Jim Ivanoff

For 2017, the Japan Home and Building Show was bigger and more diversified than ever. The growth in the Japanese hospitality sector has led the show organizers to target commercial construction and architecture. New zones devoted to the commercial sector helped the show fill all six of Tokyo Big Sight’s East Halls. Japan’s strong economy has also brought more foreign companies back into the market. This included the BC Wood organized Canadian zone which with the help of a strong contingent from Ontario, grew to 26 booths, making it the biggest in recent memory.

Since such a large group was coming from Canada and it also being Canada’s 150th anniversary, we decided to organize Canada 150 themed “client connection” events together with the Government of Ontario, the Government of Alberta, and the Canadian Consulate in Nagoya. The events were held in Osaka and Nagoya on the days immediately before the Big Sight show. That way participating companies could meet with potential clients in all three of Japan’s major markets. Instead of a seminar set-up, the events were organized as “mini-trade shows” in conference rooms so that the invited Japanese guests could walk around and meet with companies they were interested in. It has been a few years since BC Wood has organized this type of event in Japan, but based on the positive feedback this time, we will be looking at organizing them again in the future.

Another special event for us at the Japan Home & Building Show this year was the visit by Minister Doug Donaldson. He led the BC industry delegation to the show to meet our members and see what products were on display. During his visit, the Minister also presented a certificate of appreciation to the president of Takahiro Mokuzai for his company’s long support of the Canadian wood products industry (pictured below). It was an honour to be a part of this and help recognize one of our industry’s good friends in Japan.

The JH&BS exhibitors have long been very international, but over the past few years, the show’s visitors have also become more international with many buyers in particular from Korea, Taiwan, and China. For this reason, we had JC Lee from our Korean office come to Tokyo to help connect our members with Korean visitors. JC was busy throughout the show as there more Korean visitors than we had anticipated. Most were from the wood construction field and came to learn about wood construction technologies and products in Japan. With JC’s help, they were also able to learn about Canadian solutions.

Overall, the Japan Home & Building Show 2017 was a very productive week for our participating members. BC Wood also learned from the new things we tried during the show which will help us develop new market development programs both in Japan and other Asian markets.

For more information on the Japan and Asia markets, contact Jim at ivanoff@canadawood.jp

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