Monday, August 18
After a busy first day at the 2014 Congress, day two seemed to get off to a bit of a slower start. The first day of any conference and exhibition can feel like a levee that just can’t hold on any longer. The steady flow of attendees canvassed the exhibit floor, eyeing the booths they knew they wanted to visit. Day 2 at APWA, though productive, was not as busy. But that allowed time to provide undivided attention to prospective customers.
As the morning progressed, I finally was able to put names with faces with some of my media colleagues at the various publications in which we advertise. Bill from Roads & Bridges, as well as Eileen and John from MSW Management were an absolute pleasure. Bob, from Public Works Magazine was also super friendly and all are great to do business with.
Around midday, the streak of fabric structure inquires was snapped by a guest interested in our greenhouse division. We had a conversation about the microgreen and hydroponic systems that our affiliate, Growers Supply, manufactures. After a brief description about ClearSpan and its affiliations, Annette from Florida told me a friend of hers from a local extension gave her one of FarmTek’s catalogs, another affiliate company of ours specializing in agriculture supplies. She’s now looking forward to receiving our Growers Supply catalog as well.
As the exhibition hall closed on day 2, the APWA young professional reception kicked off at Amsterdam BrewHouse, which sits next to a small marina overlooking scenic Lake Ontario. Upon entering the BrewHouse, I was greeted by APWA charter members. A fine spread of appetizers and craft beers awaited the arrival of the next generation of public works professionals, and I was fortunate enough to meet and have a brief chat with APWA president-elect and Largo (Fla.) director of public works, Brian Usher. I also passed the time at a table with Aquisha, a city engineer from Alberta; Steven, a storm water foreman from Wisconsin and Scott, a public works director for a city in suburban Las Vegas.
On my walk back to the Fairmont, the hockey connoisseur in me made me take a slight detour to visit the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Though the arena was closed (after all, it was 10:30 at night), I was able to peek inside the concourse via the adjoining corridors to Union Station. When it comes to hockey and the opportunity to see and visit other hockey “barns,” I’m like a kid in a candy store!
Check back in tomorrow to hear about my triumphant finish to the APWA and read about my classic tourist moment that happened in my last few hours north of the boarder!