Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wood Flooring Forum: presenting forces of change in the wood flooring industry

If you are interested in learning about the growing flooring demand in Asia, the differences in channels (EU vs. US vs. Asia), environmental and legal issues affecting the industry (including an update on the ITC investigation), the growing pressure, opportunities and influence of sustainable building, or why marketing the environmental advantages of wood flooring is more important now than ever–then consider attending the Wood Flooring Forum (WFF) on March 21, 2011 in Shanghai. The forum is geared towards industry executives, buyers and marketers and takes place one day before Domotex asia/ Chinafloor opens in Shanghai.

The international Wood Flooring Forum (WFF)  presenting “The Forces of Change in the Wood Flooring Industry” an overview of opportunities, obstacles and innovations in major flooring markets and the driving influence of sustainability. 

The Forum. A shortened formal general session makes room for a panel discussion by major wood flooring manufacturers including Armstrong, PowerDekor  and Nature. Afternoon breakout sessions offer intimate access to experts and practical information on market issues, channels and practices - presented in two tracks; one with an Eastern market focus and the other concentrating on Western markets.

Left: Shanghai Tower
A treat for the curious about sustainable building. Listen to an inspiring presentation about how sustainability in design, strategy and materials is creating one of the most sustainable structures in the world  - the Shanghai Tower. It uses wind turbines, a rainwater collection system, two envelope layers that surround nine interior sky gardens to improve air quality and an ingenious twisting design that mitigates lateral loads from wind. Michael Wiener, principal of Gensler, architects of the 121 story Shanghai Tower, will speak on the  future of sustainability as strategy and a viable financial approach in construction and materials.

Afternoon breakout sessions tailored to the Western audience will focus on Asia's market: (A parallel track will be presented for the those more interested in the US and EU markets).

Session 1: Defining the Asian Market. Asia’s construction boom is creating the largest floor covering market in the world. This session will examine the potential of China’s market and the burgeoning LEED and sustainable products market there. China is building more than 20 billion square feet of floor space a year to support its migrating populations. This huge construction boom will create an unprecedented shift in supply and demand and will also create opportunities for Western companies – a fact that some US manufacturers have already recognized, such as Anderson’s partnership with PowerDekor and Mannington’s partnership with Elegant Living, among others. (Similar information will be presented for both the EU and US markets).

Session 2: Doing Business in China. Business customs and practices in China as well as certifications, dispute resolution, transfer of title, banking and customs will be covered in this session. (Similar information will be presented for both the EU and US markets).

Session 3: Marketing and Sales in China. The channel to market in China is vastly different than in the US or Europe.  China’s largest flooring retailers will explain what suppliers must know about marketing, distribution and retail flooring in China. (Similar information will be presented for both the US and EU markets).

Panelists and participants include: Frank Ready, executive vice president of Armstrong World Industries and CEO of Armstrong Floor Products Worldwide; Mr Guo Hei, President of PowerDekor,China’s largest flooring manufacturer with more than 2,300 retail stores; Mr. Raymond Kwan, Deputy General Manager of flooring manufacturer Elegant Living (Baroque) with more than 800 retail stores in China; Mr. Ed Korczak, Executive Director of the National Wood Flooring Association;  Mr. Jurgen  Fruchtenicht, President of the European Federation of Parquet Importers (EFPI), a Brussels-based association of leading European importers of engineered and solid wood floorings;  Ruud Steenvorden, expert on European channels and logistics; Frederik Dreesman member of Home Decor International, a leading European wholesale distributor/buying group. Jim Gould, President of the Floor Covering Institute and Strategic Director of the WFF will give an overview of the growing Asian floor covering market and facilitate the discussion about the urgent need to increase marketing of wood flooring benefits.

Cost to Western attendees: - a reduced rate of $99 which includes lunch and translation services.

The Venue: the brand new 5 star Kerry Hotel in Pudong, Shanghai, only minutes from the Domotex asia/Chinafloor venue.

Date and time.  Monday, March 21st  9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The forum is co-organized by China’s National Forest Products Industry Association, the Floor Covering Institute, LLC and VNU Exhibitions.

For more information or to register please contact Jimmy Zhao - jimmy.zhao@vnuexhibitions.com.cn or Jim Gould  jgould@floorcoveringinstitute.com.

If you are already headed to Domotex asia/Chinafloor (Asia's largest floor covering event) make sure you arrive in time to attend the WFF. If you haven’t made plans to attend Domotex, this is just one more reason to go.  I'll be there and I hope to see you there too.


Susan Negley is Director of Communications for the Floor Covering Institute

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