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Montreal Wood Convention 2022: ‘Business is best in person’


January 24, 2022
By Maria Church
More than 1,000 attendees took part in the 2019 Montreal Wood Convention, including lumber and panel producers from across Canada and the U.S., as well as a large contingent of North American and overseas buyers. Photo: Annex Business Media

Coming up on year three of the global COVID-19 pandemic, folks are itching to get back to business as usual. Perhaps it won’t be quite the same, but organizers of the Montreal Wood Convention are saying: let’s get back to in-person business.

Planning is full steam ahead for the annual gathering of those in the Canadian wood trade set to take place May 24-25 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in downtown Montreal.

Event manager Sven Gustavsson said virtual events are proven now and can be effective for educational sessions, but, when it comes to networking at least, in person is best.

“I haven’t seen any really good solutions yet for interactions. That’s why being in person is so important when it comes to business and relationships. The Montreal Wood Convention being very heavy into relations and networking, it is the kind of event that should happen in person to have full value,” Gustavsson said.

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While organizers hope most show-goers will attend in person, they are also accommodating virtual attendance. The convention’s sessions will be live streamed on the mobile application Swapcard, which has features for asking questions live. Exhibitors and participants can also communicate and book meetings on this platform.

Once again this year the North American Wholesale Lumber Association is holding its regional meeting in conjunction with the Montreal Wood Convention, taking place Wednesday afternoon, May 25.

Program at a glance

The main MWC sessions will kick off with a Tuesday morning seminar on economy and markets. We’ll hear from David Logan, National Association of Home Builders’ director of tax and trade policy analysis, on the U.S. housing outlook and the lumber trade dispute, and Daryl Swetlishoff, head of research at Raymond James Investment Bankers, on investment opportunities in the wood products industry.

A panel will follow to discuss the North American wood products logistics outlook, which will include Jordan Fraser, Forest City Trading Group’s transportation director, Saulo Peranton, EACOM’s director of logistics, and Coby Bullard, vice-president of sales and marketing at CP Rail.

New this year is a Wednesday morning breakfast speaker. Dr. Brynn Winegard, trained in psychology and neurosciences, will liven up the eggs-and-bacon crowd with a talk on boosting your business brain.

“It’s going to be a wake-up call during that breakfast conference. We’ve seen her and we know it’s going to be good and a bit different,” Gustavsson said.

A final panel Wednesday on trade and the market situation will hear from Andre Beaulieu, J.D. Irving’s director of sales, Weston Forest CEO Steve Rhone, Bart Bender, senior vice-president of sales and marketing for Interfor, and Hugues Simon, president of wood products division with Resolute Forest Products.

The tradeshow is expected to be full this year, featuring more than 100 booths. Companies will also be manning virtual booths that will have question rooms as part of the Swapcard app.

Pandemic prepared

Attendees can expect typical COVID-19 precautions at the event, such as vaccination requirements and masks as mandated by the Quebec government. Find the latest on the pandemic protocols at: montrealwoodconvention.com/en/covid-19-update/

Gustavsson noted that even with pandemic restrictions that could prevent physical participation, they’re confident that the high-quality sessions and panels will provide value to participants over the Swapcard virtual platform. Participants also have the possibility to cancel and obtain refund in accordance with the cancellation policy posted on the website.

Learn more about the event and register to attend at montrealwoodconvention.com/en/