CCGA’s Annual Damage Prevention Symposium

This past October, 225 stakeholders met at the remarkable Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel to participate in the CCGA’s 4th Annual Damage Prevention Symposium. On the first day, the CCGA Committee members assembled to discuss topical issues within their committees of Best Practices, Damage Investigation Reporting Tool (DIRT), and Education & Marketing. The following day, attendees congregated for the official opening address by James Anspach, in which he discussed the diligent precursory efforts that eventually led to the realization of the Common Ground Alliance in the United States. Attendees were offered a diverse selection of informative presentations ranging from topics such as Damage Prevention: A Priority for CEPA Integrity First® to Improving One Call Systems in Canada: Using Practices from Other Jurisdictions, among many others. Throughout the week, 25 exhibitors were also able to display and educate attendees on their valuable products and services.

The keynote speaker this year was Canadian icon Rex Murphy. He delivered his golden brand of enthusiasm through a Webster’s dictionary version of the Queen’s English. His talk underlined the  vital importance and value of the work done on a daily basis by all of those who were in attendance. Murphy made our collective goals and objectives matter, and he singlehandedly escalated the CCGA Damage Prevention Symposium to a whole new level. Not to be outdone, another Canadian icon also made an unannounced appearance… the Grey Cup, Canada’s version of the American Super Bowl. The CCGA is the 2016-2017 Safety Sponsor for the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Together, the CCGA
and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame will be promoting Dig Safe and Click Before You Dig throughout 2017.

With the diverse exhibits, presentations, and special events, which even featured Canadian five-pin bowling, the overall response from all of those present was phenomenal. Individuals flocked from eight of Canada’s 10 provinces, the United States, and even Australia. A multitude of industries were well represented by their stakeholders. From those operating in the field to those at the executive level, there was an excellent mix of stakeholder perspectives in attendance. It was encouraging to see that the message of damage prevention has undoubtedly spread and is ringing true to an increasing number of individuals in our industry, as nearly 60% of attendees this year were first-timers. The
CCGA expects to see many of this year’s attendees next year, too, as 88.24% of survey respondents indicated that there is a strong chance they will attend future CCGA Damage Prevention Symposiums.

As is commonly said, content is king, and it looks like the attendees gained valuable insights  through-out all of the speakers’ presentations. 86.27% of survey respondents gave exceptional ratings in regard
to the quality of the content they received. Another primary reason for attending the CCGA Damage
Prevention Symposium is the countless number of networking opportunities for attendees and exhibitors alike. The number one benefit the majority of survey respondents indicated was far and away the networking opportunities that were made available to them. Gordon Campbell of Rogers Communications drove this focus home when he stated that the number one benefit he gained by attending was “networking with peers and making connections that [he] can use. This event gives much needed motivation to keep up the fight.”

As 94% of survey respondents indicated that they would strongly recommend this event to their industry peers, we are confident that the CCGA’s 5th Annual Damage Prevention Symposium will be bigger and better than ever. See you in 2017 in Ottawa!

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