The Calgary Renovation Show returned in-person for the first time in nearly two years. Show manager, Kristy Cairns, said many factors were considered in making the decision.
“It has been a challenging time for our consumers and our exhibitors and we had to jump through a lot of hoops but we are abiding by all safety protocols,” Cairns said.
Organizers acknowledge not everyone will feel comfortable attending the event.
“We are maximizing cleaning and we aren’t promoting people to come and group up, the aisles won’t be jam packed,” Cairns said.
“If people are concerned about coming down, we know this isn’t going to be an extremely high-attended event and we do have those shoulder times to come down, a little more quiet.”
The Calgary Fall Home Show in 2021 was an indicator for the planning.
Last year the event went ahead with some modifications. There were no celebrity appearances and no main stage presentations due to COVID-19 mass gathering restrictions.
They had also created a virtual showroom where people could research the exhibitors safely from home.
“Our fall show proved to us that exhibitors and homeowners had been itching for the opportunity to return safely in-person to receive the top tips, tricks and advice for everything home improvement,” Cairns said. “Our Renovation Show will only build on that momentum.”
Jenn Duxbury is one of the shows vendors. She owns The Watermark Shop, an online decor shop. As a small business owner, she said this show is critical.
“At first we weren’t sure what to expect but a lot of exhibitors rely on this show to get a lot of leads for the year. The show is a huge part in our community,” Duxbury said. “It helps build our brand and put a face behind our business.”
Friends Brooke Gerard and Jennifer Gainer felt comfortable attending the show and said it was a refreshing return the regular.
“I’m ready to feel normal. We try to make smart choices. I don’t go to a bar but in this setting, we can control how many people, and masks never come off,” Gerard said.
“That’s why we picked early afternoon — lots of people here are in a low-risk setting,” Gainer said.
The Calgary Renovation Show is on from Jan. 14 to 16 at the BMO Centre.
Other previously scheduled events at the BMO Centre made a different decision. The 2022 Calgary International Auto and Truck Show was cancelled.
Organizers said despite the initial optimism and a lot of preliminary planning to hold the in-person show at the BMO Centre on March 9 – 13, 2022, Jim Gillespie, executive manager of the Calgary Automobile Dealers Association (CMDA), expressed his regret at having to make the announcement. But he said the team was left with no other choice.
“On Dec. 16, 2021, the CMDA executive board and member dealers came to the difficult decision to cancel the 2022 Calgary International Auto & Truck Show as well as the 2022 Vehicles & Violins,” Gillespie said. “The safety of our partners, patrons and member dealers was first and foremost in our decision.”
“Due to all the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, in mid December, all sanctioned Canadian Auto Shows canceled their 2022 shows. We are determined to back even stronger in 2023.”
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