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

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

BUILDEX Vancouver, one of Canada’s largest tradeshow/conferences, welcomed over 13,000 design, construction, and real estate management professionals on February 8th and 9th to the new Vancouver Convention Centre. Over 425 exhibitors and more than 50 educational seminars were presented to the interior design and architecture professions, property and real estate management, and the construction and renovation sectors.

BC Wood was pleased to see a 20% increase in participation over last year, with 10 members joining us from the building and finished products sectors including Structurlam, Unison Windows, Cedarland/SilvaPanel, Trout Creek, Barker Manufacturing, Daizen Joinery, Moulding & Millwork, Coulson Manufacturing, Woodtone, and Wideplank Flooring. Feedback to date has been very positive, with 50% respondents citing an expected $715,000.00 in new sales from the leads made at Buildex this year.

For the most part, we received inquiries and interest from the industry professionals looking for “new” products and ideas. From results and feedback so far, it was a great event for our participating members and we plan to be back again next year with a concerted “Wood Made in BC” presence.

read more

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

October was an extremely busy time for BC Wood in the United States with 4 major trade events taking place in the month. Over the next few weeks, I will discuss the events and the potential market opportunities that arose from our participation.

First up was the AIA Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii. BC Wood and 5 members participated in the trade event and the following mission in early October. Like most trade events that target the US residential and light commercial construction sector, this show was down in both participation and attendance. This year, 300 plus exhibitors and 1400 attendees were at the event, down by approximately 20% over previous years and is reflective of the reduced construction activity throughout the State of Hawaii. Nevertheless, this trade event still provides the single best opportunity for BC companies to network with builders, developers, and architects across the state of Hawaii and other countries including Guam, Tahiti, Micronesia, and the West Coast of the United States who have projects on the islands.

Following the event, we spent 3 days travelling between the Islands meeting with architects and builders and visiting construction sites, getting a 1st hand account of the market and potential opportunities that are available. The general consensus from builders and architects working on projects in both Maui and Kona is that the market is showing gradual improvement. Also, a belief that there is a pent up demand developing as their clients – ultra wealthy individuals, building luxury vacation homes – are tired of sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the economy to improve. As one builder described it, “the life quality ratio is starting to weigh on his clients”. Essentially, his target market is older, semi retired or retired professionals who have the financial ability to self-finance multi-million dollar construction projects. A number of his clients are weighing the consequences of waiting for the economy to improve vs. their remaining quality of life and have decided to start construction projects that were stalled after the market collapse in 2008. This is likely a problem most of us would love to have, but certainly bodes well for high-end residential construction projects to resume on the Islands.

Another observation that I found interesting, from one of the top residential and commercial builders on the Islands, was the changing demographic in the secondary vacation home market. The big Island of Kona, he suggests with the luxury resorts of Hualolai and Kukio, are where the “old school money” has vacation homes and property; think for example, Charles Schwab. The new rich, those who have made money in Silicon Valley and the Dot Com market, find these resorts stuffy and instead are investing in new developments on the Islands of Maui and Kauai. This builder is banking on the shift in wealth demographic and is expecting to focus on projects on these Islands.

Finally, most experts that we met expected to see good growth over the next few years as the economy continues to improve in the US and across the State of Hawaii. There are a number of projects that are on the drawing board and are expecting to begin construction in the Spring of 2012. I will continue to follow up with the builders and keep you informed when these projects are announced. As always if you have any questions or comments please contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com.

 

 

read more

BC Wood has exhibit space available at the 2011 JLC LIVE Residential Construction Show. This show provides exhibitors with a platform to position their products and services in front of 2400 residential construction professionals including builders, remodelers, and general contractors primarily from the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, including Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. In addition to the exhibit floor, the show provides over 50 unique, educational sessions covering a full range of topics from business to construction techniques by industry leaders.

Date: December 7-9, 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon

For more information, please click here or contact Dave Farley at dfarley@bcwood.com.

read more

For over 30 years the Japan Home & Building Show has been one of the most important events in the marketing calendar of foreign companies selling into Japan. However, this year there were many challenges facing the event, some resulting from the 3/11 earthquake while others were self-inflicted.

Several years ago the show organizers decided to change the date of the 2011 show so as to time it with the planned UIA event at Tokyo Forum. I personally expressed my concerns over this numerous times as I have seen how such date changes have hurt other shows. Especially with the JHS’ long history, everyone expects it to take place in November. However, they believed that holding it in conjunction with the UIA event would inject new energy into the show.

These plans were greatly complicated by the March earthquake. By having bumped up the show, the organizers also bumped up the recruiting period of the show to late spring, which was still the dark period when no one knew what tomorrow would bring. As a result, purse strings were tightened and I am sure the JHS had trouble signing up exhibitors.

The earthquake and the nuclear disaster also worried the expected 10,000 overseas UIA attendees. In April there was even talk of cancelling the UIA event. However, they moved ahead with it as the situation in Fukushima gradually improved.

As we set-up for the show, I wondered and worried about how it would turn out. As feared, the attendance fell dramatically, from 87,000 to 43,000. Luckily though the quality of the visitors greatly increased as many more architects came to the show for the first time. This was undoubtedly due to the cross-marketing with the UIA event. We even received many overseas guests who came for the UIA event. Overall, even though the overall numbers were down, we felt just as busy as last year since the architects were spending more time with us asking questions about products.

The other thing that I had been wondering about was how much traffic we would receive related to reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku area. Over the three days, we met with many builders, developers, and distributors from the earthquake/ tsunami affected areas and they seemed to be getting themselves prepared for the big reconstruction projects. I learned that developers from across the region and even other parts of Japan are buying up all the available elevated land near the coast for such projects. However, they are experiencing labour shortages and are thus looking at overseas suppliers that can help with packaged homes and other solutions.

Despite the drop in attendance, our members were very pleased with the results of the show. We were able to make a great number of new contacts including ones involved in the reconstruction efforts. This helps us prepare for the Nikkei Show next March where reconstruction projects will definitely be taking center stage.

For more information on the Japan market, please contact Jim Ivanoff at ivanoff@canadawood.jp

read more

Register now for the 28th MBC Construction Expo in Seoul, Korea, this coming January 27-30, 2012. BC Wood will be taking space at this building and construction show to exhibit member products to Korean builders, architects, distributors, and construction material importers. The four-day event is expected to attract over 150,000 attendees as well as 350 exhibitors.

This trade event offers an excellent opportunity for BC Wood members to tap into the Korean market and take advantage of our expert in-market representative. Members that would benefit from this event include manufacturers and suppliers of remanufactured lumber products, prebuilt homes, kitchen cabinets, log home and timber frame homes, and engineered wood products.

BC Wood will be coordinating space for members at the event; advertising in key industry publications; managing event logistics; and organizing business networking opportunities. Space is limited so contact David Pao ASAP at dpao@bcwood.com to register.

For more information, please click here.

 

read more

BUILDEX Vancouver is one of Canada’s largest trade expositions with over twelve thousand local design and construction professionals expected to attend this year. All under one roof, over 600 exhibits and more than 50 educational seminars address three distinct professional markets:

  • Interior design and architecture
  • Property and real estate management
  • Construction and renovation

The show features products and services related to the design, construction, renovation, furnishing, and operations of all types of commercial and residential buildings. Reports from all of the companies attending last year’s Buildex indicated that all of their expectations were either met or exceeded.

BC Wood will coordinate a consolidated presence of member companies exhibiting at this year’s BUILDEX show, Feb 8-9th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For more information regarding exhibition space and costs at the show, please contact me at your earliest convenience by email at bhawrysh@bcwood.com or by phone at 604-882-7100.

read more

Tokyo Designers Week 2011

On November 22nd, 2011, posted in: BC Wood Activities, Furniture, Japan, Trade Shows by Comments Off

Once again BC Wood took some of Canada’s top designers to Japan to display their latest pieces at Tokyo Designers Week. This year’s contingent was made up by Judson Beaumont, Brent Comber, Marie Khouri, Mario Sabljak, and Martha Sturdy.

For the first time the show organizers gave us the highly prized location at the front of the main tent. For this reason, we developed a new open concept that replaced the walls between members with branded pillars acting as the anchor for each of the displays. It was a risky move, but as a group we decided that we needed a bold display that showcased a unified Canadian presence.

The decision proved to be correct as our space was always full and we received endless complements that our pavilion was the best at the show. Adding an additional element of excitement were the long lines of people waiting for Judson Beaumont to sign his drawings. It was surprising that we didn’t receive any complaints as the lines often snaked around neighbouring pavilions!

Over the past few we have held several receptions in collaboration with the Canadian Embassy to tie in our presence at Tokyo Designers Week with other Canadian companies selling design oriented consumer products in Japan. With our new open pavilion we decided to hold this event within our own space. While offsite talks and receptions are a great way to assemble industry people, this year’s format brought our guests into personal contact with the great work we had on display at the show. While a bit tight, this proved to be a very positive move. As always, we are also greatly appreciative of the Embassy’s support of our program.

Tokyo Designers Week is actually a large event held across Tokyo at many venues. We have always exhibited at the main venue, but this year we also took part in the Bamboo Expo which is a new event targeting only designers/architects working on commercial projects. With only 1200 attendees over three days it was much less “exciting” than the main venue, but what it lacked in quantity was made up in quality of the attendees. Also, the slower pace meant that we could have longer conversations with the attendees. As this was the first Bamboo Expo we expect that it will grow into a bigger and more influential event in the years to come.

One of our success stories from last year’s show was that a high-profile Tokyo gallery took an interest in Martha Sturdy’s work. This interest grew into them inviting Martha to hold her own art exhibition in their gallery during this year’s Tokyo Designers Week. The exhibition was very well received and some of the galleries clients are now looking to work with Martha. The gallery mainly represents European artists, but the great reception that Martha’s work received has made them to want to look at other Canadian designers as well.

read more

IDSWest 2011 was held in the New Vancouver Convention Centre, September 29 to October 2, 2011.  The Interior Design Show West (IDSwest) is Western Canada’s annual premiere residential design show featuring 200 exhibitors showcasing quality, cutting edge, and original design products and services to an audience of industry professionals, architects, designers, consumers, and media.

An amazing array of both internationally renowned and local designers, critics, and popular magazine editors spoke throughout the 3 ½ day event, drawing standing room only crowds over the weekend.

We had an excellent representation of BC Wood members participating this year, including:

Barker Manufacturing Inc.
Bertuccio
Brent Comber Originals
Coulson Mfg.
Fine Line
Live Edge Design
Mario Sabljak Design
Martha Sturdy Incorporated
Matthieu LeBlanc
Sabina Hill Design
Stick & Stones
Straight Line Designs Inc.
Wide Plank Hardwood Ltd.

The displays and new products launched were stunning, offering the 30,000+ audience lots of ideas and opportunities to see what exceptional talent we have here in BC. Many of our members have already seen orders and requests from the event, making it one of the most successful Canadian activities that BC Wood participates in. Congratulations to all our members!

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

IDSWest 2011

[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_001-idswest-tradeshow-2011-barker-manufacturing-inc.jpg]4770
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0800.jpg]90
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0802.jpg]50
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0804.jpg]60
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0805.jpg]80
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0807.jpg]50
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0808.jpg]50
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0809.jpg]50
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0810.jpg]50
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0811.jpg]30
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0813.jpg]30
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0814.jpg]20
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0816.jpg]20
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0818.jpg]10
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0819.jpg]10
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0823.jpg]10
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0825.jpg]10
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0827.jpg]10
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_img_0829.jpg]10
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_pc290059.jpg]10
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
[img src=http://www.bcwood.com/wp-content/flagallery/idswest-2011/thumbs/thumbs_sabina-hill.jpg]10

read more

By Daryl Holmes

BC Wood recently led a group of members on a market development mission to Turkey which included participation at TurkeyBuild in the capital city of Ankara.  Product sectors represented included Log Home and Timber frame, Prebuilt Housing, and Remanufactured Lumber Products.

In the Turkish construction materials sector, wood products have approximately 20% market share with consumption mainly in private up-scale villas and some high end commercial resort style development. The consumption of wood in major residential housing projects and light commercial projects is low when compared to concrete and steel (for structure) or PVC (for windows/doors), however, as with most markets in the Eastern European area, the demand for wood is on the rise.  Both private and public sectors in Turkey are engaged in a shift (albeit a slow shift) towards a growth in the use of wood products.  Industry professionals and consumers alike have a keen interest in wood as a construction material, as was evident during the show in Ankara. The earthquake in 1999 has drawn attention to the importance of timber in construction, however; with the economic impact of the global meltdown, progress has been slow in the area of conveying the attributes of wood and educating key decision makers as to the benefits of using wood in construction.  There is without a doubt, an increase in construction taking place right now in Turkey as residents look to build homes on the outskirts of some of the major cities. Accordingly, a select group of builders, developers, and importers are currently involved in projects outside of the main city centres which are being built with wood. During our stay in Turkey, we were able to make contact with many of these industry professionals and discuss opportunities for BC products.

The show itself was very busy, which in the current global market place was encouraging for the members.  Although the Ankara show is a more of a regional show (with the main construction show being held in Istanbul in May), it drew attendees from all over Turkey and some surrounding countries.  Numerous Architects, Engineers, Builders and Designers engaged in discussions with the BC exhibitors.  The outcome of those interactions predominantly showcased the demand and desire for wood, while also highlighting the lack of distribution of products within the Turkish marketplace.  In a jointly hosted event with the Turkish Timber Association, members were also able to showcase their products to key importers and building materials distributors located in and around the construction hub of Istanbul. Response from these professionals was again encouraging, as products including Western Red Cedar, Prebuilt Housing, and Log Homes proved to be of high interest for regions all across Turkey, including the coastal regions of the Black Sea.

Where do the sales prospects lie?

A clear demand for wood products exists within the Turkish marketplace.  Much of the wood imported into Turkey is from surrounding markets of Russia, Ukraine, and Scandinavia. The key to accessing this demand for BC companies is securing partnership with local wood importers and distributors of other building materials.  This process will take some time and investment by BC Wood members and this show in Ankara was a positive step in the right direction.  Turkish building professionals are starved of opportunity to partner with Canadian companies and they are motivated to establish relationships with producers of high quality wood products. As with all new and emerging markets, finding the right partner is crucial in gaining market penetration.  Turkey’s current growth is expected to continue well into the next ten years and those members who continue to put time and effort into the Turkey market will be rewarded with sales and long term partnerships.

What is the market looking for?

WRC Lumber, WRC Shake and Shingles, Hand Crafted Log Homes, MDF, Plywood, Yellow Cedar, Hemlock, Douglas Fir, and Prebuilt Homes.

How do I access these opportunities?

BC Wood will distribute the show leads via the online Wood Supply Network. For more detailed market information contact dh@themataigroup.com

read more

BC Wood is organizing participation at 28th MBC Construction Expo at the SETEC convention centre in Seoul, Korea from January 27-30, 2012. This building and construction show will have over 350 exhibitors and an expected 150,000 attendees. These attendees will include builders, architects, home owners, distributors, and construction material importers. This trade event offers an excellent opportunity for BC Wood members to tap into the Korean market. Members that would benefit from this event include manufacturers and suppliers of remanufactured lumber products, prebuilt homes, kitchen cabinets, log home and timber frame homes, and engineered wood products.

With a deep rooted history and affinity for building with wood, South Korea remains an important export market for British Columbia’s value-added wood products. In 2010, South Korea represented British Columbia’s fifth largest offshore market with 278,000 m³ of wood product exports. South Korea has experienced strong economic growth and recovery, in light of the recent global downturns, with growing affluence and continuously improving living standards. Korea is far from the labour intensive economy it once was and is now a global leader in design and technological trends. Korean consumers are growing more sophisticated and are looking into higher quality imported products that are environmentally compliant.

For more information about the show, please contact David Pao at  dpao@bcwood.com

read more

For over 30 years the Japan Home & Building Show has been one of the most important events in marketing calendar of foreign companies selling into Japan. However, this year there were many challenges facing the event, some resulting from the 3/11 earthquake while others were self-inflicted.

Several years ago the show organizers decided to change the date of the 2011 show so as to time it with the planned UIA event at Tokyo Forum. I personally expressed my concerns over this numerous times as I have seen how such date changes have hurt other shows. Especially with the JHS’ long history, everyone expects it to take place in November. However, they believed that holding it in conjunction with the UIA event would inject new energy into the show.

These plans were greatly complicated by the March earthquake. By having bumped up the show, the organizers also bumped up the recruiting period of the show to late spring, which was still the dark period when no one knew what tomorrow would bring. As a result, purse strings were tightened and I am sure the JHS had trouble signing up exhibitors.

The earthquake and the nuclear disaster also worried the expected 10,000 overseas UIA attendees. In April there was even talk of cancelling the UIA event. However, they moved ahead with it as the situation in Fukushima gradually improved.

As we set-up for the show, I wondered and worried about how it would turn out. As feared, the attendance fell dramatically, from 87,000 to 43,000. Luckily though the quality of the visitors greatly increased as many more architects came to the show for the first time. This was undoubtedly due to the cross-marketing with the UIA event. We even received many overseas guests who came for the UIA event. Overall, even though the overall numbers were down, we felt just as busy as last year since the architects were spending more time with us asking questions about products.

The other thing that I had been wondering about was how much traffic we would receive related to reconstruction efforts in the Tohoku area. Over the three days we met with many builders, developers, and distributors from the earthquake/ tsunami affected areas and they seemed to be getting themselves prepared for the big reconstruction projects. I learned that developers from across the region and even other parts of Japan are buying up all the available elevated land near the coast for such projects. However, they are experiencing labour shortages and are thus looking at overseas suppliers that can help with packaged homes and other solutions.

Despite the drop in attendance I was very pleased with the results of the show. We were able to make a great number of new contacts including ones involved in the reconstruction efforts. This helps us prepare for the Nikkei Show next March where reconstruction projects will definitely be taking center stage.

read more

A few thoughts, observations, and ideas that may be of interest to industry.

With the end of summer quickly approaching, the BC Wood trade show season for the US market begins. October is an extremely busy, with 3 trade events taking place during the month. First up is the AIA Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, followed by the AIA Mountain States in Keystone, Colorado, finally ending with the Sunbelt Builders Show in Austin, Texas. Outside of the 4 time zone changes, I should at the least pick up a decent amount of air miles.

I have discussed the various strengths and opportunities I see in each one of these markets in past issues of the Wood Connections newsletter, but suffice it to say, I think the potential for BC manufacturers to develop market share in these states is good. Our program is designed to use the trade event as a platform to connect with key buyers and decision makers in the region. We then follow-up the trade show with a mission component, including individual meetings directly with these buyers at their offices, or on site touring their construction projects.

It is last minute and the Hawaii event is all but sold out; however, there are still limited opportunities for members to participate in the Colorado and Austin events. If you are interested or want more information, please contact me ASAP. Also, if you are unable to participate directly, but would like to get leads and have your promotional materials delivered first hand to these buyers, send me an email to further discuss. There is a nominal charge, but it provides manufacturers with a way to test the waters in these markets with a minimal investment.

As always, if you have any further comments, questions, or need more information on the US market, please feel free to contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com

read more

US Market Update

On September 2nd, 2011, posted in: Industry News, Markets, Product Sectors, Trade Events, Trade Shows, USA by Comments Off

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

I just returned from a short trip to the Austin and Dallas Fort worth region of the State of Texas and was pleasantly surprised with what I found. I recently read a report on the top housing markets in the US and in terms of new home construction, Austin, Dallas and Fort Worth were all in the top 10. In fact, the report suggested that on a per capita basis, Austin, Texas led the way in new housing construction this past year.

The report, it seems turned out to be fairly accurate, at least by what I could find out in talking to builders and distributors, and touring the residential construction projects taking place across the region. Austin has a number of medium and high-end residential subdivisions currently under construction and most builders that I spoke to were very busy. Homes in the sites that I visited were typically selling for $850,000 and up and many were sold before construction had actually begun. That is something that I have not seen since the heady days of 2005 -2006 housing bubble when the US had in the neighborhood of 2.3 million housing starts.

Anyways, I bring this up for two reasons, one is that the style and construction of the housing that I viewed lends itself well to the type of building products supplied by our members; think red cedar shake and shingle roofing ,wood trim, and facia and a significant use of architectural and decorative wood materials on the interior. Secondly, BC Wood will be participating in the Sunbelt Builders Show taking place this Oct 20 -22 in Austin– the center place of all this construction activity.

The city is economically driven by a young affluent workforce mainly employed in the high-tech sector. Dell computers and IBM both have significant presence in the Austin region and these two firms employ over 30,000 workers alone. Add to that, Austin is the state capital and is home to the University of Texas, and you have a vibrant, economically active region that for the most part has been relatively immune to the downturn faced by the rest of the country.

The opportunity to develop market share in Texas and in the Austin, Dallas corridor in particular seems good. The Sunbelt builders show will provide an excellent venue to meet key builders, architects, and distributors in this market. I have limited space, so if you think this may be a market for you or if you want more information, please feel free to contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com

read more

Interest for Canadian wood products from Chinese wood buyers is very strong judging by this year’s list of incoming delegates to the Global Buyers Mission in September. In an update from our in-market rep, Jeff Li, there are over 40 buyers signed up to participate at this year’s event in Whistler. These companies represent key players in the Chinese wood industry, as well as several new companies looking to learn more about Canadian companies. This year, the group will include key wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers, but will also include several Chinese builders, architects, and developers.

Also in September, BC Wood will participate for the first time in the 10th China International Exhibition on Housing Industry (CIEHI). This event will take place in Beijing from September 27-29, 2011 and will focus on real estate and property developers from around various regions in China. This event will be focused on new housing construction and green building technology (low carbon homes) in the Chinese market. The event is hosted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Rural Construction. Other organizers also include the China Real Estate Association, Beijing Construction Committee, and Beijing Housing Technology Development Co.

BC Wood, along with Canada Wood partners, COFI and CFPA, see a strong potential for Canadian wood products at this event and will coordinate participation. Companies interested in getting into the Chinese market that would find value in this event include manufacturers of:

Glulam and heavy timbers
Prebuilt homes
Outdoor wood products
Landscaping products
Exterior siding and panel products

For more information about the Chinese market and the CIEHI event, please contact David Pao at dpao@bcwood.com

read more

The Japan Home and Building Show is the most famous building products show amongst foreign exhibitors. Every year companies from Canada, the US, across Asia, and many parts of Europe come to this show to find new Japanese partners or build on their existing market presence. Even companies that do not participate directly time their business trips to Japan around the middle of November so that they can at least visit the show or take part in related receptions.

This year, however, many companies will be surprised to find out that the JH&BS will be held from September 28th through 30th and not in November. This is because the UIA is holding their “World Congress of Architecture” in Tokyo in and the JH&BS organizers agreed with the UIA organizers to tie the two events together. The UIA’s website explains their event in the following way:

“Described as the “Olympics of Architecture,” the UIA World Congress is a major international architectural event that attracts around 10,000 architects, engineers, researchers and students.Since the inaugural World Congress in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1948, it has taken place triennial in 23 different cities around the world.”

By adding these international guests to the JH&BS’ already large audience of Japanese industry professionals, the show organizers are expecting that exhibitors will be able to reach a much wider audience than in the past. This will be of particular interest to those who are looking to begin marketing to other parts of Asia as an event of this calibre in Tokyo will be sure to attract the top people in architecture from neighbouring Korea and China. Considering the bleak outlook that some people foresaw after the 3/11 earthquake, this added vibrancy to the JH&BS is a welcome development.

Another point in this year’s JH&BS’ favour is that some major wholesalers have decided to cancel their own private trade shows in the summer and fall. This means that the JH&BS will be the only venue for buyers, builders, and architects to see new products this fall. It is expected that the strong resulting interest amongst attendees will overcome any confusion resulting from the change in dates.

BC Wood now has its funding in place for the new fiscal year and as a result I am able to accept applications for show space. Please contact me for more information on this year’s event as well as on how to apply.

read more

US Market Update

On June 27th, 2011, posted in: BC Wood Members, Markets, Trade Events, Trade Shows, USA by Comments Off

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

Last week, I attended the Pacific Coast Building Conference (PCBC 11) in San Francisco. While the event has seen a significant downturn in both exhibitors and attendance since the downturn in 2008, it is still considered the most important event for the residential and light commercial construction sector in the West Coast of the United States.

This year PCBC partnered with another San Francisco trade event, West Coast Green, to combine two trade events into one. The joining of two formally competing trade events is an example of the difficulties that both the residential construction sector and trade events in general are having in the United States.

My observations for PCBC 2011 are that it has turned into a regionally focused, Northern California, trade event. The change is significant when you consider that just a few years back, PCBC was the 2nd largest building products trade event in North America just behind International Builders Show (IBS). The regional focus simply means that the event no longer attracts architects, builders, and developers from across the Western United States — rather just from Northern California.

Two BC Wood members participated in this year’s event, Woodtone Building Products and Synergy Pacific. The general consensus was that the event was better than last year and that builders were more generally upbeat than in years past. “The buyers we saw were mainly from the Bay Region, but they were pretty engaged and interested in our products “commented Bob Sloper, Sales Manager at Synergy Pacific. In addition to the new partnership with West Coast Green, PCBC also offered a new event for exhibitors to participate in called the “Curator Led Tours” which Woodtone took advantage of. This event started by taking a group of buyers from a large residential or light commercial construction company who are guided by an industry expert on a tour of their favorite products on display at the show. Mike Pidlisecky, VP sales at Woodtone described it as ” speed dating ” for the building sector where you get a pre-organized 3 to 5 minute meeting with builders where you get to discuss the attributes and benefits of your product to a captive audience.

“The Curator Led Tours was a good addition to the event “commented Mike,” It introduced us to a number of good contacts in the market”. Of note, BC Wood will be doing a similar event at the Global Buyers Mission this year for the architects program led by Roy Manion.

There was an interesting article in last Thursday’s USA Today newspaper. The article focused on the hottest real estate markets in the US as measured by real estate prices and new home construction. It turns out that the Silicon Valley market of Palo Alto, Cupertino and San Jose are experiencing a big increase in the value of residential property values, driven primarily by the new found wealth of employees in the Dot Com Sector. Young buyers are driving up the price of residential property as they cash in on their stock options and invest into real estate. New home construction in the market is also up as this same group is buying property and building multi-million dollar homes throughout the region.

We have some good contacts in the market and will be participating in a regional home and builders show in the region in the upcoming months. Stay tuned for more information in the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions or want any further information on the US market, please feel free to contact me at dfarley@bcwood.com or on my cell at 604-728-8786.

read more

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.”

Through the ups and downs of market conditions in Europe over the past few years, a number of East European markets have displayed relatively strong economic performance. The majority of these good performers have been in Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe, without a doubt, was also hit hard by the global economic crisis, however, it has recovered at a much faster pace than the West with growth project of 3.9% in 2010 and 3.8% in 2011.  For this reason BC Wood will, this year, focus some increased attention on opportunities for specialty lumber and building materials in Turkey, Russia and the Ukraine.

The first of these East European tradeshows is the Turkeybuild tradeshow in Anakara, September 25-29th. In 2011, Turkey is projected to post the highest growth rate of all East European countries in the coming year. Turkey 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.

In Turkey, there is also an opportunity for BC manufacturers to supply earthquake resistant homes to both private and public clients. A proven feature of the pre-built packaged homes is their superior performance during a seismic event. Similar to the opportunities that developed in the aftermath of the Kobe earthquake, BC companies should be able to provide products and services to the Turkish marketplace that has new more stringent building standards for seismic performance of homes.

A second opportunity in Turkey exists for manufacturers of log and timber frame structures. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism recently announced a large-scale investment plan to develop the resort area of the Turkish Black Sea coast.  The plan consists of constructing modern resorts and lodges around the Turkish Black Sea ports, such as Trabzon and Samsun.  This large project is expected to be completed by 2024.  A number of companies in BC’s log home and timber frame sector have been approached recently by individuals from the region surrounding the Black Sea, with plans for the construction of these resorts.

Not far from the Turkish Black Sea resorts, the on-going development of the region surrounding Sochi for the 2014 Olympics is yet another opportunity for BC manufacturers.  Using the Olympics as a catalyst for economic development, the Russian government plans to transform the Sochi region into an all season world class resort. In addition to the construction of Olympic venues and infrastructure improvements, over 43,000 additional lodgings and hotel rooms are needed for tourists.

The Turkeybuild show provides exhibitors with a good opportunity to meet with 30,000 of Turkey’s  top design and building professionals. The fair takes place in Ankara, Turkeys second largest city and will mark its’ 24th year. While the Turkeybuild show in Istanbul is slightly larger, Ankara’s importance as the capital city and its’ proximity to Turkey’s northern resort region along the Black Sea makes it’s a strategically better location for promoting BC’s wood construction expertise and specialty building products..

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 2011 Turkeybuild, BC Wood will organize 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