Ontario Construction News staff writer
The annual Building Show/Construct Canada, traditionally scheduled for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the last days of November and early December, will become a virtual event this year because of COVID-19.
Informa Connect and Buildings Canada said in a statement on Tuesday that Toronto show will be combined with BUILDEX Alberta into Buildings Week, “a national digital platform that virtually connects more than 70,000 design, construction and real estate professionals across Canada.”
The program from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4 will provide “opportunities for generating new business, continuing professional education, and reconnecting with peers to support the growth and development of our industry now and in the future,” says the statement.
“We have a 32-year history of bringing together thousands of attendees from key industries to create premiere networking, sourcing and professional development events for the built environment,” said Nancy Milani, vice-president – trade expositions, Informa Connect.
“We are recognized as producers of a Canada’s leading design, construction and property management events and could not pass up the opportunity to continue to provide this despite the current situation.
“We are excited to bring this opportunity to our audiences for leads, engagement, networking and education,” Milani said in the news release. “Our long-time association partners, exhibitors and sponsors are showing their support and collectively we look forward to keeping our community connected.”
The virtual event experience will include The Buildings Show | Construct Canada, PM Expo, HomeBuilder and Renovator Expo, World of Concrete Toronto Pavilion, and BUILDEX Alberta.
It “offers everything our stakeholders have come to rely on from our face-to-face events, plus innovative features not possible from the in-person show,” Informa Connect says in its statement. “Attendees can explore virtual booths and an online marketplace to discover leading product innovations, learn about technical specifications, watch live product demonstrations, connect with clients and colleagues, and much more.
“While the delivery has changed, the quality is the same. Attendees can also continue to join interactive panel discussions, hear from industry thought leaders and follow or get involved in the discussion by using audience polls, speaker Q&As, and group chats. There will be a mixture of live, prerecorded and on-demand content from across the industry and now for the first time, across the nation.”
“The online educational program will deliver the same high-quality content with essential solutions, best practices, case studies, and technical knowledge from a faculty of experienced industry professionals,” said Informa Connect programming director Teresa Dominigues.
“Attendees will be able to fulfill their continuing education requirements with a wide selection of sessions. Over 100 professionally accredited educational seminars, virtual panels, technical presentations, keynote sessions and professional development workshops will now be offered online.” Select seminars and workshops will continue to be accredited by the OAA, BOMA, ARIDO, CAHPI, OBEC, AAA and IDCEC.
Toronto Construction Association (TCA) president John Mollenhauer said: “One of the great things about the building industry is that we find creative solutions when adversity strikes. So when in person events are simply not possible, the solution is an interactive virtual event.
“And that is precisely how I would describe the upcoming Buildings Week. Compelling virtual attendee engagement at its very best!” he said.
There will be a “virtual event preview” from Nov. 23 to Nov. 27, with formal event hours the following week:
Monday, Nov. 30, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m – 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 3, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 4, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Registration to the digital platform is free for all industry trade professionals and the early bird deadline for discounted education programming expires Friday, Nov. 13.