First Ever Virtual World of Wood Deemed a Success by the IWPA

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The International Wood Products Association proclaimed its first-ever virtual World of Wood Convention on April 1-3 as a success.

The convention originally was scheduled to be held in Savannah, Georgia, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gathering was canceled and transitioned to a virtual format so attendees could participate from their homes and offices. 

Attendees included importers, U.S. manufacturers, wholesalers, offshore suppliers, and service providers to the global wood products industry. 

Participants joined via Internet conferencing for three days of interactive events to receive the latest responses from the federal government to the pandemic and gain insight from convention presenters on the latest market developments and trends. The association recorded the sessions and will make them available via the IWPA E-Training portal.

“Transitioning to a virtual conference was a difficult decision, but the safety and well-being of attendees and our community had to be our number one priority,” said IWPA president Kenny MacMaster. “The ability to give COVID updates and learn about the latest supply chains impact in real time was invaluable to our attendees. We are very pleased with what turned out to be a seamless shift to this alternative event. The feedback we received from attendees was very positive as our industry did its part to flatten the COVID curve.”

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The impact of COVID-19 on the international wood products industry was a central focus of the meeting. IWPA staff led a discussion on the latest information related to the federal government’s response, including financial aid and other developments. 

Don Cooper gave the keynote address on ‘Selling in the Time of COVID.’ Sessions on the global woods market, forestry trends, trade policy developments, port operations, and industry compliance were held over the three-day virtual event.

IWPA plans to hold a regular physical convention April 14-16, 2021 in San Diego.

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