Virtual Training Seminars – A First for SFPA!
In late June, SFPA conducted a pair of successful virtual training seminars targeting lumber traders and construction professionals in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica are currently the two largest markets for Southern Pine lumber in the Caribbean. Although U.S. softwoods have long held a dominant share in these markets, their market share is being threatened by alternatives like concrete and steel. Continuous educational efforts are necessary in the region to maintain market share and ensure that wood is specified and applied correctly.
While these seminars typically take place in person, they had to take place virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. The presentations were held virtually via Zoom, and the seminar format adapted well to the digital platform. The seminars reached 43 timber traders and construction professionals. Exit surveys show that the virtual seminars were successful in increasing attendee understanding of U.S. softwoods and intent to increase purchases.
The virtual seminar format was a first for SFPA. While the digital platform did present certain challenges, the seminars went smoothly overall. In recent months we have all had to adjust to a new world of travel restrictions and social distancing, but SFPA is adapting and making every effort to ensure important international education and promotion efforts continue.
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