A few comments, suggestions, and ideas that may be of interest to industry…
Last week, I attended the Pacific Coast Building Conference (PCBC 11) in San Francisco. While the event has seen a significant downturn in both exhibitors and attendance since the downturn in 2008, it is still considered the most important event for the residential and light commercial construction sector in the West Coast of the United States.
This year PCBC partnered with another San Francisco trade event, West Coast Green, to combine two trade events into one. The joining of two formally competing trade events is an example of the difficulties that both the residential construction sector and trade events in general are having in the United States.
My observations for PCBC 2011 are that it has turned into a regionally focused, Northern California, trade event. The change is significant when you consider that just a few years back, PCBC was the 2nd largest building products trade event in North America just behind International Builders Show (IBS). The regional focus simply means that the event no longer attracts architects, builders, and developers from across the Western United States — rather just from Northern California.
Two BC Wood members participated in this year’s event, Woodtone Building Products and Synergy Pacific. The general consensus was that the event was better than last year and that builders were more generally upbeat than in years past. “The buyers we saw were mainly from the Bay Region, but they were pretty engaged and interested in our products “commented Bob Sloper, Sales Manager at Synergy Pacific. In addition to the new partnership with West Coast Green, PCBC also offered a new event for exhibitors to participate in called the “Curator Led Tours” which Woodtone took advantage of. This event started by taking a group of buyers from a large residential or light commercial construction company who are guided by an industry expert on a tour of their favorite products on display at the show. Mike Pidlisecky, VP sales at Woodtone described it as ” speed dating ” for the building sector where you get a pre-organized 3 to 5 minute meeting with builders where you get to discuss the attributes and benefits of your product to a captive audience.
“The Curator Led Tours was a good addition to the event “commented Mike,” It introduced us to a number of good contacts in the market”. Of note, BC Wood will be doing a similar event at the Global Buyers Mission this year for the architects program led by Roy Manion.
There was an interesting article in last Thursday’s USA Today newspaper. The article focused on the hottest real estate markets in the US as measured by real estate prices and new home construction. It turns out that the Silicon Valley market of Palo Alto, Cupertino and San Jose are experiencing a big increase in the value of residential property values, driven primarily by the new found wealth of employees in the Dot Com Sector. Young buyers are driving up the price of residential property as they cash in on their stock options and invest into real estate. New home construction in the market is also up as this same group is buying property and building multi-million dollar homes throughout the region.
We have some good contacts in the market and will be participating in a regional home and builders show in the region in the upcoming months. Stay tuned for more information in the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions or want any further information on the US market, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell at 604-728-8786.