As March 31st marked the end of our 2015-16 fiscal year, this article will be a year-end review on the Specifiers Program. 2015-16 was a very full year including Lunch & Learn sessions, Group Seminars, Factory Tours, the US Pacific Northwest Workshops, Alberta Workshops, and the Wood First Forum at the GBM.
Specifiers Program Update – A Year End Review
Specifier Lunch & Learn Sessions:
42 Lunch & Learn sessions were held throughout the year. The trend of implementing two 30 minute sessions instead of a single 60 minute session continued to resonate with Specifiers and Industry alike. The spilt this past year was approximately 50/50.
4 major group seminars were held including seminars in Kamloops, Kelowna, Victoria, and at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish. While all were well attended and eventful, the one that comes to mind is the session held at the Robert Bateman Centre in Victoria. This group seminar focused on the One Tree Exhibit at the Centre and included profiles of several manufacturers that produced 42 different pieces of furniture made from one 150 year old Western Maple that had to be cut down. All pieces were on display and designers and architects from all over the Victoria area attended this session. Seeing the skill of local craftspeople who produced some of these wonderful pieces was truly gratifying.
Four factory tours were held in the past year including tours of a millwork company in Sidney, a timber frame company in Kamloops, a timber drying facility in Squamish, and a reclaimed timber facility in Maple Ridge. In total over 130 architects, designers, contractors, and engineers attended these tours.
US Pacific Northwest Architect Workshops
For the third year in a row, BC Wood was joined by 5 companies from industry, each giving a 30 minute educational presentation on their respective products and services. These sessions were held in Seattle, Tacoma and Portland. Approval was obtained from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for 2.5 HSW/LU Educational Credits (these are the best educational credits AIA approves) for all the registered architects and designers who attended. In total, 126 professionals, mostly architects, registered for the three sessions.
Alberta Architect Workshops
As with the US sessions, BC Wood organized a group of companies from Industry to go to Alberta to present product knowledge / educational seminars for Alberta Architects, Designers, Contractors, and Engineers in key Alberta centres including Edmonton, Calgary, and Lethbridge. Using the US model, each company gave a 30 minute educational presentation on their respective topics. Approval was obtained from the Alberta Association of Architects for 2.5 Educational Credits for all the registered architects and designers who attended. In total, 92 people registered for the three sessions with the vast majority being architects.
Wood First Forum
This has been a very popular event for both the specifiers and many exhibitors at the GBM. Specifier activities included seminars on Thursday with excellent speakers from Japan, Austria, Boston, and locally. On Friday, we held our popular Mini-Seminars and Site Tour in the afternoon. Also offered were Lunch & Learn sessions on Friday and Saturday featuring key speakers. In total, over 70 specifiers attended.
Throughout the year, we continued to maintain relationships with a number of trade associations we felt are important to the success of the Specifiers Program with the goal of increasing the interaction between BC Wood and these associations. The associations we are working with include the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA), the Independent Contractors Business Association (ICBA), Architectural Woodworking Manufacturing Association of Canada (AWMAC), Interior Designer Continuing Education Council (IDCEC), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA), and most importantly, the Architectural Institute of BC (AIBC). We are pleased to report that all relationships were renewed for the coming fiscal year with an emphasis on greater collaborations going forward. We are also considering an additional 2 associations in the coming fiscal.
To summarize, 49 activities were implemented and were attended by close to 1,000 specifiers and support staff. Overall, a very full year.
As mentioned at the outset, the next Wood Connections will feature plans for the current fiscal year. Should you wish additional information on any of the foregoing, or require information on the Specifiers Program, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at the office. I would be pleased to discuss it with you.