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Toronto Boat Show Exhibitor Newsletter
Our primary communication method, Exhibitor News provides the knowledge and tools needed to prepare for a successful show, January 15-24, 2021.

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Letter from Show Director, Linda Waddell
Dear Exhibitors,

On behalf of the team at Canadian Boat Shows, I genuinely hope you and your family are healthy and continuing to remain safe during these unprecedented times of COVID-19.

I am writing to provide an update on the 2021 Toronto International Boat Show, based on progress made in the sector for trade & consumer shows, and what we know today.

We are very optimistic the Toronto Boat Show will proceed as scheduled, January 15 - 24, 2021.

The environment we are working through is fluid and continually changing. The daily monitoring of COVID-19 cases by the Provincial Government, combined with their 3 Stage Plan for Re-Opening, means we need approval from the Ontario government to operate.

The City of Toronto was just recently approved to enter Stage 3. Under the Province's Stage 3 Order, many businesses and facilities have recently been able to open, subject to compliance with reopening conditions. Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people are now permitted.

Exhibition Place, our venue, has submitted a formal request for an exemption to this gathering limit to the Province, in order for business events like ours to have the ability to restart.

All shows and events are navigating the extraordinary changes as a result of COVID-19. Here at Canadian Boat Shows, we have been working collectively with our industry association (CAEM, Canadian Association of Exposition Management) and the Enercare Centre (Exhibition Place), on Safe Re-Opening Plans for approval by the provincial government.

The city of Toronto is now in the most critical stage of monitoring cases, and this will be a factor in the coming weeks as they determine the next sectors approved to re-open within the latter part of Stage 3.

The province is committed to working closely and collaboratively with sectors not yet able to reopen due to Stage 3 restrictions. The province has established a process for businesses currently excluded to work with the government on reopening proposals that will enable them to safely resume.

The following proposed plans for Exhibitions (Trade & Consumer Shows), and Exhibition Place (Enercare Centre) are currently under review by the government:

Guide on Health & Safety for Exhibitions During COVID-19 (Revised following recent meetings with Ministry of Labour)

Please understand these proposed plans have not yet been approved. They are continually changing, as we work through the meeting and review process with the government and venue. These documents are relevant to what today's protocols would look like, if we could hold larger gatherings today. These are changing weekly as a result of the review process. We are including them in our communication to you for those who may be interested in understanding the process and potential protocols for Shows.

Exhibition Place continues to work in conjunction with Toronto Public Health officials, the Province of Ontario and the Federal Government of Canada, as it relates to the resumption of Business Events/Shows at our venue.

We are very involved in the extensive process to gain approval for our industry and the Toronto Boat Show. I am on the National and Provincial Task Forces, working on the efforts to obtain approvals from the government to move forward. In addition, I am also participating in the roundtable meetings with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, as we work with the government on revising plans to gain approvals by the Ministry of Health.
Now that the city of Toronto has entered Phase 3 and a process within the provincial government has been established for gatherings over 50 people indoors, we will provide updates on progress as they develop.

Once the Province of Ontario approves our industry and venue's re-opening plans, then the Toronto Boat Show specific plan will align with the protocols and will be unique to our event, exhibitors and product.

In addition to the current focus on Toronto's Stage 3 COVID #'s, the Ontario government has recently announced the safe reopening plans for Ontario schools for in-class instruction beginning in September. This is also the government's priority over the next month, as they work towards returning over 2 million students to class.

The government is prioritizing the health and safety of Ontario. Decisions on approvals, processes and procedures are being guided by this objective. The government understands the lead time required for exhibitions/shows to plan and execute, however the requests by the industry, venues and shows will not be prioritized over the timeline for keeping the curve flattened in Ontario.

We feel very strongly that the Toronto Boat Show can operate safely for both attendees and workers. We are not a large public gathering like concerts or sporting events. We are a retail environment, consistent with shopping malls, large retailers, farmer's markets and grocery stores. We will continue working towards securing an approval as soon as possible.

We recognize and understand that exhibitors would like to know a definitive decision on whether the show will proceed. As people who plan, organize and execute events - we understand the need to know, more than anyone. However, we recognize the process to keep Ontario safe and we will continue to work through the channels established for approvals in our sector.

We understand it is necessary for our Show to remain flexible, while continuing to work on multiple plans for the 2021 Toronto Boat Show. We encourage all exhibitors to manage this the same way. We hope you understand that we currently do not have a date for a decision.

On behalf of Cynthia Hare, Show Manager and myself - I want to say Thank You to the exhibitors who have reached out to us to stress the importance of the Toronto Show to your business. This has been so appreciated by us.
Thank you also for contacting us to advise us of your space requests for 2021.

We are noting every conversation and request, and when we are ready to book space we will already have an extensive list started.

Any exhibitor that does not know their space request yet or are unsure what to do, there is no urgency right now to decide anything.

We are thrilled the industry is having such a strong selling season and that the interest is so high to continue the retail momentum during the Toronto Boat Show. We are so pleased for the industry that thousands of new boaters are now discovering what we already know about the boating lifestyle, and that recreational boating has become one of the activities of choice for consumers during the pandemic.

If you would like to receive a follow-up call, please email either Cynthia or myself. We are both speaking with exhibitors on a regular basis and are happy to discuss the Show and process further.

Cynthia Hare, Show Manager chare@canadianboatshows.com or 905-951-4054
Linda Waddell, Show Director lwaddell@canadianboatshows.com or 905-951-4051

We look forward to speaking with you!

Linda Waddell
President/Show Director
Renewal Contracts for 2021 Space
In a normal year, renewal contracts for space would have been sent out to exhibitors at the end of May. Please note they have not been sent out for the 2021 show yet, due to COVID-19.

Once the Safe Re-opening plans for our sector, venue and show have been approved, there will be changes to the floorplan in order to meet distancing requirements and safety protocols (ie: wider aisles in certain areas of the show). We do not expect the floorplan or spaces to be the same as the 2020 show, based on requirements for a safe environment.

As a result, it was determined that further clarity regarding the floorplan and allowable exhibit space would be necessary, before we can begin contracting exhibitors in spaces.

We know how busy this summer season has been for you and our industry, and we felt it would be best to know the path for moving forward before taking your time with a renewal process and requesting deposits for space.

We are striving to be efficient with your time and not begin a process of allocating space, and then undergoing multiple revisions to spaces once we get to the stage of approved floorplans.

As soon as we are able to move forward and contract for space, the timeline will be very fast for allocating, in order for all exhibitors to be able to prepare for exhibiting at the show with a shorter timeline due to COVID-19.

Several factors that are still being worked on will dictate what the show will look like, as it will not be the same show during this time of the pandemic. Our priority will be a retail environment, connecting exhibitors with buyers and generating future leads for sales.

In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the renewal process, please contact either Cynthia chare@canadianboatshows.com 905-951-4054 or Linda lwaddell@canadianboatshows.com 905-951-4051 
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