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Show Preview - Prince George

One of Canada's largest forestry shows also features forestry education and industry conferences. T he dates have been red circled on the calendar for two years-May 11 to 13, 2000. It's the time the buyers and sellers of forestry equipment and services participate in Canada's top forestry show. Forest Expo 2000, being held at Exhibition Park in Prince George, BC has now evolved into a premium business forum for the forest industry. The reason is simple. Every two years, Forest Expo brings together suppliers and manufacturers in the technological vanguard of machinery and equipment with the decision-making customers who know what they want. In other words, deals get done.

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With more than 400 exhibitors and millions of dollars of equipment on display, Prince George's Forest Expo is the place where deals are done, sometimes over a cup of coffee. & Logging Equipment

The fact that Forest Expo works at working is reflected in the numbers. Forest Expo '98 featured 444 exhibitors filling 789 booth spaces, displaying more than $150 million worth of equipment and attracting more than 22,000 people. Those were record figures in all categories. By early February of this year, the 2000 edition was 70 per cent sold, representing a commitment pace equal to or slightly ahead of the 1998 show timetable. Forest Expo offers more than the largest shop window in town, however. It includes equipment demonstrations in the outside display areas. Portable sawmills of varying size and sophistication are featured prominently. Loggers' sports are a perennial favourite at Exhibition Park's close to the action, inter active natural viewing amphitheatre. Interaction of the computer kind is available in the resource awareness centre, where visitors can explore and understand all values contained within the living forest.

Forest Expo welcomes all visitors, connected to the forest industry or not. It was the vision of the volunteer founders of the show more than 15 years ago to open its doors literally and metaphorically so people could learn more about the forest industry for themselves. The public education component continues to be part of Forest Expo's mandate. Industry seminars are part of the menu for examining pertinent issues of prime interest and helping logging contractors become more efficient. High profile luncheon speakers and social events complement Forest Expo's smorgasbord. The event's attractions for provincial, national and international attendees has prompted other groups to stage their Prince George and area events around the time of Forest Expo.

This year, for example, Ritchie Bros Auctioneers will hold a major equipment auction at its Prince George location near the airport May 9. The Northern BC Global Information Systems (GIS) Conference 2000 will be held at the University of Northern British Columbia May 9 and 10. The group's initial conference was held in conjunction with Forest Expo 98, and was a one day affair that was expected to attract about 100 people. But double that number participated, prompting organizers to opt for two days this year so attendees can enjoy a less compressed schedule for examining the latest in resource planning and management and remote sensing technologies. "Everyone involved with GIS and GPS technologies have experienced a huge growth in interest, particularly during the 1990s," notes Roger Wheate, conference chairman. "It has become more mainstream and relatively straightforward to acquire data."

Conference details were being confirmed at press time, with the first day devoted to workshops and the second to presentations and posters. Delegates are expected from throughout BC and Alberta, and inquiries have been received from other parts of Canada and the US.

For further information on the Northern BC GIS conference, contact Beirthe Miller with the Ministry of Forests in Prince George at (250) 5656761.

The best place for the latest information and registration details for Forest Expo 2000 is its web site at www.forest expo.bc.ca or by calling (250) 563-8833. 18 • March 2000 • LOGGING & SAWMILLING JOURNAL With more than 400 exhibitors and millions of dollars of equipment on display, Prince George's Forest Expo is the place where deals are done, sometimes over a cup of coffee.

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