In January, BC Wood participated with one of its member companies in the BAU fair in Munich, January 14th -19, 2013. While the turnout from BC Wood members was disappointing, the fair itself was probably the best show I have attended in two or three years. The BAU fair, held every two years, is the largest building materials trade event in Europe. Other shows, especially those in Asia, claim larger numbers; however, their numbers are pumped up based on the practice of allowing the general public access to the show. The BAU fair is a strictly trade-only event and this past event attracted over 240,000 visitors to the six day show.

The BAU fair has a strong international draw with over 60,000 of the attendees coming from countries outside Germany and the bordering Western European countries. This year saw strong contingents from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Scandinavia, Turkey, Dubai, and other countries within the Middle East. The BAU fair lived up to its reputation as the “architects fair” with close to 50,000 attendees coming from architectural, planning and, design offices.

The size of the BAU fair is staggering with the 180,000 square meters of occupied exhibition space spread over 14 different exhibition halls that showcased the products and services of 2060 exhibitors. In total, 41 different countries where represented in the BAU exhibition halls. The halls were arranged by product categories. BC Wood was located in the “wood building systems” hall along with another 75-80 exhibitors. This arrangement works well as it tends to concentrate the buyers with a wood interest into two halls, ours and the one next door showcasing wood doors, windows, and flooring systems.

The traffic at the BC Wood booth was busy, many times a crowd two or three deep were in front or our booth waiting to talk to someone. This fact was a little astonishing considering that we did not have a display that was anywhere near as elaborate or as large as some of our neighbors. I think the fact that the Canadian flag was prominent and that we had a cross section from a cedar log home on display helped to pull the buyers in. People felt drawn to come into the booth to touch and smell the cedar. Many people did not even know the name of the species, but they did know that they liked it and the conversations started from there. I also think flying the “maple leaf” was important as our booth attracted a far higher proportion of attendees from outside of Germany. Almost 50% on the visitors to the BC Wood booth were from outside Germany. The vast majority of inquiries we responded to were related directly to Western Red Cedar and log home and timber frame projects. The market for these two product categories remains strong within Western Europe, but, particularly, in the new emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe.

Bau

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 2015. For more background and some additional observation on the BAU fair, please do not hesitate to contact me at bhawrysh@bcwood.com.

 

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turkeybuild1The deadline for confirming space at the upcoming Turkeybuild show in Istanbul is fast approaching. For any company, who has not done so already, wanting to participate in the Turkeybuild show within the BC Wood pavilion, please contact Brian Hawrysh at bhawrysh@bcwood.com or in the office at 604-882-7100 by Thursday, Feb 28th, 2013.

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. Last May, four BC companies and BC Wood’s representative 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.

During the period of April 24-28th, 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.turkeybuild2

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After a successful show in 2012, BC Wood returned to the MBC Show in Seoul, South Korea from January 25th to 28th. MBC is one of the largest construction shows in Korea with 312 exhibitors this year and over 170,000 visitors comprised of builders/architects (39%), interior designers (32%), manufacturers (6%), and distributors (4%) according to the organizers data. Products on display at the show included everything from structural materials and construction equipment to windows, doors, and finishing materials.

The Canadian pavilion was once again organized by BC Wood’s Korean representative, JC Lee. While there were other overseas exhibitors at the show, only the Canadian exhibitors enjoyed a branded pavilion. A total of six BC Wood members took part covering a variety of species and lumber products as well as kitchen cabinets and siding products. The BC Wood booth was used as a reception desk for clients coming for appointments as well as to disseminate information on Canadian wood products and recruit buyers for the September GBM.

As always, JC lined up meetings for the attending members with key clients. However, this year he also arranged an opening day reception inside the pavilion in order to create a networking opportunity for members with invited Korean wood industry VIPs. Both the BC Government Office in Seoul and the Canadian Embassy were partners in this event. Over 100 Korean clients attended this event.

BC Wood also organized an architect’s seminar on the day before the show in collaboration with KIA (the Korean Institute of Architects) in order to promote the use of Canadian wood products in commercial building projects and particularly for facilities being built for the Pyungchang Winter Olympic Games. The event was held at the historic Old Seoul Rail Station and was attended by close to 100 KIA members. Attendees were able to learn about the various wood solutions offered by Canada while we were also able to gain access to high-value specifiers and influencers in the Korean architectural community. BC Wood is planning to further develop this target segment by taking part in the KIA Convention this October. Please contact Jim Ivanoff (ivanoff@canadawood.jp ) or JC Lee (lee@canadawood.or.kr ) for more information on this upcoming event.

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US Market Update

On February 18th, 2013, posted in: BC Wood Activities, BC Wood Members, Markets, Trade Events, Trade Shows, USA by Comments Off

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

A few weeks back, BC Wood and a contingent of eight member companies travelled to Las Vegas to participate at the International Builders Show (IBS), an annual event where tens of thousands of suppliers, distributors, and builders convene to examine new innovations in home building materials, appliances, fixtures, and technologies.

The mood at this years’ event was optimistic, as construction of single family homes climbed 18% in December from the previous year. When measured year-to-year, home construction in the US is projected to be 23% higher than in 2011, which was a record low year. Strong housing starts along with pent up consumer demand created an air of renewed confidence at this year’s IBS.

IBS also sets the standard for manufacturers to unveil the latest in new and innovative construction products. Kohler, for example, introduced a Bluetooth enabled shower head that can instantly stream your music collection from your cell phone or tablet. Innovative wood products included stunning curved glass door systems from Nana Wall and Caoba door that take advantage of the Eclipse track system which allows the doors to be folded away allowing for large unobstructed openings of up to 20 feet.

The BC contingent, not to be overshadowed by their competitors, did an excellent job of showcasing their wares. Kettle Valley Millwork partnered with Norelco cabinets in the design and construction of a beautiful booth exhibiting their world-class cabinet and architectural millwork capabilities. One showstopper was Norelco’s “gun slinger” kitchen which featured a solid mesquite wood counter which was supported by 3 hand carved six shooter guns. Attendees were drawn to the unique look of the kitchen and at one point had a line up of 10 people to get into the booth.

Participating BC Wood members commented on the high quality leads that were created at the event. BC Wood member Canadian Timberframes Ltd. felt that they got over a 100 solid leads from builders and architects from across the United States and South America. All things considered, the 2013 IBS builders show was a barometer for showing that the US economy is improving and that the residential construction sector across the US is back on the right track. Initial optimism was abundant and here is hoping that this attitude now becomes the norm. For more information on the IBS show or the US market, please contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com

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BC Wood recently participated in Holzhaus 2012 in Moscow, Russia.  This return to the market was based upon the success from attending the show in 2011.  During that initial visit, it became clear to manufacturers that this large (audience base) and geographically expansive marketplace has considerable opportunity for sales of member products.  Successful sales contracts have been secured by members who have already participated in this program, with market indicators suggesting further growth in this area will be realized in the years (next 24 months) to come.

Holzhaus 2012

This trade show is one of the many construction industry exhibitions held in the Moscow area each year.  This show focuses primarily on wood framed housing and features 90% local products.  While the exhibition hall was dominated by local manufacturers of Siberian pine products, the presence of our BC Wood pavilion drew considerable attention from the show attendees. Local laminated log products and large diameter (Pine) handcrafted products featured heavily in the show. BC Wood showcased five member companies in the pavilion and featured a diverse range of products from handcrafted, machine cut log homes to specialty western red cedar products.  The show attendance was down on last year due in part to an overlap of construction exhibitions taking place on the same dates; however, members were able to reach a good cross section of the construction audience.  Although this show was billed as a business to business show, there were examples of consumers in attendance who were visiting the show with plans and construction projects in hand.  As a group, BC Wood members were able to gather qualified show leads and also make crucial introductions to key industry partners who showed interest in representing BC’s manufacturers.  The Canadian Embassy once again hosted a meet-and-greet event that enabled members to interact with some of Moscow’s prominent construction companies and prospective partners.

Last year, we reported that the market opportunity for members was in Log and Timber Frame products along with speciality WRC products.  This is certainly the case and I would add that there is a niche opportunity for remanufactured products sector as well as the millwork sector.  Below are some market observations that should enable BC companies to increase market share in this area.

Resort Projects Growing

Value added manufacturers could reap the benefits of a recently announced $18 billion plan for seven ski resorts scattered throughout the mountains and three beach developments costing $4.6 billion on the coastal regions of Russia.

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

The upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics being held in Sochi on the coast of Russia will generate interest from global partners in construction.  A well run Olympics could showcase the Black Sea coast area as a viable location for further investment in housing and resort style construction projects.

Government Incentives

With the Russian Government launching multiple national construction sector projects, it is not an exaggeration to say that wood is a material that is being embraced by industry professionals who are involved in local construction planning.   With the congestion of inner Moscow seemingly increasing since our visit 12 months ago, the support for wood framed construction projects on the outskirts of Moscow appears to be favourable. Russian leaders, from Vladimir Putin on down, support increased tourism and have allotted Government funds to provide incentive to developers in Russia’s huge geographic area.

Next steps

Economic development is going to increase in this market. To capture the opportunity and turn this into sales for you, the manufacturer, you will need to find the right partner in Russia. There are companies and prospective partners ready to connect with BC Wood members.  Participation at upcoming BC Wood 2013-2014 market development activities will ensure you meet qualified industry members who are both willing and able to form joint venture and long term partnerships.  For more information on this show or if you wish to engage in market development in this area please contact bhawrysh@bcwood.com.

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In late September, BC Wood participated with four members from the log home and timber frame sector in the Denver Log Home show, Sept. 30th-Oct. 2nd. The Denver show featured log home and timber frame displays, smaller out-buildings, and finished building products such as roofing, flooring, decking, and rustic furniture. Over the past few years, a number of BC Wood members from the log and timber frame home sector have used the Denver show to maintain a toe hold in the US market while they cut back on some of their other promotional activities during the slower economic times.

The BC log and timber frame builders have remained active in a number of regional markets in the US, like the Rocky Mountain States, because it has been one of the few areas that has shown some activity. The Rocky Mountain States, due to their close geographic proximity to BC, product acceptance, and the clustering of resort developments catering to a wealthy demographic, have continued to be a relatively strong market for BC producers.

The feedback from the members attending the Denver show was generally very positive. The number of attendees, while not back to pre-2008 levels, was definitely higher than they had been in recent years. Most exhibitors reported a more positive attitude from the attendees at the show. Individuals who had been hesitant over the past few years to take the final step towards building their projects came to the show ready to build.

So, is there really a light at the end of the dreary economic tunnel? Judging from the feedback from the attendees and exhibitors at the Denver Log Home show, we are probably through the worst of it. The recovery will be, without doubt, slow and sporadic. However, I see more and more positive signs coming out of the most recent BC Wood trade show events.

For more background and my own views on the Denver show, please do not hesitate to contact me at bhawrysh@bcwood.com

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Over the next couple of months, BC Wood will be coordinating the participation of its members in the BC Log Home and Country Living Show in Abbotsford in March. Held at the Tradex facility in Abbotsford, March 9-10th, this show draws over 12,000 attendees, primarily members of the general public who have an interest in log and timber frame homes. The Abbotsford show has traditionally been the best attended trade event for BC Wood’s log home and timber frame sector, with 12 to 14 members participating in the event over the past few years.

This Abbotsford show features log & timber builders and a range of related products and services that go hand-in-hand with outdoor living. BC Wood’s participation in the 2011 show was marked by a general improvement in the public’s confidence and attitude toward building. All exhibitors reported positively on the improved attitude of the attendees and the quality and quantity of the sales leads they generated from the show.

While most of the exhibitors at this show are manufacturers of log and timber frame structures, there is an opportunity for manufacturers to promote other building and finishing materials including 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 available for BC Wood members wanting to participate in the BC Log Home, Timber Frame and Country Living show this coming March. I would encourage any companies interested in more information to contact me at  bhawrysh@bcwood.com or in BC Wood’s offices at 604-882-7100.

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Later this fiscal year, in February 2013, BC Wood will be coordinating a tandem of cost-shared trade shows in the Canadian Market. Member companies will be able to participate in the Montreal Wood Convention in Montreal and the Buildex show in Vancouver. While these shows occur on approximately the same dates, February 13-15th, the two shows target different audiences and are appropriate for different sectors with BC Wood.

Montreal Wood Convention, Montreal, Quebec
February 13-15, 2013

Buildex, Vancouver, BC
February 13-14, 2013

Buildex Vancouver is one of Canada’s largest trade expositions. The show focuses on the design and construction industry, and the manufacturers that supply the finished building materials required by these two sectors. Over 12,000 architects, interior designers, contractors, developers, engineers, and specifers attend the two day show where 600 exhibits showcase products and services.

The Buildex Vancouver show is an excellent opportunity for manufacturers producing custom architectural millwork, furniture, windows, doors, flooring, cabinets, as well as exterior finishing products such as wood roofing, siding, and decking.

In contrast, the focus of the 2013 Montreal Wood Convention is on commodity and specialty lumber products. This year’s convention will be in many ways the rebirth of the industry event that had a long storied history. For years, Wood Convention brought together industry representatives from the lumber industry to build key business contacts.

It is expected that the attendees to the Wood Convention will largely be Eastern based manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of lumber products. In addition, a number of representatives from European companies are also expected to participate in this event.

Space is limited for BC Wood members wanting to participate in these two events, so the sooner you respond the better. For more information regarding exhibition space and costs at the Buildex show and the Montreal Wood Convention, please contact me by email at bhawrysh@bcwood.com or by phone at 604-882-7100

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The 8th Annual IDSWest show was held in the New Vancouver Convention Centre, September 27th to 30th, 2012.  The Interior Design Show West (IDSwest) is Western Canada’s annual premiere residential design show featuring over 300 exhibitors showcasing quality cutting edge and original design products and services to an audience of industry professionals, architects, designers, consumers, and media. This is about a 30% increase in exhibitors from the past year and all the participants agreed, it was the finest one yet!

An amazing array of both internationally renowned and local designers (including a fab fashion show), critics, and popular magazine editors spoke throughout the course of the event, drawing standing room only crowds over the weekend.

We had good representation of BC Wood members participating in our joint booth this year, including:

Brent Comber Originals
Coulson Mfg.
Kettle Valley Moulding & Millwork
vin de garde cellar systems
Wide Plank Hardwood Ltd.

The overall displays were great, offering the 30,000+ audience lots of ideas and opportunities to see what exceptional talent we have here in BC. Results received from members to date make it one of the most successful Canadian activities that BC Wood participates in. Congratulations to all our members for their hard work and ingenuity.

 

A special display sharing our space this year was the Picker’s Shack, designed by UBC students in Michael Green’s program. The fruit stand was designed for a Naramata orchard that wanted to increase their on-farm produce sales. They wanted something functional, well shaded, naturally ventilated, and moveable. The student’s goal was to rethink the modest fruit stand to attract more drive-by customers. The concept is a functional box with subtle complexity. Protection from the elements, display space, views, and seating are all accomplished through an operable wall system made from custom cut pine beetle infested lumber. The roof is made from reclaimed Canada Place roof fabric. When in its closed state, the fruit stand shows hints of the operable elements. When open, the operable elements reveal colourful surfaces that relate to the families heritage and the colours of agriculture. It was a hit at IDSWest, particularly the fresh apples, pears, and cider that were distributed by the students throughout the event.

To see the program and speaker highlights, as well as listings of all the exhibitors, visit their website at www.idswest.com

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With the GBM over, BC Wood’s Japan office is now working on bringing members into the market through two major fall shows. One of course is the famed Japan Home Show (Nov 14th – 16th) that has been welcoming overseas suppliers for more than three decades. The other, the Osaka Living and Design Show (Oct 24th -26th), is a new show for us and is a part of our continuing efforts to brand Canadian wood products in the high-end, Japanese commercial construction and interior design market. This is the last chance for members looking to take advantage of these exciting programs. Only a few spaces remain so please act fast if you are interested.

 

Osaka Living and Design Show

After a long absence from taking members to trade shows in Osaka, BC Wood will be organizing a Canadian pavilion at the new but highly regarded Living and Design Show. Over the past few years we have participated in Tokyo Designers Week, but decided to change to L&D as it is more focused on B to B for interior design and also gives us a chance to target the lucrative but underserved Kansai region in Japan (all foreign competitors go to Tokyo). This area that includes Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe has a larger economy than all of Canada and is also experiencing a flourishing commercial construction sector. Another benefit of this show for members is that it better covers building products such as flooring and millwork.

 

Japan Home and Building Show

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.

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.  Products sectors covered: cabinetry, engineered wood, millwork, log and timberframe, packaged homes, as well as reman and specialty lumber including WRC.

For more information about either of these shows please contact Jim Ivanoff at ivanoff@canadawood.jp.

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All of the companies who just exhibited at the 2011 Global Buyers Mission were able to experience the level of enthusiasm Chinese buyers have for Canadian wood products. BC Wood is now organizing another opportunity for members to target the Chinese market through the China International Exhibition on the Housing Industry (CIEHI).

Last September, BC Wood participated for the first time in the CIEHI. The show was very well attended and the participating companies reported some very good leads from Chinese builders, developers, and architects. A main theme of the show was green and energy efficient building with wood construction and building products featuring prominently throughout the show. A number of foreign log-home and panelized house manufacturers were promoting their products, in particular a large number of Russian log home builders. To maximize profile and traffic, BC Wood located its’ display area within the Canada Wood booth partnering with the Coast Forest Products Association and Council of Forest Industries.

BC Wood will be returning to the CIEHI show in Beijing this coming November 21st – 23rd. From our previous experience at this show, we expect that the best opportunities for new contacts and increased exposure in the marketplace will be achieved by manufacturers of prefabricated homes, log and timber frame structures, engineered wood products, WRC lumber decking and siding, and construction lumber.

For more information or to register, please contact Jim Ivanoff at ivanoff@canadawood.jp.

Click here for more information on the show

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A few quick thoughts on two markets that are providing members with opportunities but truly are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

As most members know, BC Wood has been active in the Hawaiian Islands for the last decade. Hawaii has proven to be a solid market for companies that manufacture high quality products for the resort, light commercial, and high-end residential construction sectors. In particular, companies in the timber frame, millwork, and Western Red Cedar sectors have all developed sales and market share in Hawaii.

Since all construction materials need to be shipped into Hawaii, BC manufacturers are on an equal playing field with both domestic suppliers and manufacturers from the continental US. For BC companies wanting to develop a market in Hawaii, you can sell contractor direct or to established building product distributors.

One such company who has had considerable success supplying high quality building products to contractors throughout the islands is Seattle based Pacific Source www.pacsource.com

Pacific Source was founded in 1992 by five partners who had the idea to become the top supplier of building materials to general contractors in Hawaii. Their business model was different from Hawaii based building yards in that they believed that Hawaiian builders are best served by having allied with a mainland facility near a major port (Tacoma) with easy access to shipping, mills, and manufacturers. Their model proved to be correct, as since being founded, Pacific Source has grown to having over seventy employees and annual sales of $45 million.

Pacific Source has a six acre yard and distribution facility in Snohomish, Washington and has smaller yards and showrooms on a number of the islands including Kauai, Maui, and Kailulu Kona.

If you’re looking to develop a foothold in the Hawaiian market, it may be worth your while to contact Pacific Source. The key is having a product that is both well suited to the Hawaiian market and is priced well enough that all parties can make a margin. Mark Mason, one of the original partners of the company is expected to be at the GBM next month in Whistler.

Now for the other opportunity, which by all accounts is a far cry from the exotic local of the Hawaiian Islands, is North Dakota. A while back I wrote about the building boom that is currently underway in the northwest corner of the State. Towns such as Williston, Minot, and Watford city are all experiencing extreme housing shortages as thousands of new oil field workers are flocking to the state to work in the booming oil and gas industry.

Today, North Dakota is the US’s number 2 oil producing state, having leapfrogged over Alaska and California. The discovery of vast reserves of natural gas and oil in the northern part of the state have led to a huge influx of oil industry workers moving to the region who require housing. Oil companies have tried to address the shortfall of housing by building temporary housing units known as man camps (picture below), but there remains a serious need for quality residential homes for this well paid workforce.

I will be travelling to the region over the next week to meet with builders, developers, and distributors to gauge the market opportunity for BC suppliers of prebuilt and panelized housing and related products. I will report my findings in an upcoming Wood Connections Newsletter.

For more information on either of these markets, please contact me at  dfarley@bcwood.com or on my cell at 604-728-8786.

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Last November, BC Wood, with a small group of member companies, completed a very successful trade mission to Moscow to explore opportunities for value-added wood products in the Russian market, and to participate in the Fall Holzhaus trade show.

BC Woods’ members showcased log home and timber frame structures, factory built homes, high quality millwork, and specialty Western Red Cedar building materials. Members were able to engage with industry professionals from all over Russia and surrounding countries. Developers, architects, builders, distributors, importers, and designers were all in attendance at the show, many of whom came specifically to the show to speak to the Canadian manufacturers.

Based on the success of last year’s program, BC Wood is planning to return to Moscow and the Holzhaus show this coming fall, November 1st- 4th. Space will be available for BC Wood members wanting to participate in the Holzhaus trade shows and I would encourage any companies interested in more information to contact me at bhawrysh@bcwood.com or in BC Wood’s offices at 604-882-7100.

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A reminder of BC Wood’s presence at this year’s Interior Design Show West (IDS West) – September 27-30th. Over the past couple of years, the IDS West has become the venue to see the best of international and local designs. BC Wood will bring together local companies that produce a full range of design-oriented products; everything from custom furnishings and architectural millwork, to cabinets, doors, mouldings, and flooring.

The objective will be to feature the individual companies by drawing more traffic to a centrally located “Design BC” pavilion. The pavilion will be an 1800 square foot of exhibition space, with BC Wood covering a good portion of the hard costs for this sector wide display.

If you plan to participate in the IDS West show this year, please contact me to see how we can save you money and ensure you higher visibility through the “Design BC” pavilion. Call 604-882-7100 or email me at  bhawrysh@bcwood.com.

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BC Wood will be ramping up its’ presence at the Interior Design Show West (IDS West) this coming fall September 27-30th. In an effort to bring more attention to the growing strength of wood design and manufacturing in BC, BC Wood has partnered with the show organizers of IDS West to create a high profile “Design BC” pavilion. The pavilion will showcase BC Wood members and their products, everything from custom furniture and architectural millwork, to design-inspired finished products such as kitchen cabinets, doors, flooring and paneling. The objective will be to feature the individual companies, drawing more traffic to the centrally located space. BC Wood is currently working with the IDWS West show organizers to develop promotional strategies that will highlight the companies participating in the “Design BC” pavilion and promote the strength of the growing design sector in BC.

A total of 1800 square feet of exhibition space has been set aside for the “Design BC” pavilion, with BC Wood covering a portion of the hard costs for this sector wide display. If you plan to participate in the IDS West show this year, please contact me to see how we can save you money and ensure you higher visibility through the “Design BC” pavilion. Call 604-882-7100 or email me at bhawrysh@bcwood.com

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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

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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

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