Florence Mompo, Eurobois trade show manager: “A 2020 edition under the sign of industry 4.0 and of jobs and training”
With almost 400 exhibitors and brands, covering practically every activity in the market, Eurobois 2020 looks set to be a wonderful edition in a dynamic context for the timber and woodworking sector, both nationally and internationally. Eurobois trade show manager Florence Mompo shares her vision of the market with us and tells us what makes the 2020 edition tick.
What message do you want to send out to timber and woodworking for the new decade?
Florence Mompo: First of all, let me pass on my very best wishes to all timber and woodworking stakeholders. I sincerely wish them an active, prosperous new year, buoyed by innovation, sharing, and exchange! And what better way to start the year, with only a few days left before the new edition of Eurobois opens its doors. Timber, the most ancient material in the world, is more modern than ever. Thanks to its mechanical properties, its environmental performance, and its huge appreciation by the public, timber is enjoying real impetus, especially in construction and fitting out. Industry business models are in the throes of change. We owe it to ourselves to assist these developments and help build the sector’s future together.
Tell us about the key challenges facing the sector’s stakeholders
The main challenge is the rise in power of digital solutions, stimulated by a big demand for productivity. Robotization, automation, flexibility, and innovation, all coupled to digital, are permeating the whole value chain. Manufacturing must be optimized but at the same time must offer more stylish, customized products. The profile of the average order is changing, meaning factories must now be able to handle small and long runs alike, even unique items. They therefore need adaptable, flexible tools. That in turn means the development of new services, like predictive maintenance. Leading on from these, the modernization and digitalization of production tools means evolution in the trades and the need to upgrade and expand employees’ skills. And then all these changes have to fit into a context of generational change. New talents need attracting, so trades need publicizing more to help fill rocketing recruitment needs. Last but not least is the environmental dimension of business, whose logic is one of resource optimization. The timber used is often felled close to the place of use. Waste processing, new uses for shavings and offcuts, value extraction from side products as wood energy—it all makes sense in the notion of a circular economy. For the largest sawmills, this approach can represent up to 40% of their turnover!
The digitalization of production tools means changes in trades, in recruitment, and in skill levels.
What are the main lines of focus in this next edition of Eurobois?
We have placed this 2020 edition under the sign of industry 4.0 and of jobs and training. Promoting industry 4.0 means improving competitiveness in a fiercely competitive European environment and enabling the whole sector—from forestry exploitation to fitting out by way of first and second stage timber conversion—to tackle this upheaval successfully. Next, we reserve a special place for one of the sector’s strategic issues: jobs and training. A new space, the Eurobois Campus, will be entirely dedicated to this subject and run by our many partners from the world of recruitment and training, whose main focus will be on bringing together businesses, professionals with training enquiries, and job seekers.
Our approach to these essential themes for the sector will help give professionals as well as exhibiting companies a broader view, help them climb on the future industry bandwagon driven by professional organizations and the public powers.
Accompanying timber and woodworking sector professionals to build with them the future of a market in full development!
How is the 2020 edition shaping up?
Eurobois is currently the only French trade show in the timber and woodworking sector. It now has the EUMABOIS accreditation label (European federation of woodworking machinery manufacturers), placing it on the top rung of European benchmark gatherings. It’s a responsibility that we owe to all the stakeholders who assist us and who co-produce this event with us.
At the launch of the 2016 and 2018 editions, Eurobois watched its attractiveness spiral upwards, with new stakeholders taking part and companies committing to bigger and bigger stand areas. As far as the offering goes, dynamic is the word. Second stage timber conversion will again be very well represented, and fitting out and first stage conversion will be particularly visible. Manufacturers, institutions, federations—everybody is saying they want to participate in an event that gets the sector rolling.
There’s a very expansive programme of in-show events and features thanks the dynamic partners rubbing shoulders with us: Fabrik Eurobois, a feature dedicated to fitting out, the National Finals of the European Young Carpenter contest, a timber-frame house prefabrication workshop, robotization demos, 1st stage conversion—not forgetting of course a TV stage and an innovation contest!
Manufacturers, institutions, federations, everybody is saying they want to participate in an event that gets the sector rolling…
So what are your objectives?
We obviously hope for a further increase in frequentation, with especially big hopes at national level where we are seeing visitors arrive from further and further afar. There is also a bigger opening onto European countries close to France as well as onto North Africa.
Our other objective is on the quality side, with a heavy focus on networking. We pay special attention to the quality and relevance of exhibiting companies as well as that of visitors in order to continue driving the timber and woodworking sector forward, to attain the highest level, to favour an excellent climate of exchange and business.