Moving on up: Looking forward to expanded facilities for PaperWeek 2002
By Pulp & Paper Canada
By Pulp & Paper Canada
It’s all over (including the shouting). But there’s no time to dwell in the past; it’s already time to focus on PAPTAC’s 88th annual meeting, which will be held in the newly-expanded Palais des Congr…
It’s all over (including the shouting). But there’s no time to dwell in the past; it’s already time to focus on PAPTAC’s 88th annual meeting, which will be held in the newly-expanded Palais des Congrs in Montreal, QC, from January 28 to 31, 2002.
However, to take a short glance back at PAPTAC’s 87th annual meeting, the 34 technical sessions covered more than 200 papers and attracted 1225 technical delegates. There were 478 companies exhibiting at EXFOR, the largest number ever. But, this will be a short-lived record when the expanded Palais plays host to EXFOR 2002. More than 100 of the companies were first-time exhibitors. Visitors and exhibitor personnel at EXFOR totalled 10 128. The CPPA (now the Forest Products Association of Canada) and Pulp and Paper Products Council meetings and Open Forums attracted another 2406 participants, bringing the total number of PaperWeek participants to 13 759.
PAPTAC manager Rob Wood said he was “very content” with the overall attendance. He added that good feedback was received on the quality of the technical presentations, which, he added, is to the credit of the committees that organized the respective sessions.
The annual Mill Managers Forum took a look at the issue of the industry’s aging workforce. Large-scale retirements are expected in the next five to 10 years and the industry has to find ways to replace most of these people. This is tied in to the issue of attracting young, skilled people to the industry. Competition from other, more “glamorous” industries for qualified personnel is fierce. This issue will be an ongoing one for PAPTAC’s Executive Council.
Other issues the industry needs to keep its eyes on over the next year include an economic slowdown, environmental questions (particularly air emissions) as well as the ongoing concerns over the Canadian industry’s competitiveness, excess capacity, shareholder value and mergers.
PaperWeek plays an important role for the industry, professionally and socially. It’s a time to pick up new ideas, see how and what others are doing (or not doing). Its value should not be underestimated, taken for granted or dismissed. The industry has been decried frequently for its refusal to advance with the times. PaperWeek organizers have worked especially hard in the past few years to develop the event to meet present and future needs. The expansion of the Palais signals the start of a new stage in PaperWeek’s development.