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Sunday, February 03, 2008

To Toronto . . . CSC Toronto Chapter Trade Show

It's 3:30 a.m. In about an hour, I'll be on the highway to Toronto to attend the 30th annual Construction Specifications Canada Toronto Chapter No-Frills Trade Show. We've been attending this one-day event for about 10 years now.

Specifications writers have traditionally been at the foundation of the construction business supply chain. If your product, service or technology is written into the contract documentation in the first place, it doesn't matter which general or sub-trade actually wins the work -- your win the business. So, traditionally, spec writers have been vital influencers in the marketing process and trade shows sponsored by CSC or in the U.S. the Construction Specifications Institute have been vital links in the industry marketing process.

When we first started attending this show, the CSC chapter had developed a finely tuned and standardized event -- so successful it had a waiting list for exhibitors. The sheer demand and limited supply (the organizers decided not to enlarge the show beyond the one hall in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre's North Building) enhanced its impact and interest for exhibitors. Knowing if you didn't renew, you might be locked out next year because of the waiting list helped on the renewal process, of course. Back in the early days of the GTA Construction Report, I really wanted 'in' to this show -- and felt the pain of having to wait. Once in, of course, the relationship evolved: We now are invited and trade advertising space for the show participation, which of course keeps our costs somewhat lower. (Though the main cost of show attendance is not the booth rental; it is getting there, setting up and so on -- not an expense for Torontonians, of course, since this is a one-day event; but significant for us.)

I'll be interested in learning why this year the show apparently did not sell out to capacity. Is there a change affecting the way business is done in the industry; and are the Spec Writers (at least in Toronto) losing some influence.

While at the show and tomorrow morning, I'll be with Chase and our new representative, Leslie Greenwood, who starts working with us today. She'll be launching the Northern Ontario Construction News.

Blogging and e-communication will be a little limited today but if you wish to reach me directly, you can call my cellular at 613-292-3973.

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