The 2011 Global Buyers Mission, held September 8th to 10th, welcomed almost 700 delegates to Whistler for the third year in a row.Many thanks must go to our funding Partners this year including our Platinum Partners: Natural Resources Canada Wood Export Program (CWEP), Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. (FII), and Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC); our Silver Partners: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and the Cedar Shake & Shingle Bureau (CSSB); and our Bronze Partners: Industry Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). We were pleased to again have the collaborative effort made by CSSB and the Western Red Cedar Lumber & Export Associations (WRCLA & WRCEA) in recruiting participants and assisting BC Wood with the organization & delivery of the event.
Pre-qualified international buyers came from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Eastern Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. We were pleased that the majority of our buyers were new to the GBM again this year, offering excellent opportunities for Canadian manufacturers to build new business.
We also hosted over 80 North American architects, designers, contractors, developers, engineers and specifiers this year, to participate in our Living & Building with Wood Program, held on Thursday, September 8th and via the LBWW display on the showroom floor for the rest of the event. Architects & Designers also participated in “speed learning sessions” Friday afternoon, with 20 manufacturers exhibiting at the GBM. This was a new activity this year and has received high marks from both the architect community and participating exhibitors.
Products on display at the 2011 GBM from 75 exhibitors, represented by over 200 participants included timber frame structures, engineered wood products, treated lumber, windows, doors, mouldings, cabinetry, building systems, flooring, western red cedar products and a variety of other value-added wood building products. 25% of the companies were new to the GBM, offering our returning buyers some additional resources and products not seen at the GBM in the past.
For the past seven years, BC Wood has organized pre and post event site visits and tours for our incoming delegates. This year, the GBM Extended Mission Program included 7 groups that once again toured production facilities and visited construction sites in the lower mainland and the interior of BC to meet participating manufacturers. Besides helping buyers immediately source high quality, innovative and competitively priced wood products, the tours helped build future business relationships by familiarizing potential customers with BC’s wood species. We thank the many local companies that made the effort to open their mills and plants for these informative and productive tours.
Held at the Whistler Conference Centre, the GBM continues to be Canada’s largest event dedicated to promoting value-added wood producers.
Next GBM scheduled for Whistler, September 6th to 8th, 2012.