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2021 Showcase

Showcase with a Twist!

2021 WRLA Showcase Changes Format

To ensure that the WRLA can safeguard the health and safety of members while continuing to create success for the industry, the association has changed the format of the 2021 WRLA showcase. Instead of the in-person event, the association's publication, Yardstick, and app will provide a new platform to engage vendor and dealer connections, offer education opportunities, and build industry awareness in an effective and efficient way.  WRLA recognizes that the in-person event is important to members’ business development and these alternatives will allow everyone to still collaborate, network and showcase innovation to the industry.

The January issue of Yardstick magazine, which is sent to all members, will now contain a special WRLA Building & Hardware Showcase section. Through the publication and complementary app, members can participate in:

  • member “booths” with company profiles, product info and staff intros created by the members
  • new products feature area
  • show specials
  • warehouse sales
  • opportunities to connect with other members
  • in-app contests

Members can also have virtual product knowledge sessions hosted by the WRLA and the association will be holding various education sessions on industry and business topics from January 18-29, 2021.

Watch our Showcase webinar here.

Read the official showcase format change news release here. For more information on the change, read the FAQs below.

To learn more about the new showcase format, review the media kits:

Member company (Exhibitors)           Buying groups

Ready to take the next step?

How to create your booth:

  1. Review the media kit (For Exhibitors / For Buying Groups) with booth options, pre-established booth designs (based on chosen size) and add-on features.
  2. Fill out the intake form here to let us know you're interested in being part of the new show format!
  3. Once you’ve filled out the intake form, an email will be automatically sent to you with a link that will take you to the larger form. This is where you'll fill in the information needed to create your booth. This includes content about your company, products you wish to highlight, contact info, show specials, photos and logo. Hit submit! 

WRLA will take it from there to create your booth for the show! We will take your submitted copy and photos and put it into the pre-established design (seen in the media kit).

Note: You can input copy/info and save the form and pick it up later so it does not have to be done all in one session!

What information do I need to fill out the form?

Based on your chosen booth size (half-page, full-page or double-page spread), you will need copy (word counts are noted in the media kit and in the forms and are based on chosen size) for the following:

- Company information: This is the information you want to share with new and existing customers about your company, what sets you apart, your products/services, staff, history - it's up to you! What will help you sell your company? Talk about it here.

- Product information: This is where you can sell those amazing products/services. Maybe it's your tried-and-true or best sellers that deserve the spotlight, or you have a new product to promote. (Note: Based on your chosen booth size/style, you may see one or two blocks in the form to fill in as the form mimics the chosen design format.)

- Show special: It wouldn't be a show without a show special! What special offer do you have for the show attendees? Let them know!

Employee introduction: Introduce an employee, whether it's a new leader, a sales rep or someone you wanted everyone to meet at the show. This is where they can be highlighted. This includes a photo of that staff member. 

Contact info: This is the easy one - phone number, email, website.

- Company colour: Tell us your company colour (include the CMYK breakdown or Pantone #) and we'll make sure your booth is that company colour so your booth looks like you! (If not company colour is noted, we will choose a colour based on your logo.)

Company logo: Upload your company logo to the form.

Company/product photo(s): Show off the product you are talking about in the content, share a picture of your staff team, or choose any company image.

For buying groups - What's new: This is where you can talk about what's new with your buying group and members. Have some exciting news to share? Do your members have noteworthy news? Put it here!

There are also the extras, depending on your booth size and any chosen add-on features. These may include:

- New product listing:* Talk about your exciting new product and it will run in the exclusive new product feature area of the showcase book. 

- In-app PDFs: Upload PDFs that will run with your in-app company listing. This could be product specs, more information about your services or product photos.

- Warehouse Sale: Want to have a warehouse sale? Get your sale in front of show attendees! Talk about the sale here and it will be listed in the Warehouse Sale. (Warehouse Sale will be a 48-hour pop-up sale during the show.)

- In-app banner: This is a banner that will run on your exhibitor page of the WRLA app. Add it on to make your exhibitor page stand-out and reflect your company. 

Note: You must be a member company to take part in the WRLA Showcase. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you have a question, please review the showcase and general FAQs below. Many of your questions will be addressed here. If you still need assistance, please email WRLA. (Note: We kindly remind everyone that we have one dedicated staff member for the show. Please be patient and she will respond to each member’s questions and inquiries.)

FAQs for Showcase Exhibitors

As an exhibitor who has pre-booked and pre-paid for booth space you have two options:

  1. Full refund of any pre-paid booth fees (payment made by cheque).
  2. Defer your pre-paid 2021 fee to your 2022 booth space.

Our trade show & events manager will be reaching out to all exhibitors over the coming weeks to discuss your options.  Please be patient as she has many companies to manage.

Yes, your current booth space will be held for the 2022 event (whether you’ve pre-paid or not) until March 31, 2021. Prior to this date, WRLA will confirm with you if you want to book for 2022 and keep the same space. If so, a new contract for 2022 will be provided.

Picture the Sears Catalogue meets LinkedIn with a dash of Facebook meets Zoom! WRLA has created a Showcase with a Twist to recreate the show spirit, provide business development opportunities and connections.

Via our Yardstick publication and app, members can still be a part of the show, offer show specials, showcase products, get in front of new customers, network with other members, stay connected with WRLA and more!

Exhibitors please see the media kit for details on how you can get involved in the alternate show. Retail dealers stay tuned and get ready to receive information via email on how to gain access to the app and when to expect Yardstick to hit your mailbox.

Please see the media kit for details on how you can get involved in the 2021 Showcase with a Twist - including virtual product knowledge sessions.

We have created the Showcase with a Twist, which has new opportunities to recreate the show spirit and connections. This includes offering a show special in the show publication and app. Please view the media kit for details.

General FAQs

Many factors were reviewed when determining a cancellation, these included:

  • Provincial event gathering restrictions as it related to our specific situation and show.
  • Consultation and input with hotels and venues impacted by our show.
  • Consultation with outside organizations in similar positions to ours.
  • Reviewing where our members come from across Canada and the US, and the health and safety impact of travelling to another province.
  • Travel restrictions by member businesses.
  • Required timelines for our members to make shipping arrangements for booths to Winnipeg.
  • Limitations on City of Winnipeg permits under current regulations.
  • Ability for all parties to fulfill contractual obligations.

No.  At this time WRLA has determined that a virtual trade show will not be planned. Media kits for Exhibitors and Buying Groups outline the alternative version of the show.

Retail dealers can expect updates as the launch of the alternative version draws closer.

Although a reduced show was considered, WRLA still could not guarantee the show would be able to take place. A reduction of size still faced a significant chance of cancellation with our members being impacted financially. We also did not want to limit the show to only those in the host province. 

WRLA cannot address rumours but wishes to clarify a few barriers our specific show faces:

  • We serve members from across Canada and the US. Shows that indicate they are happening may be limiting their events (i.e. provincial participation only). We cannot do that without impacting the value of the event.
  • Some “events” are, in fact, not considered gatherings, meetings, conferences or events. For example, Christmas or farmer’s markets fall under the Food and Health Safety rules and do not face the same regulations as our show, despite perhaps looking similar on the outside.
  • Many events are placing timed tickets on their entrances, which limits how many people can come during a specific time slot and giving two-hour limits on a show floor. We cannot do that as it would severely limit the number of bodies on the show floor. Attendees coming from across Western Canada have come to expect full access to the show floor for the full two days and WRLA wants to ensure attendees are satisfied with their show experience.
  • Some organizations are simply hoping that the rules change in their favour before their event and they may still be required to cancel at a later date.
  • Hosting the WRLA Networking and Awards night would also need to change dramatically and we are not interested in devaluing the meaning of the awards and we should be able to celebrate the recipients appropriately amongst their peers.

We want to minimize the financial impact on our members with a cancellation being organized sooner rather than later.

The short answer is no.  

To elaborate, many events in 2020 were cancelled and rebooked in 2021 and there are no dates for a show of our size and logistical needs in 2021. In addition, trying to find a date that works for all our members and their schedules is almost impossible. 

WRLA dates are booked with our vendors years in advance. We have dates secured until 2026 in all our potential host city locales.

Many people may have heard that other provinces are allowing trade shows. While this is a true statement, it requires clarification:

  • Provinces that are hosting trade shows are still limiting how many people are allowed on the show floor and require groups of people to be placed into cohorts. Those cohorts are also limited to how long they can be on the floor. 
  • The logistical resources required to move a show of our size and scale to another province would be phenomenal.
  • WRLA signs contracts with our host city in good faith. Moving our show, even for one year, demonstrates poor relationship management and could result in legal issues in the future.

No, we will work with Tourism Winnipeg, RBC Convention Centre and our hotel partners to renegotiate three years in Winnipeg (2022, 2023 and 2024).  Therefore, RFP processes for a new host city for the years of 2025, 2026 and 2027 will start in mid-2022.

As a non-profit association, the staff and board recognize the loss of our annual show will have a significant impact on the association. As we manage this, we encourage all our members to consider supporting WRLA through its Showcase with a Twist (find details in the media kits for Exhibitors and Buying Groups), as well as through sponsorship, education programming and membership renewals. Our purpose is to serve our members through advocating, connecting and educating all year long.

No. Refunds of memberships cannot be processed.  We remind all our members that the WRLA is much more than a trade show event. We offer multiple educational and training opportunities, free webinars, smaller networking opportunities and most importantly, we advocate for your industry.

General FAQs - Hotels Reservations

All hotel reservations with WRLA partner hotels* will be cancelled on your behalf. No current reservations will be transferred into 2022. WRLA members can expect 2022 hotel partner information to be released in March 2021. You will be required to re-book your rooms for 2022.

Please remember many hotels have reduced staffing. An influx of calls to any partner hotel will just increase the length of time they can respond and put undue pressure on them.

If you have booked with a non-partner hotel or private accommodations you must make your own cancellation arrangements. WRLA cannot intervene or assist in negotiating reduction of cancellation fees on any member’s behalf.

*WRLA partner hotels include: ALT Hotel Winnipeg, Delta Marriott Hotel, Fairmont Winnipeg, Hotel Fort Garry, Inn at the Forks, Norwood Hotel and Radisson Hotel by Canad Inns.

WRLA cannot intervene on any private contracts or agreements signed with hotels or venues. Those agreements are separate legally binding arrangements. You must contact the hotel to discuss.

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