Show business

Well, we’ve had it. Nowhere to go from here. GreenInUrbs, a European think tank citing its top achievement as an interactive website, has determined that trees create VOCs and contribute to ground-level ozone.

Kerry Knudsen

Or, at least, they funded the study reported in May on ACS, (American Chemical Society). ACS, according to ACS, advances science, advocates for chemistry, enables career development, educates the public, supports future chemists and promotes diversity.

Thank goodness we have another association of pure scientists promoting diversity. It’s clear the others never got the job done. Diversity, of course, is the act of destroying the careers of people brighter than yourself so you can get their jobs. Etymologically, it’s the opposite of unity.

Unity once was a good thing. So were trees. Shows what we know.


Canada Night at AWFS was another enthusiastically attended affair, this time starting at 5:00 p.m., right after the show closed on Wednesday. Several attendees showed up having come straight from the plane and hotel check-in, and not yet registered. For those, we worked around the scanner and got them in, anyway. (See page 22.)

For years, I thought I hated trade shows. They were hot, chaotic, noisy and full of pitfalls. Then, one day as we were preparing for “just another trade show,” and this was in an entirely different industry, I realized that I was looking forward to it. Today, I love the chaos, the people and the energy, and have for years.

There is a heartbeat to a show. It starts off slow, both in our industry and in other industries comprising family owned businesses. Assuming the true show starts on Wednesday, and many do, entrepreneurs and small businesses often cannot justify taking off a full week, so they elect to travel on Wednesday, attend the show on Thursday and Friday, and stay the weekend in the show destination. This often makes the first show day a relatively slow day. This is hard on the sales staff.

However, everybody that comes to look is also there to buy, and by and by they filter into the back booths, hoping to find a niche supplier or a deal. At the end, everybody is served, either meeting or not meeting expectations. This is pretty much life on life’s terms. So I like it.


Next up: WMS – Canada’s show for the secondary wood-products manufacturing industry.

As with AWFS, there is not a single economic indicator that argues against growth across the board in our sector. There may be a lack of unity, but that is on us, not the shows. As we have discussed, there are three communications factors that affect the health and growth of any industry. Those three are a professional trade media (whether print, broadcast, digital or whatever), a unified trade association and a comprehensive trade show. These are the glue that binds an industry together, when done properly, and they are the solvent that pushes us apart, when abused.

In theory, a media’s readers are the same as the association’s members, are the same as the trade show’s attendees, and the media’s advertisers are the association’s supporting members are the show’s exhibitors. As such, the three factors should be able to communicate, cooperate and facilitate without having to compete, since the prime objective of all three is to support the readers/members/attendees.

Of course, where there is power there is strife, and that is the way of the world. And it is the duty of the industry to watch closely where the line of self interest comes close to the line of sector interest, and to make certain self interest don’t conflict with and harm the long-term health of the industry at large.

Come November, Wood Industry, during the tenure of the WMS show, will host a Manufacturers’ Roundtable to discuss matters that concern the readers/member/attendees, and to discuss them on a confidential basis. I will be the only non-manufacturer in attendance, and I will field questions from you and present them to you and your peers for discussion. I will not sermonize or speechify. I get to do that all the time. The idea is a fair, confidential and independent forum for you to raise and discuss any issue you can imagine, as long as it is of interest to the industry.

November will be here before we know it. I know it, because July is already gone, and I’m still thinking it’s March.

WMS will be a pivotal show this year, and we look forward to seeing you at Booth #1537.


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