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Provincial Ex Leaders off to CAFE Conference

November 15, 2022

An exciting week lays ahead for members of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba as they head to the nation’s capital to attend the annual Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions (CAFE) Convention.

The Conference will be held from November 16-18, 2022, at the Ottawa Mariott Hotel and will feature workshops, industry tours and a wide variety of information sessions ranging from ticket sales and marketing to understanding your audience and customer service.

“I always look forward to attending this conference,” says Provincial Exhibition Board President Kathy Cleaver. “This event offers opportunities to meet and network with staff and directors of fairs and exhibitions of all sizes. I have attended this conference in past years and have always come away with new energy and ideas to bring back to our board of directors.”

Cleaver will be joined by Financial Controller Rhonda Woytkiw, Program and Volunteer Manager Kristen Laing Breemersch and newly appointed General Manager Mark Humphries.

For Humphries, this will be his first trip to the CAFE Conference and he’s looking forward to it.

“Having the opportunity to network with others in our profession can certainly lead to fresh new ideas and offers the chance to share experiences.”

CAFE exists to provide member organizations, including the Provincial Exhibition, with a united voice, programs and tools to spur the kind of open collaboration, shared learning and coordinated action that an industry needs to thrive. It currently works with over 700 fairs and exhibitions and countless service providers across the country.

The Canadian Fair and Exhibition industry sees more than 35,000,000 visitors each year through their 17,000 events and activities, with an estimated economic impact of $2.9 billion on local communities.

“It should be a productive week for us,” says Cleaver. “The breakout sessions are great resources for new ideas and training and this year we will be attending a workshop to discuss animal handling and welfare.”

“These sessions provide our event managers the opportunity to view entertainers and educational ideas that could be a great fit for our fairs,” she went on to say.

Among the topics to be discussed in Ottawa this week include such topics as creative ways to keep the family focused on programming, getting to know your audience, engaging your volunteers, the evolution of experiential marketing, becoming a high performing organization and much more.

The meetings will include the CAFE Annual General Meeting with a focus on what does the future of the Canadian Fair and Exhibition industry hold? That topic will be one of several to be tackled by a panel that features Sandra Jackle (Regina Exhibition Association Ltd), Scooter Korek (North American Midway Entertainment) and Darrell Brown (Canadian National Exhibition). They will lead the discussion on what they are seeing as the trends, challenges, opportunities and future.

With the Provincial Exhibition coming off hosting a successful AG EX in October, plans and preparations have already begun on the 2023 Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, scheduled for March 27 – April 1 at the Keystone Centre.

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