Excitement is brewing at Tradex and Tourism Abbotsford as the laser focus for 2017 and beyond turns to mining opportunities and strategies with the City of Abbotsford, clients, tourism stakeholders, staff and management to help Abbotsford and Tradex shine its public light even brighter.
“Following on the heels of our new Tourism strategic plan, we will be embarking on a five-year plan to identify the opportunities for Tradex to evolve its positioning and its use as a multi-purpose facility. This effort will be a collaboration that includes many points of view,” said Craig Nichols, Tourism Abbotsford/Tradex executive director.
“It was a lot of fun in 2016 to pause and reflect on 25 years of Tradex operations,” said Nichols. “It reaffirmed for us that we need to be proactive and innovative in our stewardship of the building to ensure we leave it in better hands for the next generation, like those that came before us did.”
“It was good to publicly recognize the people who helped get the facility built and operational. . . and for us to express our gratitude. During these past few months we learned a lot about the history of the facility through the Tradex anniversary blogs, and about some of the amazing shows and people responsible for hosting them. It was also satisfying to communicate the importance of Tradex as a community asset and an economic generator,” said Nichols.
While 2016 marked a year of celebration and enhancements to Tradex, including a new roof, sidewalk improvements, café seating, point-of-sale system, improved entranceway, and Wi-Fi upgrade, 2017 will not be as aggressive for building improvements, “but we will see what the five-year plan identifies and develop a business case to back up the best opportunities. It will help us to get energized as a team for the future.”
As the 25th anniversary sign comes down at Tradex and a winner for the celebration’s grand prize is announced in early Spring, Nichols said he is particularly excited about the arrival of the Canadian Business Aviation Association convention at Tradex in 2017 and again in 2019, tag-teaming with the Aerospace, Defence & Security Expo (ADSE) and the Abbotsford International Airshow to bring some 20 aircraft to indoor and outdoor displays.
“It aligns strategically with the City’s and Tourism Abbotsford’s goals of becoming a go-to place for the aerospace industry,” said Nichols.
He is also excited about the national Under 14 volleyball championship in 2017 and the possible expansion of Canada Woodworking West industry-based show from 60,000 to 120,000 square feet in October.
The mayor’s breakfast in May will again give Tradex an opportunity to “transform and showcase the building,” said Nichols.
Tradex’s ability to transform into a film location during its quieter summer and winter months is another opportunity. “We’ve had some success with that recently as a site for the Legends of Tomorrow television show. We’re developing that market, it would be great to hand a film production company the Tradex keys in our quieter time and say go to it!”