16.06.2016. Defying the strikes and severe flooding that hit France just as the Carrefour started, 10,000 visitors met in Nantes from 1 to 3 June.
Representing altogether 70 countries, they found new solutions to old challenges in a material that is all set to seduce the markets: wood.
The format stayed the same: a focus on timber and timber only, from sawn wood and panels to flooring, terraces, cladding all the way to construction. The actors remained unchanged: producers, traders, wood specifiers and end-users of timber products as well as architects, market experts and importers. What changed this year was wood´s growth direction: increasingly upward.
From know-how to show-how: INTERHOLCO marks the difference
At the Carrefour, INTERHOLCO put its production site in Congo under the spotlight, making old and new clients alike see why the brand “marks the difference”. Located in Hall 2, the INTERHOLCO stand boasted 11 “windows” or high-definition photos, offering unique views of the forest up to the end products.
An Azobé tree in bloom greeted hundreds of clients and business partners, together with a huge family portrait of the group´s team leaders in Congo.
A set of “forest postcards” had the look and feel of a typical day at the production site in the village of Ngombe (Republic of Congo), with social and environmental impacts in full view and well spelled out.
The undisputed “étoile” of the stand was the INTERHOLCO lounge: catching the eye of each and every visitor, the laminated finger-jointed ensemble literally stole the show and was nominated among the top 10 wooden works found at the Carrefour. The lounge comprised three interchangeable pieces, showing the beauty of sawn timber, the sensual finish of glulam elements and wide choice of wood species – as wide, in fact, as the forest itself.
“For this piece of work, we were inspired by actual wood bundles; we’ve chosen laminated finger-jointed elements as a sign of respect to the forest: it takes so long to grow, one has to make every effort to use the tree as much as possible,” says Jean-Luc Georis, INTERHOLCO sales representative in Belgium, who followed the construction phases of the lounge from A to Z.
Finally, two QR codes made the stand truly interactive, allowing visitors to have a hands-on experience of how sustainability changes lives: FSC´s new communication toolkit and Dutch writer Meindert Brouwer´s narration of his visit at IFO, earlier in 2016.
The Empire State of Wood: 5 trends showing why wood is on the rise
Since day one of the timbershow, the INTERHOLCO stand was brimming with visitors, partners and clients from all corners of the world. So, visit after visit, what did we hear in terms of trends?
1. Wood is rising up, growing bolder:
2. Wood is a prêt-à-porter material, easily adapting to shape bends and curves
3. Wood is “RRR”: wood products Reduce energy consumption, Reuse end-life products, Recycle waste
4. Wood does it better: durable, energy-efficient, environmental-friendly
5. Wood’s strength lies in its diversity and wide range of use
The Carrefour International du Bois is a must-attend rendez-vous for the timber sector in Europe, where wood and its by-products from all over the world can be found in Nantes (France). Taking place every two years, the fair is made by the trade for the trade. Strictly B2B, the Carrefour has grown over the years, becoming the leading tradeshow in Europe.