In mid-January, I remember saying that the next 10 weeks through to the end of March would be a very busy time for the Specifiers Program. It has actually been all that and perhaps a little more.
In mid-February, we took 5 companies into the Pacific Northwest and held group seminars in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland; the following week we worked the Buildex show; and now we are preparing for our Alberta architect tour in a couple of weeks’ time with companies from industry. All the while, we are continuing with lunch & learn seminars. There really aren’t very many “office days” to get caught up lately. All this is testament to the success of the program and those who are participating in it.
US Specifier Workshops
BC Wood, joined by 5 companies from industry, gave presentations to groups of architects and designers in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland. Each company’s representative gave a 30 minute educational presentation on their respective products or programs. Judging from survey results and comments from the attendees, the program was very well received. My take on the program is that there were two benefits of participating: one being the opportunity of meeting specifiers in these 3 key cities in the Pacific Northwest; and the other being the opportunity of spending considerable time with representatives from 4 other companies, (all of which were non-competing) and learning about their products and services. One never knows, but this could be useful information for future projects. All in all, we had a great group and it was very gratifying to see everyone get along so well.
BC Wood was once again joined by several companies to form the “BC Wood Pavilion” at Buildex. Although we don’t have the latest attendance numbers, the show historically draws 12,000 – 13,000 professionals and attendance appeared similar to other years. While booth activity at this two day show was at times sporadic for our exhibitors, they all came away with several good leads, made new contacts, or simply renewed relationships. As a result, they felt it was a good show for their company or association.
Alberta Specifiers Workshops
Everything is in place, invitations have been sent and registrations are coming in for this 3 day BC Wood “road show”, where 5 BC companies will be giving seminars to groups of architects, designers, and contractors in Edmonton, Calgary, and Lethbridge, March 24th, 25th, and 26th respectively.
Lunch & Learns
As usual, while all the other activities are taking place, we continue to deliver lunch and learn sessions. This month, we have six lunch and learn sessions and two group seminars booked over and above the Alberta program.
This is just a heads up that we are nearing the end of our current fiscal year (March 31) which signals the end of the current Specifiers Program. This means that shortly we will be offering participation in the 2015 – 2016 program. If you have not participated in the past years but are interested in exposing your products to architects, designers, or contractors, April 1st would be a good time to sign up as you can take advantage of a full year of activity.
Should you wish additional information on any of the foregoing, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at the office. I would be pleased to discuss it with youread more
Over the next couple of months, BC Wood will be coordinating the participation of its’ members at the Edmonton Cottage Life and Cabin show, April 24-26th, 2015. After many successful years of running the Cottage Life shows in Ontario, the show organizers brought their winning formula West and launched the Edmonton show last year. Eight BC Wood members participated for the first time in last year’s show and by all accounts it was was very successful, attracting over 8,000 current and would-be cottage owners all over Western Canada.
The Edmonton show will feature builders of log, timber frame, and prefabricated 2×4 homes. While these products and services are the highlight of the show, there is an opportunity for other manufacturers to promote finished building materials such as flooring, roofing, kitchens, doors, windows, and exterior finishing materials. The audience is drawn to the show to see a complete range of products; from log and timber frame shells to the materials that are need to finish them.
Space is still available for BC Wood members wanting to participate in the Edmonton Cottage Life and Cabin Show, but, time is running out. I would encourage any companies interested in more information to contact me at email@example.com or in BC Wood’s offices at 604-882-7100.read more
Skyline Tradeshow Tips – March 4, 2015
Once you know what your goals are for building awareness at your upcoming trade shows, how do you do it? Here are 11 ways to help build your brand into an industry powerhouse:
1. Get a bigger exhibit: There’s a reason everyone wants to see the Grand Canyon: it’s really big! Similarly, one of the key factors in which exhibits attendees remember most is booth size. So get a bigger booth space, and then fill it with a bigger, taller exhibit that demands attention and fills their senses. A caveat: if the key audiences you want to meet can’t be found at one single show, you may do better to go with smaller booths at various regional or vertical market industry shows.
2. Create graphic impact: Ensure attendees don’t ignore your exhibit by using bright, bold colors, big images such as photos and illustrations, and easy to read messages. The fewer elements you put on your exhibit, the larger you can make them, and the more impact they will create. Large, taller exhibits can have branding at 2 to 3 heights for as visitors approach from far away, just down the aisle, and in the booth.read more
BC Wood just recently received confirmation that the majority of the funding for our 2015-2016 trade show activities has been approved. We began this year’s proposal writing with some concerns over just how much our members would want to take on in the coming year. Our early December sector meetings with member companies provided some good input on how much companies wanted to do this year and where they wanted BC Wood to focus its’ efforts.
BC Wood took this input and put together a comprehensive package of market development activities. The BC based tradeshows are yet to be officially approved, but, it is expected that they will be shortly. The balance of the proposed activities focus on expanding market share in the United States, while maintaining the hard won presence we have gained in the Asian markets. Recognizing the on-going need to explore new and emerging markets, BC Wood has also scheduled a mission and participation in a trade show in Mexico in October 2015. The Global Buyers Mission, our 12th, will be a highlight, with over 250 buyers coming to Whistler in early September.
I would like to recognize and thank the staff of BC Wood for the extra effort they put towards writing these funding proposals. The result was that BC Wood has another strong program of approved trade event activities for 2015-2016.
For those of you wanting to see the updated list of trade show activities, please visit the BC Wood website at www.bcwood.com and select Trade Events from the Programs & Services tab. Any comments or questions regarding these planned activities can be directed to me firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our office at 604-882-7100.read more
This may sound like a broken record, but activity around the Specifiers Program has been very hectic lately as lunch and learn sessions continue to be booked and implemented, the US Specifier Workshops have been finalized, and the invitations for our upcoming Alberta Specifier are being finalized.
US Specifiers Workshop:
Next week, BC Wood will be joined by 5 companies from industry who will be providing AIA approved educational seminars on their respective products and services to architects in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland. To date, 110 architects and designers have registered for these series of seminars with half of them signing up for the Seattle session. The Canadian Consulate has been of great assistance to BC Wood in organizing this event.
Alberta Specifiers Workshops:
We have finalized participants (five in all) and have just received approval from the Alberta Association of Architects for the seminars allowing us to provide Alberta architects and designers learning credits for attending our sessions. We have scheduled these workshops for late March to provide a little separation between the US and Alberta workshops for those companies who are participating in both – not to mention we are hoping for the weather to improve. Venues in Edmonton, Calgary, and Lethbridge are in the process of being finalized. Once finalized, we will send out the invitations; all of which we are hoping to complete in the next day or two. Last year, we had 80 – 90 architects and designers attend and are targeting a similar number this year.
Lunch & Learns:
While all the other activities are taking place, the mainstay of the Specifier Program, lunch and learn session, continue to roll on with 5 sessions in February alone. We are now beginning to book out into May. As has been the case for some time now, most of the sessions are focusing on just one or two companies.
As always, should you wish additional information on any of the foregoing, please contact me at email@example.com or call me at the office. I would be pleased to discuss it with you.read more
On behalf of members, BC Wood organizes one major construction show each year in the Korean market. For this fiscal year, we chose the Housing Brand Fair at Seoul’s centrally located COEW trade and convention centre. The COEX Centre underwent extensive renovations last year, but it recently reopened and is once again drawing in large crowds. Over the four days of the show, 45,000+ people came to see the Housing Brand Fair.
The Housing Brand Fair attracts a large cross-section of the construction industry including companies involved in new wood framed construction, condominium developments, as well as renovations. Therefore, the show is a great venue for a wide range of BC Wood members, from lumber to house packages to finishing materials. Being held in Seoul’s main business district also ensures that key decision makers from these companies can easily visit. Our in-market representative, JC Lee, makes the most of this convenient location by setting up extensive meetings for participating members. This type of pre-show assistance is key to having a successful show as it ensures that members know that they will be able to meet the key targets for their products.
JC also organized a seminar at the show targeting the wood housing industry. Korea has a sizable 2×4 home market with over 10,000 annual detached home starts. Most of these homes are North American in design so they are a key target for BC Wood members. Over 100 industry representatives took part and listened to our members’ presentations at this year’s seminar.
BC Wood will be looking to go back to Housing Brand Fair again in early 2016. Please contact JC Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me (email@example.com) for more information on the opportunities in the Korean market.
A few comments, suggestions, and ideas that may be of interest to the industry…
If anyone needed convincing that the US economy is firing on all cylinders, one need look no further than the city of Las Vegas and the annual International Builders Show (IBS 15). The event, which took place January 21 -23, was jammed pack with nearly 125,000 participants, including buyers and suppliers in the residential and light commercial construction sector from across North America, Asia, and Europe. Many buyers that came by the coordinated BC Wood products pavilion commented on how busy the show was and many long term attendees suggesting that attendance was reaching the numbers “pre recession hey days” of 2003-2005.
Part of the reason for the significant jump in attendance was the concerted effort of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to combine a number of residential construction related trade events into one week. The NAHB brought the International Builders Show, the Kitchen and Bath Show, and the Surfaces Flooring Show all to Las Vegas and created the newly titled Design and Construction Week. With that, builders, architects, designers, specifiers, and other buyers had the ability to meet with suppliers from across the residential and light commercial sector all at one time in a single city. That made for a busy week with buyers shuttling on buses across the city between the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Mandalay Bay Hotel where Surfaces was being held. Add in Shot, The Gun and Sharp shooters show (this could only happen in Vegas!) and the city was packed with over 155,000 folks attending one or all of these trade events.
So with excellent attendance, a strong housing market, and general optimism being felt across the US residential construction sector, the IBS Builders Show was a success. BC Wood members were upbeat that the leads and contacts generated from the show will turn into solid sales opportunities. Jeff Herlocker, US sales Director for Linwood Homes put it best, “we were busy from the moment the show opened to when it closed. Now we just have to make sense of all the leads that we have and the best way to capture the potential.”
In the next issue of the Wood Connections, we will review some of the trends that we spotted at this year’s IBS and review the massive construction activity currently taking place across the state of Hawaii. As always for more information on the Builders Show or on the US market, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In January, BC Wood participated with four member companies in the BAU fair in Munich. In a similar report, two years ago, I mentioned that I thought the BAU fair was probably the best show I have attended in recent years. For the record, the 2015 version of the BAU fair was even better than it was two years ago. Many other shows claim large attendance numbers; however, these numbers are often inflated based on the practice of allowing the general public access to the show. The BAU fair is a strictly trade-only event; 96% of the attendee are from construction related businesses, and this year, the BAU fair attracted over 255,000 visitors to the six day show, 20,000 more than two years ago.
The BAU fair has a strong international draw with over 75,000 of the attendees coming from countries outside Germany. This year saw strong contingents from Turkey, Poland, the Czech Republic, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle Eastern countries. The BAU fair also lived up to its reputation as the “architects fair” with close to 65,000 attendees coming from architectural, planning, and design offices.
The size of the BAU fair is staggering with the 200,000 square meters of occupied exhibition space spread over 16 different exhibition halls that showcased the construction products and services of over 2100 exhibitors. In total, 47 different countries were represented in the exhibition halls. The halls were arranged by product categories: steel, concrete, plumber, electrical, and wood products etc. BC Wood was located in the “wood building systems” hall along with another 75-80 exhibitors. This arrangement worked well as it tended to concentrate the buyers with an interest in wood into two halls, ours and the one next door which featured wood doors, windows, and flooring systems. In the exit surveys of exhibitors, 97% rated the show as “good to excellent”.
BC Wood was very well received at the show. In fact, I would say that we really punch above our weight class at this event. We were often far busier than our German and Austrian neighbours who had far larger and more elaborate displays than our own. I am not sure whether it was the Canadian connection with the maple leaf prominently on our display or the life style images of log and timber frame homes that pulled in the buyers, but, we were busy. People often had to wait their turn for someone in our booth to talk to them.
The fact that we were from Canada and something different from the majority of the other exhibitors accounted, I think, for the fact that we received a relatively high percentage, over half, of inquiries from outside Germany. The majority of the inquiries we received, mostly from the Eastern European markets, were for Western Red Cedar lumber, finished building materials, and log home and timber frame projects. The market for these two product categories remains strong within Western Europe, but, seems to be expanding in the new emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe.
So, to say that I was impressed with the BAU fair and the level of interest that BC Wood received at the fair would be an understatement. I would urge BC Wood members manufacturing log, timber frame, pre-built homes, and any Western Red Cedar products to seriously consider participating in the BAU fair when it comes around again in January of 2017. For more background and some additional observations on the BAU fair, please do not hesitate to contact me at email@example.com more
The deadline for confirming space at the upcoming Turkeybuild show in Istanbul is fast approaching. For any company wanting to participate in the Turkeybuild show within the BC Wood pavilion, who has not done so already, please contact Brian Hawrysh at firstname.lastname@example.org or in the office at 604-882-7100 by Friday, Feb 13th, 2015.
For a little more background on the Turkeybuild show. Turkey remains one of the strongest of these regional economies within Europe. 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 their growing affluence, Turks are rediscovering their traditional preference for wood construction, particularly, 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. Over the past three years, BC Wood and company representatives have attended the Turkeybuild show and reported that there was very strong interest shown in BC’s products and services by the local timber and building materials distributors. The products generating the most interest were higher-end solid wood building products and interior finishing materials. Turkish companies showed a great deal of interest in partnering with Canadian companies that produce innovative, higher quality wood products.
From April 21-25th, 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. 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, log and timber frame homes, and prefabricated house packages will be of interest to the Turkish lumber importers, architects, and builders.
From September 9th to 11th, BC Wood took part for the second time in the China International Exposition of Housing Industry in Beijing. We organized a pavilion under the Canada Wood banner for participating BC Wood members as well as our Canada Wood partners from Quebec and Alberta. COFI organized a standalone display next to us offering information on Canadian wood frame construction and design.
While not a large show by Chinese standards, CIEHI did draw in the right target audience for our pre-fab home builders. This is one of the few shows in China that focuses on wooden housing. As a result, many developers came by specifically looking for options to build homes out of wood. They were looking for both the materials and design services, as wood frame construction is still relatively unknown to local builders. These companies seemed to be interested in wooden homes either because of the green benefits or because they could differentiate their projects from all the concrete centric ones.
COFI also organized a seminar on wood frame construction on behalf of all Canadian participants. This was a great opportunity for our members to meet Chinese developers and builders who had already approached Canada Wood for information on wooden homes.
By the end of the show, all of the Canadian industry representatives had reported getting numerous serious inquiries and were thus very happy with their participation. BC Wood sees a growing market for pre-fabricated Canadian house packages in China and based on the success of this year’s CIEHI, we will build a bigger program for members next year anchored around this show.read more