Since BC Wood opened its Japan office several decades ago, national trade shows at Tokyo Big Sight have been the association’s main venue for bringing together Canadian suppliers with Japanese buyers. Many value-added manufacturers plan their sales trips and promotions around these shows and Japanese customers know that they can meet new suppliers in the Canadian pavilion. As a result, the COVID-19 border closures created a significant barrier to BC Wood’s marketing efforts in this key market.

“The Japan Home Show is a strategic event for showcasing our wood products in Japan. At the Canada Pavilion, BC Wood does a very good job of managing the event and targeting a wide range of companies that understand the importance of value-added wood manufacturing. This allows for serious inquiries and meaningful discussions that will not only provide opportunity to increase your customer base but also cement relationships with existing customers.” Silva Timber Products Ltd.

Despite border closures, the BC Wood Japan office continued to exhibit on behalf of Canadian industry at every national trade show, utilizing Zoom and other online tools to directly connect Canadian and Japanese companies.

Entry restrictions were lifted in October 2022, just in time for the signature Japan Home & Building Show. After being away for almost three years, seven B.C. value-added manufacturers attended the event for the opportunity to re-connect with clients face-to-face. The Canadian Pavilion once again stood out demonstrating Canada’s commitment to the market, with Japanese clients eagerly coming out for pre-arranged meetings with exhibiting B.C. companies.

“As always, the event provided an excellent opportunity to showcase our products, meet with new and existing clients, and build our business within Japan. From visually attractive booths and professional translators to local logistics and support, Jim Ivanoff and the staff at BC Wood’s office in Tokyo consistently ensure we have everything needed to put our best foot forward. Our business in Japan has been fortunate to gain significant traction in recent years, and attendance at the JHS has been a cornerstone of our strategy to make this happen.” Rauvin Manhas, Pan-Abode International Ltd.

With close to 40,000 professionals attending the 2022 show, traffic was even greater than before the pandemic, demonstrating the very high level of interest in seeing business in the home sector return to normal.