As we move into winter it’s hard to believe we are just a few short months away from the one event that brings together every sector of the North American imported wood products industry, the 62nd World of Wood Annual Convention which will take place March 14-16 at the Hotel Monteleone in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana.
We are especially excited to return to New Orleans which, in addition to being a cultural gem filled with amazing music, distinctive cuisine, and never-ending revelry, is home to a cluster of long-time IWPA members as well as the Port of New Orleans, a vital hub for imported wood products. Consider inviting suppliers and customers alike to join you to sample the unique creole culture while also catching up on cutting-edge design trends, the latest economic information, and critical legal and regulatory developments.
Our packed agenda will be topped by our lead keynote speaker, Mary Kelly, an internationally known economist and leadership expert specializing in leadership, productivity, communication, and business profit growth. Kelly, who has authored eleven books, has also been featured in Forbes, Money Magazine, Entrepreneur, and the Wall Street Journal. Kelly will help attendees develop successful executive leadership strategies that enable business growth in any economy. Win Thin, Senior Vice President of Investment Services at Brown Brothers Harriman, will also share his perspective on financial and economic trends from his position on the front lines of Wall Street.
Our 2018 World of Wood Annual Convention will also feature a Supplier-Importer Exchange and Lunch. This event will be a form of “speed dating” in which attendees will have an opportunity to connect with wood products suppliers of all types from around the world for a few minutes at a time. Don’t miss your opportunity to meet what may turn out to be your next key supplier at the World of Wood! As always, the program will contain a number of other networking receptions and events that will provide valuable opportunities to catch up with old friends from across the industry and make new ones that will lead to new opportunities for your business.
Early bird registration is open on our website at www.IWPAwood.org until December 17th. We are also encouraging prospective attendees to reserve their hotel rooms at the beautiful Hotel Monteleone as soon as possible, because the Saturday after the convention closes is St. Patrick’s Day, a day that sees the entire City of New Orleans and visitors from across the country come out for a day of parties and parades.
We will continue to post the latest information about the schedule and events for the 62nd World of Wood Annual Convention through our weekly Member E-News newsletter and on our website. We can’t wait to see you in New Orleans!
Association Forecast Questions:
1. What are your association’s goals for 2018 and why?
Our goal is to increase our outreach to decision makers in government, industry, and non-governmental organizations to educate them about the importance of globally-sourced wood products from sustainably-managed forests to U.S. manufacturers and consumers. Too many Americans take the unique products IWPA members supply and the good-paying jobs they support for granted. IWPA must play a key role in telling the story of the good work our members do.
2. What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing your specific association AND your members as we head into 2018?
There is a lot of uncertainty among businesses that rely on global supply chains about what the future will bring as the Trump Administration looks to renegotiate the U.S.’s trade agreements. Withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement would have significant negative impacts on many industries, including some IWPA members. IWPA will continue to work with policymakers in the Trump Administration and Congress to inform them about how changes to the global trading system will impact U.S. jobs.
3. Are your members optimistic overall as 2017 draws to a close? If so, what is the basis for that optimism?
From our conversations with IWPA members there is a sense of guarded optimism. There is significant demand for wood products in the recreational vehicle, home building and remodeling, and other manufacturing sectors, which have shown record growth in recent months. Rebuilding from this year’s hurricane season will boost demand.
4. Has your organization introduced any new tools recently to assist your members in doing business? If so, please describe them and their benefits.
In 2018 IWPA will be rolling out the next two versions of our Wood Trade Compliance Resources and Due Diligence Training: Advanced Compliance and Audits. These courses are meant to augment the initial day-long introductory course that has been extremely successful in teaching wood trade professionals who to integrate due diligence into their pre-existing business processes.