The Carrefour International du Bois ran from 30 May to 1 June 2018. What is special about this event?
This is a unique trade show, purely for key players in the wood sector. Professionals meet every two years to buy and sell timber. It was founded in 1990 by Atlanbois, the wood sector’s interprofessional association in the Pays de la Loire department, and the Grand Port Maritime de Nantes Saint-Nazaire, who are joint owners. Its goal was to promote the use of timber and the regional companies in the sector. It has since taken on another dimension and has opened up nationally and internationally.
Over the last few years, the show has expanded on every level (visitors, exhibitors, etc.). The 2018 edition took place in a very favourable context, marked by strong demand. All our stands were booked by December! We deliberately limit the stands to 36m² as we want to promote all exhibitors equally.
What was new and what were the highlights of this 15th edition?
We focused on innovation in a space designed in collaboration with the Nantes Ecole Supérieure du Bois and the Afpia (Association for professional training in the furnishing industry), Solfi2A (Solutions Formation et Innovation pour l’Agencement et l’Aménagement de l’Habitat). The idea was to invite our rather traditional sector explore the use of new tools, processes and products. We organised Innovation Awards for the first time.
We also wanted to show that timber professionals are committed to forestry regeneration. In the Resource Renewal area, we showcased organisations who are investing in replanting. We organised a work session on forestry regeneration in the presence of members from the forestry groups in both houses of France’s Parliament, with whom we signed the major call to regenerate the forests. We are also committed to promoting wood in construction and renovation. At the trade show, regional players joined the Alliance Nationale Bois Construction Rénovation, thus committing to use more wood. We also organised a series of talks covering the three major issues: the timber trade, forestry regeneration and wood construction.
What is your international development strategy?
Our mission is to ensure that companies in the sector are visible internationally. We are running targeted campaigns in wood consumer countries. Export is promoted by the FrenchTimber association, created by the Fédération Nationale du Bois to develop French exports. We handle Belgium and Great Britain ourselves. We use Promosalons for five countries: Italy, the Netherlands and Morocco for the last six years and Spain and Portugal starting this year. The marketing operations are highly personalised and contacts are systematically followed up. We also rely on relations with the press: video-conferences, meetings at local trade shows, press kits and press releases in the local language, etc.
Why is Promosalons beneficial to the international development of the trade show?
The strength of the Promosalons team lies in their skill, their knowledge of the show, their detailed understanding of our issues and, of course, their mastery of the local area and local networks. The results are there; the show is growing and we would like to expand it even further. We are aware that this naturally requires more investment.