Plans are proceeding for the 2021 Woodworking Machinery & Supply Expo (WMS 2021) with the great hope that the event will be an integral part of the Canadian wood product industry’s post-pandemic recovery.
WMS 2021 is scheduled to take place Nov. 4-6, at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.
Like all major convention centers throughout North America, the International Centre has been working to put in place new health and safety measures in anticipation of opening its doors to events as soon as public concerns about the coronavirus outbreak have waned.
“We can’t predict what lingering effects the coronavirus pandemic will have on our businesses and lives, but we’re optimistic that large tradeshows like WMS will be taking place later this year,” said Harry Urban, WMS manager.
“We’re planning for WMS to be a hybrid event with virtual features throughout 2021. We’ll be offering WMS educational programming online prior to and during the event. We’ll also provide more extensive information and videos of new products introduced at the show on the WMS website.”
Urban said he has had conversations with numerous WMS exhibitors in recent months and “everyone is looking forward to returning to a more normal time certainly well before WMS,” he said.
“The exhibitors have been very supportive. They want to be there. The attendees want to be there. I think people are truly ready to get out and back to some sense of normalcy."
“Putting on Canada’s largest woodworking show means we don’t have the luxury to wait for an all-clear signal," Urban added.
"We have to do the work to be ready and in the age of COVID-19 to meet whatever protocols are necessary for safety."
Urban also shared some of the plans in the works for WMS 2021, including:
WMS Live – On-the-show-floor presentation stage offering free education sessions to attendees on a range of timely manufacturing, technology and other hot topics. The WMS Live stage proved a popular addition to WMS 2019 and included presentations by the Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association, Bluewater Wood Alliance, Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada and machinery and supply exhibitors. WMS Live sessions will also be available online.
Off Campus Tech Tours – Attendees will have the opportunity to register to tour local facilities in the Toronto area to see the latest technologies in action.
Breakfast @ WMS – A new networking opportunity for WMS attendees. They’ll be able to meet and greet during a buffet breakfast before participating in exclusive pre-scheduled meetings with exhibitors on the show floor.
Happy Hour Events – The first two days of the show will conclude with an opportunity to unwind with a drink and talk shop with fellow attendees.