You are invited to participate in a special networking event to kick-off the 2012 GBM, on Wednesday, September 5th.

As part of our Extended Mission Program, incoming international buyers will be participating in a private Sunset Dinner & Harbour Cruise aboard the MV Harbour Princess, departing Coal Harbour Vancouver at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, September 5th. This special “pre-event” Global Buyers Mission evening is with our participating International buyers from Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Mexico, and Vietnam.

Due to the popularity of the event, we are opening registration early for all our industry members in BC. Please be advised that space is limited.

This is an excellent opportunity to meet the pre-qualified buyers, particularly if you are not already participating in the GBM in Whistler.

Click here for the registration form to guarantee your space on the Cruise!

read more

I am pleased to announce that, effective immediately, Jim Ivanoff will assume the position of Director – Asia Pacific Region with BC Wood. Jim’s broader role within BC Wood will include the responsibility for the day to day operations of BC Wood in the Asia Pacific Region with specific focus on Japan, China, and South Korea. Providing support for its members in these Asian markets is a critical component of BC Wood’s mission and we will maintain our current staffing in Japan, China, and South Korea to carry out this mission. BC Wood’s representatives in these markets will continue their efforts on behalf of our members with an added level of coordination and direction from Jim in Tokyo.

As most of you know, Jim has been valuable asset to BC Wood and its members in Japan since he joined the BC Wood team nine years ago. Jim’s new role and responsibilities will help to integrate BC Wood’s program across the Asian markets and provide even better services for our members going forward. Please do not hesitate to contact Jim at  Ivanoff@canadawood.jp for any additional information on BC Wood’s programs in Asia this year.

read more

BC Wood Specialties Group 2012 Annual General Meeting
9:30 – 10:15 AM, Thursday, September 6th, 2012
Whistler Conference Centre

BC Wood will be holding its’ 2012 Annual General Meeting on Thursday, September 6th at 9:30 AM at the Whistler Conference Centre in Whistler, British Columbia. All BC Wood members are encouraged to attend.

To register or for more information, please contact me directly at bhawrysh@bcwood.com or by phone at 604-882-7100 (toll free 1-877-422-9663).

We look forward to seeing you in scenic Whistler, BC for BC Wood’s Annual General Meeting on September 6th, 2011.

read more

BC Wood will once again be organizing the Canadian wood products pavilion at the annual Japan Home Show. This year the show will return to its traditional November schedule and run from the 14th through the 16th at Tokyo Big Sight.

The JHS typically attracts about 90,000 industry people ranging from importers and distributors to builders and architects and has long been the highest profile building products show in the country, particularly for imported products. This year the organizers have decided to strategically partner with JAPANTEX which is one of Japan’s largest interior trend shows for professionals. With the JHS and JAPANTEX collocated together in Big Sight’s East Hall, it is expected that JHS exhibitors will see a dramatic increase in designers working on non-residential projects.

Also, we expect positive synergies from the HOSPEX show, catering to the owners/operators of medical and elderly care facilities, which will be run concurrently by the same organizers in an adjacent hall. Elderly care facility operators have been adopting 2×4 buildings more and more in recent years because of the perceived therapeutic benefits of wood framed buildings. COFI’s Japan Office has been very active in targeting this market on the structural side and we are endeavouring to find more opportunities for value-added products on such projects.

BC Wood will also be working with the Canadian Embassy on a program timed around the show to target the reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku region. As a result, members attending the JHS will also be able to take part in some match-making activities targeting local companies working on both non-residential and residential projects in the tsunami devastated communities.

I am very excited about this year’s Japan Home Show as the housing market overall has been strong this year and the show organizers have been working hard to bring more value to exhibitors. This show offers a great opportunity for companies looking to enter the Japanese market and take advantage of the many positive trends we are seeing.  I will be booking booth space soon so for more information please e-mail me at ivanoff@canadawood.jp.

read more

Reform Industry Newspaper Show 2012

On July 20th, 2012, posted in: BC Wood Activities, Japan, Trade Shows by Comments Off

Over the past few years there has been a lot of interest in the “reform market” (renovation) amongst industry people in Japan. This is due to the fact that homes built since the early 1990s are quite structurally sound, but they have a reached a point where they need upgrades. In the past, 20+ year old homes would almost automatically be torn down and rebuilt, but many consumers are now comfortable with the idea of renovating over rebuilding both to save money and to reduce waste.

For these reasons, I had wanted to take space at the Reform Industry Newspaper’s annual show at Big Sight and I got the opportunity to do so this year. BC Wood exhibited on behalf of the value-added industry and used sample products ranging from doors, mouldings, windows, kitchen cabinet doors, flooring, as well as WRC furniture and fence systems in our 3m x 6m space. I also made-up picture panels of renovation projects in Canada to cover the walls.

Visitors to our booth were very impressed with the pictures of “extreme renovation” projects that doubled the floor space on homes as well as how renovating a kitchen in Canada can completely change the character of the homes main living space. In talking to the reform specialists that came by, I learned that many of them want to use more natural materials on their projects to also offer a completely new level of comfort to their clients. This is in contrast to the image of “reform” in the past when it was mainly seen as replacing worn-out kitchens and flooring with new “material” or “equipment” with little consideration for space design. I think this shift provides Canadian building products a much greater opportunity in this market.

Going forward, I will follow-up with some of the key contacts I made at the show to do more research on how BC Wood can best approach this niche market. I believe that this will be a growing market segment and that we need a sound strategy in targeting it.

read more

What does a trade show on the skids, mathematical equations, and NHL players loving Kelowna have in common? Read below to find out.

I was in San Francisco last week for the Pacific Coast Builders Conference (PCBC). The city was abuzz, with restaurants, car rentals, and hotels at near capacity, so I was excited hoping that the show was turning the corner after being on life support the last five years. Well, like most things, my excitement soon turned as I realized all the buzz was for the Google app conference that was happening at the same time as PCBC. In fact, Google has taken over occupying three of the four massive building that make up the conference center. As late as 2005, PCBC filled these four buildings with the latest in construction and building products supplies, now PCBC is confined to ¾ of the south hall.

That being said, PCBC this year had all the excitement of a party in a kitchen because the small size of the place seemed much busier than it actually was. Show organizers listed some 5000+ attendees at this year’s event, which provided a good venue for networking between builders, architects, and suppliers from the Northern California market. It’s too early to tell what the change in location to San Diego will do to attendance next year, but suffice it to say, the show could not survive another year in San Francisco.

Last year, I did a quick survey of members to see how their “Bid-to-Close Ratio” and see how the downturn had effected their bottom line. As discussed, the ratio last year was skewed, with members bidding on a high number of projects, but closing with far less frequency than in the past. Most blamed the market conditions at the time, as buyers were checking prices with alternative suppliers, and manufacturers were said to be “giving jobs away” just to stay in business. This time, it seems that the bid-to-close ratio is beginning to return to normal, especially with higher value manufacturers in the millwork and engineered wood products sectors. One manufacturer that I spoke commented that while they are signing more contracts, delays on project start dates have impacted the ratio. The bid-to-close ratio is a benchmark for the overall health of the industry and having this ratio gradually return to historic averages is, I believe, reflective of an improving residential and light commercial construction sector.

Finally, on the celebrity front, it seems that we have a few members who like to rub elbows with the rich, famous, and powerful.   For example, Kelowna based BC Wood member, Norelco Cabinets, has developed a niche market building custom kitchens, high-end cabinetry, and millwork for NHL hockey players including Wade Redden, Jerome Iginla, and most recently that ginger-haired grinder from Philadelphia, Scott Hartnall. It turns out that Kelowna has become a hotbed for NHL players to live and train during the summer months and a fraternity of players have built homes on Okanagan Lake over the past few years.

Also hobnobbing with the rich and famous is Judson Beaumont of Straight Line Designs. His use of beetle kill pine in recent projects creating one of kind furniture and wall panelling attracted the attention of the Minister of Tourism and Trade, the Hon Pat Bell who stopped by his shop in Vancouver this past week to view some of Jud’s latest designs. It seems that Jud has become a favorite of Victoria’s political elite as he also was commissioned to build a beetle pebble wall a few years back for former premier Gordon Campbell.

 

read more

We are very excited to announce that BC Hydro has signed up to support the GBM as a sponsor, as well as HSBC taking a higher profile role as another one of our Corporate Sponsors. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) has also recognized the value of the program for international market development and has significantly increased their contribution to support the GBM this year.

These changes recognize the value of the GBM program and the new business it brings to Canadian wood products manufacturers. We have also seen a dramatic increase from our exhibitors, in requesting we invite their targeted buyers from many different markets. Plus, we have just completed a strategic, targeted direct mail campaign to US buyers, which we believe, along with the efforts of the WRCLA, will bring us a substantial increase in American buyers, builders, developers and distributors.

If you have not yet signed up to participate, please call me at 604-882-7100 or toll free at 1-877-422-9663. There is still some booth space available and this is the best, most cost-effective opportunity for you to meet buyers from all over the world that might want to buy your wood.

A significant number of buyers from China, India and Pakistan have already signed up to meet our manufacturers. Will you be there?
 

read more

By Roy Manion

 

I just returned after spending most of June in Europe, primarily in Croatia where my wife was born. One of many features of Europe that is immediately evident to most North Americans travelling to that continent is the architecture – and the age – of many of the buildings there. Along with the architecture of these buildings, one didn’t have to look hard to see a large amount of wood used in these buildings including timber frame, millwork (most had wood windows and doors), flooring, ceilings, and panelling.

For example, the hotel we stayed in Delnice, a small town in North Western Croatia, was several hundred years old – I was told 500 years old. This hotel was a timber frame structure imbedded into a combination of stone and concrete foundation and walls. As you may be able to see from the picture of the dining room, the interior walls, floor, and ceiling also were wood.

Surprisingly, this was not uncommon throughout Croatia. Everywhere we went, we saw wonderful uses of wood being used, whether the buildings were institutional, places of worship, commercial, or residential (including my wife’s 250 year old family home). For the most part, the wood was in excellent condition. When these buildings are eventually torn down, I am sure this wood can be salvaged and reused in new buildings which will most likely last for additional centuries. All in all, for me this was great reinforcement that our activities in promoting the use of wood as a viable and long lasting building material are on the money.

GLOBAL BUYERS MISSION

As I am sure you will be reading in other parts of the Wood Connections, preparation is in full swing for the GBM. We are looking for another strong representation from the architect and designer community. We are also expecting to see good support from the construction and engineering communities.

Once again, we will have a strong program set for our Wood First Forum on Thursday. We have some great speakers committed to the program including three amazing speakers from Europe, thanks to our friends at CAWP. Last year we introduced what turned out to be a very successful mini-seminar series for the architects and designers given by 20 exhibitors at their respective booths. Since this was such a success, we are continuing with it this year. Expect to hear more about this in the days to come.

For further information on the above or any issue related to the Specifiers Program, please feel free to contact me at rmanion@bcwood.com.

read more

New for you? click the link to check out last year’s event:  http://youtu.be/B0fS5puvTQA  

We will be back at the beautiful Whistler Conference Centre and have negotiated unbeatable hotel rates for you in Whistler Village.

You will not want to miss this opportunity to showcase your products to over 250 pre-qualified international buyers and North American Architects, Designers & Engineers!

Proposed Program Schedule

Thursday – September 6th
Association Business & In-market Representatives Meetings
Evening Welcome Event at the spectacular Roundhouse Lodge at the Peak of Whistler Mountain for all participants

Friday – September 7th
Morning Networking/Tradeshow/Meetings
Afternoon WRCLA/EA Sponsored Golf Tournament; Architects in-booth presentations; or Whistler free time
Gala Evening Event at Westin Resort

Saturday – September 8th
Morning Networking/Tradeshow/Meetings

Exhibit space is limited and will be available on a first-come / first-served basis. If you haven’t already registered, contact us for your online registration link at  gbm@bcwood.com or call Randi at 604-882-7100.

read more

Thursday- Saturday, September 6-8th, 2012
Whistler Conference Centre, Whistler, BC

It’s the time of year when BC Wood ramps up the preparations for the up-coming GBM. What is different this year from the previous three or four is the early strong interest from US lumber wholesalers and building materials distributors. Maybe it is a result of some early advertising we did in US trade publications; the support from the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association in advising their members of the GBM has certainly had a positive impact; or maybe it is just the marked improvement that we have seen in the business climate and attitudes of the US buyers… all probably have combined to have a positive effect on the response we’ve received so far. Whatever the factors, this year we are looking forward to a strong GBM attendance from our friends and customers from south of the 49th.

If you have any questions about year’s GBM, please contact me, Brian Hawrysh, at 604-882-7100 or  bhawrysh@bcwood.com.

read more

Above image: Marie Khouri

For the four-day duration of the Fair, May 19-22, 145,000 square feet of the Javits Center was abuzz with more than 26,000 interior designers, architects, retailers, designers, manufacturers, representatives, distributors, and developers. On Tuesday, May 21, the ICFF opened its doors to the general public, as well.

BC Wood’s talented contingent this year included: Mario Sabjlak, Brent Comber, Marie Khouri, vin de garde cellar systems, Diamond Stairs (new member), and John Ross Design. Judson Beaumont also put in a brief appearance as he happened to be doing an installation in New York during the show. He was kind enough to stay and help us with the teardown, too!

Everyone brought something new to the show this year and many have already been picked up and blogged through various media outlets. Check out Marie Khouri’s new La Chaise launched at ICFF and picked up by http://www.interiordesign.net/slideshow/2474-ICFF_Product_Highlights.php?photoId=392796&photoUrl=/photo/392/392796-Marie_Khouri_s_La_Chaise_made_out_of_plywood_.jpg

Diamond Stairs and vin de garde are on their way to LA to participate in Dwell Magazines showcase event at the end of the month, thanks to contacts made at the show in New York. Check out these great reviews: http://www.treehugger.com/interior-design/prefabricated-cantilevered-stairs-are-minimal.html and
http://www.yourhome.ca/homes/decor/article/1193291–everything-old-is-new-again

More than 500 exhibitors from all points of the globe displayed contemporary furniture, seating, carpet and flooring, lighting, outdoor furniture, materials, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, kitchen, and bath for residential and commercial interiors. This remarkable throng of exhibitors created an unparalleled opportunity to view a broad yet highly focused selection of the world’s finest, most innovative, and original avant-garde home and contract products side-by-side, all under one roof.

Buyers and reps came from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom, and U.S.

Along with BC Wood, making their yearly pilgrimage to the celebrated design hub were contingents from British European Design Group (BEDG) (our very good neighbours, incidentally), Ceramic Tiles of Italy, Furniture New York, The Furniture Society (U.S.), IDSA New York (Industrial Designers Society of America), Inside Norway, Interiors from Spain, JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) and Portugal Brands.

Above image: Diamond Stars & Vin De Garde
Below image: Brent Comber

Above image: Brent Comber & John Ross
Below image: Mario Sabljak

read more

A few comments, suggestions, and ideas that may be of interest to industry…

I have been working with a number of architects, builders, and distributors in the San Francisco market over the last few years and thought it would be a good idea to bring the readers up to speed on some of the projects that these firms have been working on.

Webcor Builders

Webcor is an award-winning general contractor specializing in a wide variety of project types-from large scale light commercial construction, to multi-unit residential and high-end interior commercial finishings. Webcor has been in the construction business for over 40 years and boasts a list of clients, such as Oracle, eBay, Lucasfilm, Starwood, and the W hotel group. They have made a name for themselves in the San Francisco market and have expanded to take advantage of the significant growth in the Silicon Valley high tech market. In fact, they were involved in the recent expansion of high tech stalwarts, eBay and Google.

I have a good contact with the designers and purchasing agents in the company and have focused on working with the interior carpentry and interior construction divisions in the firm. Webcor has a number of upcoming projects that will require both interior and exterior wood components and finished products. I will keep you informed on the opportunities that come from this contact.

Beronio Lumber

 

Another key player in the building product sector in San Francisco and the Bay area is Beronio Lumber. This company is an industry legend in the Bay region as they celebrated their 100th year in business in 2011. They specialize in servicing the residential construction market and carry a wide range of interior and exterior building components and finishings. With a trip around their flagship store in the South Bay area, you soon notice a number of BC Wood members products profiled in their showroom.

Michael Cassasa is the main contact at Beronio and a recent discussion with him suggests that business is much better than it has been over the past few years and that whole bay area market that they service – from Marin County to Palo Alto – is showing significant growth. The fact that Beronio is busy is a good sign that the Northern California market is on a rebound after a number of years of limited growth.

A direct chance to connect with these and other companies that I work with will be available to members who attend the Global Buyer Mission this September in Whistler. Both firms listed above are expected to participate at the GBM and if you are interested in meeting with them please contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com or on my cell at 604-728-8786.

read more

By Daryl Holmes

Organized for the 35th time, TURKEYBUILD Istanbul is dubbed the biggest inter-regional building gathering that covers Turkey, Balkans, former CIS countries, North Africa, and Middle East. The exhibition was held from May 2nd to 6th, 2012 at the Tüyap Fair Centre and Congress Center, which is made up of 81,000 sq. metres and consisting of 12 exhibition halls. Attendance at this show was very high with total attendees recorded at 110,000 guests.

The following information summarizes the show and my market observations as they pertain to the value-added wood industry beginning with the core feedback that directly impacts you, the member.

BC Wood first attended Turkeybuild in the smaller market of Ankara in September, 2011 with the notion of returning for the signature event to be held in Istanbul. The valuable work undertaken in September set the stage for a very successful return to this market in early May. This show takes me back to the glory days of USA builder shows with the aisles full of qualified agents, buyers, architects, designers, developers, planners, and builders. In Turkey, industry continues to take firm steps forward. Turkey, which acts as an intercontinental bridge due to its geographical position, is an extremely important partner for BC manufacturers who wish to develop sales in this part of the world.

Where do the sales prospects lie?

At the show, four companies represented their products in the BC Wood booth space. We focused our display on products that we feel have the greatest competitive advantage in this area – Engineered Wood Products, Log Home and Timber Frame structures, PreBuilt Housing, and Remanufactured Products. Flooring and high-end furniture also received attention at this event.

During the show, we spoke to many qualified representatives of local companies who were interested in the distribution of products; these contacts were spread around Turkey and the surrounding countries. All member companies received wide spread interest in not only distribution of products, but also direct sales opportunities.

While most construction taking place in Turkey is with concrete and steel, the appetite for wood products was high. Timber and lumber comes into the country from neighbouring countries; however, the reputation of Canadian wood products as being high quality meant that we received many enquiries about project based developments and high-end building materials. So, in short, the increase in development taking place in this market indicates a growing demand for lumber and wood products overall. It was encouraging to speak to many project managers and resort developers who did not see Canada’s geographic proximity as a barrier to discussing business deals.

How do I access these opportunities?

Obtaining access to these opportunities is not easy and won’t happen overnight. The key, as always, is to get active in the market and to get connected to local industry partners. Securing strategic partnership agreements with local agents is of the utmost importance. Relying on your website and word-of-mouth will not get you access to this market. Also, once you have made contact in this area, the key is to commit to follow up, and the required amount of engagement needed to realise sales.

Either as an individual company or in partnership with BC Wood and other industry groups, you will have success showcasing your products and gaining profile in this competitive marketplace if you make the decision to invest some time in a market strategy that puts you and your products in the path of these key decision makers.

Does Turkeybuild Deliver?

This show is without a shadow of a doubt the premium show to attend in this market. This show draws attendees from all over the Middle East and the local Turkish market, as well as Russia, Ukraine, and other neighbouring markets. Follow the money – this notion is so prevalent in this marketplace and based upon our success at this show, members have already secured sales. The Europe market is mature and very competitive; however, niche areas of the world continue to show an increase in opportunity for BC’s value added industry. The Turkey marketplace falls into this category and it is my opinion that business to business sales opportunities will continue to grow in this area.

Upcoming events in the Europe market include Holzhaus, Moscow (Nov 9-13), and BAU, Germany (Jan 17-20, 2012). For more information contact Brian Hawrysh at bhawrysh@bcwood.com  or email me at dh@themataigroup.com

read more

Welcome to the 9th annual Global Buyers Mission™ (GBM) – a three-day, invitation only networking/tradeshow event developed to bring together pre-qualified international buyers of wood products from around the world, with Canadian manufacturers of products that include finished materials, building supplies, and remanufacturing products. We will be back at the beautiful Whistler Conference Centre and have negotiated great hotel rates for you in Whistler Village.

Our buyer recruiting will bring buyers, distributors, contractors, builders, architects, and developers, all pre-qualified by our Canada Wood in-market representatives and Canadian Embassies from around the world. We have also expanded our Specifiers program to include direct in-booth presentations on Friday afternoon for manufacturers interested in meeting this important audience.

You will not want to miss this opportunity to showcase your products to over 200 pre-qualified international wood products buyers and important specifiers.

Exhibit space is limited and will be available on a first-come/first-served basis. If you haven’t already registered, contact us at  gbm@bcwood.com for your on-line access code, or call Randi at 604-882-7100 (toll free 1-877-422-9663).

Proposed Program Schedule

Thursday – September 6th
Association Business Meetings and Wood First Forum
Evening Welcome Reception at the spectacular Roundhouse Lodge at the peak of Whistler Mountain for all participants

Friday – September 7th
Morning Networking/Tradeshow/Meetings
Afternoon WRCLA/EA Sponsored Golf Tournament; Specifiers in-booth presentations; or Whistler free time
Gala Evening Reception at the Westin Resort

Saturday – September 8th
Morning Networking/Tradeshow/Meetings

read more

Later this year in September, BC Wood will be coordinating a tandem of cost-shared trade shows for the Log and Timber Frame Home sector. Member companies are able to participate in the Log and Timber Home Show in Dallas, Texas on September 22-23rd and on the following weekend, Sept 28-29th, in Denver Colorado.

The Log & Timber Home Show – Dallas Texas – Sept 22-23, 2012
The Denver Log Home Show – Denver, Colorado – Sept 28-29, 2012

The first of the two shows scheduled for September is in Dallas. The Dallas region was identified by the industry advisory group for BC Wood’s Log and Timber Frame Home sector as a priority market for this year. The reason to focus our collective effort on Dallas was not because there were a lot of log and timber frame structures being built in Dallas, but, because there were a good number of people living in Dallas who had a desire to own a log or timber frame home and had the financial where-with-all to purchase one.

The attendees at previous Dallas shows had a very desirable demographic make-up with 85% of the attendees being couples 35+, higher education, higher income, and skewing to the outdoors. Further, 80% of the attendees plan to build their log or timber frame home within the next 3 years.

The majority of the homes built by Dallas residences were located in the surrounding states of Arkansas, New Mexico, and the Oklahoma panhandle. BC Wood will support its’ members in our first venture into what is expected to be a very lucrative market.

The second show where BC Wood will support its’ members participation is the show in Denver. Last year, six BC Wood members attended the Denver Log Home Show and expressed a strong desire to return this year. Over the years, many BC Wood members from the log and timber frame home sector have used the Denver show to establish a presence in this very strong market for recreational homes in the Rocky Mountain States region. As the economy in this region continues to build some momentum, I fully expect another strong level of participation from BC Wood’s members for the Dallas show.

Space is available for BC Wood members wanting to participate in these two up-coming shows. I would encourage any companies interested to contact me at BC Wood’s office at 604-882-7100 or at bhawrysh@bcwood.com.

read more

By Daryl Holmes

Over 1400 exhibitors were present at this year’s show, which continues to grow in size and attendance.  This show is a one-stop shop for anything and everything related to the sustainable construction and green building industry.  The timber zone was much larger than last year indicating that the profile of timber use in construction is becoming more and more prominent in this marketplace.  Many countries local to this market boasted large pavilions showcasing their products.  BC manufacturers were represented in collaboration with a combined Canadian Pavilion which featured companies from all across Canada.

The following information summarizes the show and my market observations as they pertain to the value added wood industry beginning with the core feedback that directly impacts you the member.

Where do the sales prospects lie?

The timber zone at the show was visited by a wide spectrum of key industry members including architects, designers, developers, planners, and builders.  Our display focused on showcasing Engineered Wood Products, Log Home and Timber Frame structures, PreBuilt Housing, and Remanufactured Products.  While these products were of primary interest to the attendees who visited us, I also received interest in high-end millwork and high-end furniture products.  Yes, distribution of some BC products is already mature and well established in the UK;  however, it was interesting to speak with a number of industry professionals who were interested in dealing direct with the manufacturer to develop project based relationships and partnerships.

Attendees from all across the UK, Ireland, and Europe were present at the show and in particular geographic areas like Eastern Europe, the Emirates, and Middle East were well represented. I spoke to a number of project managers and resort developers who were interested in making contact with Canadian companies to discuss upcoming construction plans.  On the local UK scene there remains an appetite for wood products and due to the focus of the show, there is no surprise that timber and timber products lead the pack as the first choice in construction. In this market, building industry professionals and consumers alike extol the virtues of Timber.  The viewpoint in the UK is:  Timber Products = Natural, Traditional, Sustainable, and Climate Friendly.

How do I access these opportunities?

Gaining access to these opportunities is not easy and by no means a short-term outcome.  The key to having your products and services gain profile in this competitive marketplace is to invest in a market strategy that puts you and your products in the path of these key decision makers and sales opportunities. Resources in today’s marketplace are scarce and it is difficult for local BC manufacturers to reach every offshore market. However, there are cost effective solutions that enable you to maximize your financial resources.  By participating in BC Wood programs, you will be able to gain first hand access and engagement in this marketplace.  For those of you not able to travel to the market, the most crucial component of your market access strategy is to secure local representation on the ground in this market. Whether you choose to hire a local representative or to partner with your peers, the engagement of a local industry professional is essential to getting your products exposure to the key people in Europe. Based upon the feedback and results from this show, I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. Relying on your website, word of mouth, and repeat sales alone will not enable you to expand your scope of sales opportunities in this large geographic market.

Does EcoBuild Deliver?

Attendance at trade shows is a much talked about subject amongst you and your peers. As an industry member for many years I have attended many shows of which some have been well worthwhile and others, well, let’s just say they have not lived up to the hype of the show organizers. To assist you in your efforts to make well informed decisions on how to plan your marketing strategy, I offer some feedback on this show.

The show’s reputation as a signature event on the trade exhibition calendar was evident as we hosted visitors at the booth from all over Europe.  London is a huge hub for development, design, and project planning.  Along with qualified contacts from all over the UK and Ireland, attendees from France, Germany, Norway, Estonia, Ukraine, Belgium, The Netherlands, Latvia, Austria, Finland, Spain, and Italy showed interest in products from BC’s value-added manufacturers.  As mentioned earlier, we spoke to professionals from UAE, Eastern Europe, and Middle East as well. We were busy at the show, the aisles were full and those whom we spoke to were predominantly qualified contacts.  My goal at each show is to access the gate keepers and decision makers. These individuals were at this show and were not just kicking tires.

A bonus of this show is the fact it is a 3 day event which allows you, the member, to conduct pre and post show meetings and site visits with prospective clients, and only be away from home for 7 days.  Would this be a show I would recommend?  Yes. With the right amount of planning, industry partnership, and pre-show engagement in this market, you would gain valuable business to business sales opportunities; enough for sure, to gain a return on your investment.

Upcoming events in the Europe market include TurkeyBuild (May 2-6), Holzhaus, Moscow (Nov 9-13), and BAU, Germany (Jan 17-20, 2012).  For more information, contact BC Wood or email me at dh@themataigroup.com

     

read more

A few ideas, comments, and suggestions that may be of interest…

This past weekend, BC Wood and member companies participated in the 2012 Anchorage Home Builders Show at the Sullivan center in Anchorage, Alaska. BC Wood returned to the show after a four year hiatus and the general consensus from members was that the event was positive. We met and spent time talking to numerous people active in the construction sector across the state, and through these discussions some interesting observations were made.

Alaska is a unique market, in part due to its geographic remoteness but also due to the independent spirit of the people who live there. Alaskans like to describe themselves as a hearty people, who believe strongly in being self-sufficient, and most importantly having government of all types stay out of their business. In speaking with a number of builders in the market, they often referred to Alaskans having a frontiersman or libertarian spirit.

The reason for discussing this is the potential effect it has on Canadian manufacturers and exporters selling into this market. With this spirit comes a strong ‘Buy American’ or even stronger ‘Buy Alaskan’ mindset from most consumers. The ironic part of this is nearly every building product in Alaska has to be imported into the market. So while Alaskans like to tout the economic benefits of buying locally, the truth is they, by necessity, are more than willing to buy from the lower 48 states and Canada as well. The key to selling into the Alaskan market is to align yourself with a good local partner, dealer, or distributor in the state so that any perceived issue around buying imported product can be nullified.

The show itself was well attended and good sales opportunities were developed for members in the prebuilt housing, interior products, and log home sectors. The attendees were a mix of consumers, builders, and general contractors who were keen to discuss upcoming projects in the residential and light commercial construction market. Due to the relatively short building season, many attendees that we spoke to were ready to make purchases in the next few months. The economic conditions in the state are improving and many builders were seeing increased activity as compared to the past few years.

According to the Alaska Home Builders Association (AHBA), the three main cities in Alaska, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Anchorage, are seeing the mainstay of construction activity with Anchorage accounting for over 60 percent of new housing starts. The renovation and remodeling market is still considerably stronger than new housing construction and the AHBA predicts that it will continue to drive construction activity for the next year.

Anecdotally, we met with a number of people who were looking to build cabins, vacation, and dream homes on property they have outside of the metropolitan areas in places like Homer and Skagway. Due to the significant challenges of building in remote areas and the with short building season, these buyers were drawn to the advantages of prebuilt and pre-constructed housing offered by members like Linwood and Pacific Homes or by Bigfoot Log Homes.

According to analysts, with the Alaska economy improving and with continued oil and gas development in the state, the outlook for Alaska is positive. Market opportunity for BC and Canadian companies wanting to sell into Alaska is favourable. As with most markets, finding a good partner in Alaska is critical to developing a long term sales into the state.

For more information on Alaska or other markets in the United States, please feel free to contact me at  dfarley@bcwood.com

read more

As many of you know, we have confirmed the dates and space for the GBM this year and as usual, would like to offer the first opportunity and space allocation to last year’s participants, before we go public.  I am happy to say that we have secured the Whistler Conference Centre for September 6th to 8th, 2012.

We are very pleased to be partnering once again with the Western Red Cedar Lumber and Export Associations (WRCLA/EA) on the event.  This is a great opportunity to not only meet with important international buyers and decision makers, but also re-connect with your peers in the industry.

Registered Exhibitors will also have full access to the BC Wood & WRCLA Association programs scheduled for Thursday the 6th.

In case you have not participated in the past GBM’s, we put together a few short videos of the event last year:

2011 Global Buyers Mission Video: http://youtu.be/B0fS5puvTQA
2011 Living and Building with Wood Video: http://youtu.be/724QpufhNLQ
2011 Exhibitor testimonials: http://youtu.be/jft5iB9EEGI
2011 Buyer Testimonials: http://youtu.be/F5_iaRF-6mc
BC Wood YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BCWoodAssociation

If you are a past exhibitor and want to guarantee your space for the 2012 GBM, please let us know so we can forward you the new “on-line registration link”, where you can select your number 1, 2 & 3 choices for space.  As you know, booth space selection is based on a first come-first served basis.

If you have NOT participated in the GBM but would like to be put on the invitation list, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to seeing you all on the Mountain this year!

Randi Walker
Director, Marketing & Communications
Tel: 604-882-7100
Toll Free: 1-877-4 BCWOOD
Email: gbm@bcwood.com

read more

Coming next week, BC Wood will be participating for the second time at the Seoul Living Design Fair at COEX in the Korean Market. Last year, the small, but targeted exhibit showcased high-end designed furniture from British Columbia and was extremely well received. Members of Korea’s design community were very interested in the Design Canada theme and had a particular interest in the use of wood as a material. This year, we are taking a larger space and showcasing more companies and new products at Korea’s key design trade show of the year. Check back with the next issue of Wood Connections for the results of this event. For more information, contact David Pao at  dpao@bcwood.com.

read more

Turkeybuild, Istanbul, Turkey – May 2-6th, 2012
Brian Hawrysh

“High quality, specialty lumber and building materials such as WRC decking, siding and roofing, Log/Timberframe, and prefabricated house packages will be of interest to the Turkish lumber importers, architects, and builders.”

Despite the difficult turbulent economic conditions evident in Western Europe over the past year, a majority of the new emerging East European economies have displayed a relatively strong economic performance. The strongest of these economies has been Turkey. Turkey is the fastest growing OECD market and the region’s top performer. A study by Goldman Sachs (2009) projected that Turkey will be the ninth largest economy in the world and the third largest in Europe by 2050. Turkey also has a long history and affinity of building with wood which gave way to a focus on concrete construction in the post WWII period. With a growing affluence, Turks are rediscovering their traditional preference of wood construction in higher-end residential and recreational home construction.

For these reasons, BC Wood decided to explore opportunities for BC’s value-added sector in Turkey and started by participating in the Turkeybuild show in Ankara last September. The four BC companies and BC Wood’s representative attending the show reported that there was very strong interest shown in BC’s products and services by the local timber and building materials distributors, as well as the Turkish construction and design professionals. The products generating the most interest were WRC exterior finishing, solid wood interior millwork and flooring, prebuilt housing, and log homes. Turkish companies showed a great deal of interest in partnering with Canadian companies that produce innovative, higher quality wood products. As with all new and emerging markets, it was noted that finding the right partner is crucial in gaining market penetration.

Based on Turkey’s expected long term economic growth and the early success of BC Wood’s first entry into the market, BC Wood is planning to return to Turkey. This coming fiscal year, BC Wood will attend the Turkeybuild show in the country’s economic centre, Istanbul. Last year, the Istanbul show drew over 110,000 visitors, many of them from the neighboring Eastern European and Islamic countries. The Istanbul show is not only a much larger event than last year’s Ankara show, Istanbul itself is a much larger market and the commercial center of Turkey, providing better opportunities for BC companies.

At Turkeybuild, exhibitors can showcase a full range of building materials and systems. High quality, specialty lumber and building materials such as WRC decking, siding and roofing, and prefabricated house packages will be of interest to the Turkish lumber importers, architects, and builders.

For the 2012 Turkeybuild, BC Wood will coordinate a display of member companies and other Canadian forest products associations. For more information regarding this event, BC Wood’s participation, and costs please contact Brian Hawrysh at 604-882-7100 or by email at bhawrysh@bcwood.com

read more