With over 900 attendees representing some 400 companies from 14 countries, and over 110 exhibitors at the trade show, the success of the 5th edition of the Montréal Wood Convention exceeded all expectations of the associations organizing the event.
"For players in the wood products industry, it was essential to be present in the exhibition hall of the Convention, which was held from March 28 to 30 in Montréal. It was the key venue for discussions and exchanges between manufacturers and distributors,” said Sven Gustavsson, director of the softwoods group at the Quebec Wood Export Bureau (QWEB), one of four host associations.
The keynote speaker, Manjit Minhas, a 35-year-old beer baroness and the newest dragon on the hit TV show Dragons’ Den, recounted her career as a woman entrepreneur in a traditionally male industry. "Find your passion and count on your mentor,” she said enthusiastically.
During the different presentations, guest speakers were optimistic. Consumer demand for wood products in North America is growing steadily according to CIBC analysts. For the American Wood Council, the future is bright for multi-storey wood construction.
The Council is seeking to see construction codes allow wooden buildings up to 20 storeys by 2021. Scientific research confirms that the best way to sequester CO2 to tackle climate change remains the use of wood in construction.
As for tomorrow's trade tools, the industry needs to be prepared, as the "Amazon" way of doing business is on our doorstep due to the habits of younger generations. Finally, the hardwood industry can also look to the future with confidence considering that global furniture production is still growing and 40% of the global value of furniture is composed of wood or wood panels.
In terms of international participation, the Convention was also a success. "Some 60 qualified overseas buyers took part in industrial visits and had the opportunity to meet directly with local manufacturers to do business," said Sven Gustavsson.
The organizers, the Quebec Wood Export Bureau, the Quebec Forest Industry Council, the Ontario Forest Industries Association and the Maritime Lumber Bureau are pleased to invite the industry to the 2018 edition that will be held from March 20 to 22 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montréal.