The booth was staffed by SEC Mexico and Chile staff and eleven association representatives and wholesalers from SEC and the Southern Forest Products Association. Traffic at the booth was relatively steady. The group collected 37 inquiries and fielded questions about US softwoods and the sample bridge.
Edifica is Chile’s largest construction and building materials show, covering 75,000 square meters and attended by over 40,000 construction professionals. The exhibit includes a range of products from heavy machinery to a variety building materials used in residential and commercial projects.
During the show, the group met with a buyer from Sodimac, a home center chain with 40 locations in Argentina, Brazil, United States, Chile, Peru, Columbia, Canada, Uruguay and Mexico. While Sodimac is working to grow the residential decking market, the buyer reported that due to the downturn in Chile’s economy since second quarter 2018, the company can meet its demand with domestic supply. He noted that Sodimac would consider imported species when demand increased.
The Edifica organizer held a daily seminar on a range of topics. Representatives from WWPI and Western Wood Structures who were part of SEC’s Chile ATP work, were included in the seminar and spoke about preservative treating chemicals, bridge design, and the efficacy of preservative treated wood in bridge applications.
While the seminars were somewhat disorganized and frequently late, they attracted large audiences and the SEC booth received several visitors as a result of our participation. In future, SEC will secure speaking slots well in advance of the show and work with our local contractor and the FAS-Santiago office to recruit attendees and increase awareness about the SEC booth.