Jim Ivanoff | ivanoff@bcwood.jp

 

BC Wood’s promotional activities for many years in Korea have been centered around the Housing Brand show which is held at the downtown Seoul COEX convention facility. We returned again this year from February 14th to 18th with a pan-Canadian team representing eight wood products manufacturers and organizations. As usual, the show was well attended and our pre-show promotions helped to ensure that all of the major buyers in Korea came out. With stricter building regulations now in force due to the concern over earthquakes, many of the builders visiting our pavilion were interested in learning about prefabricated solutions from Canada. Korean builders not only need the panelized structures, but also Canadian engineering expertise for their designs.

This year we further increased our presence at this show by on the first day holding our first ever training program in Korea. For several years, Korean importers have been asking BC Wood to organize training programs on how to use and design with Canadian wood finishing materials. With special funding from NRCan, BC Wood was able to deliver a one-day seminar program featuring two Canadian interior finishing experts. The response exceeded our expectations with over 170 Korean builders, architects, and designers signing up.

Our first expert taught the group about how to creatively use a standard selection of trim products and techniques to make a variety of unique decors. The audience seemed particularly interested on how to connect exterior design elements into the interior living space. Our second expert walked the audience through the entire process of designing and installing custom kitchens for clients. In Korea, kitchens are typically mass-produced like standardized furniture pieces with which the only option is colour, so the audience was very impressed with all of the possibilities afforded by custom wood kitchens and how they could completely change a home’s character. On the second day of the show, our two experts were available in the pavilion to give one-on-one consultations to builders and architects.

Overall, our Housing Brand Fair program was once again a great success and many of the Korean clients asked us to offer future training programs as well. We look forward to building on this year’s program in 2020.