"We were hoping for maybe a little bit more in the way of attendance, but the exhibitors were extremely happy with the numbers," said Guillaume Gignac, executive director of the Canadian Woodlands Forum (CWF), which puts on the show every four years. "The exhibitors saw the industry people that they wanted to see, and people attending saw the equipment they wanted to see, which is the important part." Exhibitors and attendees were happy with the way Demo was put together and organized, Gignac added. "We had some good, positive comments about the show."
All the hard work that the Canadian Woodlands Forum did in advance planning for the show obviously paid off. It's a big job, requiring about three years of advance work for each show, Gignac noted. Planning for the next Demo - to be held in eastern Canada in 2004 at a site yet to be determined - will start next year. The show organizer, Canadian Woodlands Forum, is a membership-based organization of individuals and businesses related to forest operations. It supports technology transfer and information sharing activities focusing on improving the competitiveness of forest operations. Gignac praised the great support the CWF received from Riverside Forest Products-the host forest company-for the Kelowna show.
"They were obviously a major player in the whole process. We could not have had a successful show without them." Riverside was involved in laying out the roads for the show site, the areas for harvesting and made sure that all regulations were followed in the logging being done. The latter task is not insignificant, considering the number of equipment companies that were doing active logging at Demo and the fact that all safety regulations and BC Forest Practices Code regulations had to be met.
In terms of facilities, organizers knew in advance that Kelowna would not be able to handle all the accommodation requirements for a show as big as Demo, and planned accordingly. All accommodation needs were met, with additional hotel arrangements made in the nearby communities of Vernon and Penticton. In doing the layout for the show site this time around, organizers took heed of the comments from the Demo show held in Kelowna in 1992 and made the site and the show more compact this time around.
The equipment exhibitors were on a loop six kilometres long versus the nine kilometre long loop in 1992. While the site could handle additional exhibitors, the organizers were very conscious of keeping the show a manageable size from the perspective of attendees. Besides, Gignac said, all the major manufacturers were represented in the exhibitors they had at Kelowna. "We had all the major players among the manufacturers. They were all there." He added that there was also a broad range of suppliers at the show, as well.
Demo is North America's largest active exhibition of wood harvesting and forest management systems. Over 100 exhibitors with 300 of the latest woodlands machines and systems were operating on the 500acre site. The show featured everything from the latest harvesting systems for commercial thinning and final harvesting and also covered cableyarding and helilogging, chipping, road construction, transportation, GIS/GPS, site preparation, planting and stand tending. Gignac said the site was the best Demo has had to date, with a good variety of terrain and stand conditions. "We had a very wide range to work with." The companies doing active logging demonstrations had sites of from 1.5 to two hectares to work with.
As is usual with Demo shows, attendees came from around the world. "I don't know exactly how many countries were represented, but there were attendees from all the major regions, such as South America, Europe and Asia and we even had some people from Africa." True to previous shows, about 10 per cent of attendees were from outside North America, 10 per cent from the United States and the vast majority-80 per cent-were from Canada, with healthy representation from eastern Canada. "Personally I wasn't surprised at this, but some exhibitors were surprised at the large number of attendees from eastern Canada considering the show was held in the west."
This clearly proves that Demo continues to be a big draw, bringing people in from all over Canada, the United States and overseas. The show featured a large variety of suppliers to the industry and continues to be an ideal opportunity for manufacturers to showcase their equipment in live logging demonstrations. The latest in harvesting equipment was on display from manufacturers from all over North America, as well as from overseas. Gignac noted that manufacturers often use Demo as the venue for introducing new logging equipment, and this was no exception. "Quite often, manufacturers will use Demo as the springboard to launch their new products ." Demo 2000 was coupled with a comprehensive companion conference with the theme Technologies for New Millennium Forestry, held September 11 to13 at the Grand Okanagan Hotel in Kelowna.
The goal of the conference was not only to promote the sharing of international ideas on the important issues facing the woodlands sector, but also to foster the implementation of new concepts, technologies and practices which will help the industry better meet the challenges and expectations of the 21st century. The conference included a wide variety of sessions in areas such as commercial thinning, riparian zone management, managing for wildlife and forestry operations and reducing site disturbance and erosion. In all, some 40 speakers from Canada and abroad presented their experiences and success stories on topics of significance.
The conference provided managers, foresters, planners and contractors with timely, practical information to help their companies better manage current and future woodlands issues. It was jointly organized by the Canadian Woodlands Forum and the Council of Forest Engineering (COFE). Fabtek, much talked about at the show with its purchase by Blount, included the FT663 wheeled harvester carrier in its equipment lineup.
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