show Manager in 2000, helped me tremendously to run a trade show for an International Designers Group. He asked me if I would serve on his committee and I felt obliged to reciprocate. It was the best decision I made. As much as I contribute to the show, I get back tenfold with friendships, knowledge and opportunities.

How did you get involved in this industry?
Weall and Cullen opened its doors around the corner from my home. My resume was dropped in by my mom who thought it would be a great summer job. I wasn’t of the same opinion. However, after discovering my waitressing job wasn’t everything it was cracked up to be, I went to the garden centre to inquire about any available positions. About two days in, I was hooked and couldn’t get enough information about plants and flowers.

What do enjoy most about volunteering?
The Show Committee is a very hands-on group. We are solution based and always pitch in to make the show a success. I enjoy being around a supportive, like-minded group. We work hard and often have a whole lot of fun doing it.

What do you get out of volunteering?
One of my favourite lines is you get what you give. I have made so many friends since volunteering at Landscape Ontario. I feel I know the best-of-the-best and could call on them if I ever need advice.

What are your thoughts on Congress?
I am so proud of our Congress show. It is the envy of the trade show world.

How do you want Congress to look 10 years from now?
I see it still being an integral part of our industry and I see us keeping up with technology to get better and better. I also hope we continue to appeal to younger generations.

When you are creating your garden, do you have any go-to elements you like to include?
Flowers are the icing on the cake as foliages are the cake. Always striving for the most striking foliage combination.

What is your favourite flower and why?
How could a designer pick one favourite flower? It’s like asking a mom to pick her favourite child.

What is your favourite book?
Currently I am reading Chillpreneur by Denise Duffield-Thomas. I think it is important to be consistently improving and to make our work financially rewarding.
For more information about Congress, visit LOcongress.com.

LO members interested in participating on the Show Committee can contact Heather MacRae, Show Manager, at hmacrae@landscapeontario.com

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