Review of the 13th Wood Conference

Our business activities in South Africa began over 14 years ago and today we are delighted to be able to write another chapter in our success story. On February 28, the 13th Wood Conference took place in Cape Town, with around 700 participants attending either in person at the Convention Center Cape Town or digitally. The positive feedback from the participants confirms the organization team's professional preparation as well as the selection of the chosen topic and the resulting programme.

Roger Kuratle's opening remarks confirmed the idea of the Kuratle Group's long-term commitment to the South African market and the ongoing development of the Wood Conference knowledge platform. Roger emphasized that both the business activities and the conference are developing positively. The Wood Conference has now become a permanent highlight of the wood industry in South Africa. As the conference continues to grow, there is huge potential for the event to have an impact on timber construction and sustainable building in South Africa. Working together and with the support of our South African partner Universal Plywoods, the common goal of raising awareness for a broad understanding that wood is a valuable and sustainable building material can be continuously strived for. The industry, with all its stakeholders, must understand that the overarching goal we must achieve is to create a sustainable market for timber construction and improve our contribution to CO2 reduction.

Due to the continuing high level of interest in recent years, this year's conference was once again held in a hybrid format. The Wood Conference is aimed at a specialist audience of architects, engineers, timber constructors, carpenters, planners, schools and students as well as investors and the public sector. The hybrid format makes it possible to obtain first-hand information, even if you are not physically present.

Over the past few years, the Wood Conference Cape Town has established itself as one of the most important knowledge platforms for sustainable building in South Africa and is now one of the most important events for gaining first-hand information and inspiration as well as exchanging experiences and knowledge. Since it was first held, the exclusive event has been attended by hundreds of interested professionals from the construction industry as well as representatives from politics and business every year.
We owe the Wood Conference to its initiators Gerhard Amann, Hermann Blumer, Alfred Fitze, Heinz Jucker, Christoph Meier, Thomas Rohner and Bernhard Tritschler, who brought it to life for the first time in 2010. At the time, George promised to hold the event for at least ten years. A promise that he has not only kept but has long since exceeded.

Thanks to the masterful moderation of Hannu Garny, Master of Ceremonies, and the professional organization under the direction of Zaida Davids, the entire day's program was perfectly coordinated. At the beginning of the conference, Markus Thür from the Swiss Consulate General in Cape Town once again delivered words of greeting, which can be seen as a sign of the importance of this popular knowledge platform.

The satisfaction survey conducted immediately after Roger's closing confirmed a high level of interest in the format as well as the speakers and content. The diverse and exciting lecture content, presented by international experts in the field of timber construction and sustainability, offered all interested parties an opportunity to keep up to date with the latest developments in the field of sustainable construction and to exchange experiences and knowledge during the breaks. The participants clearly expressed their desire for a repeat next year.
Finally, Roger thanked all participants, speakers and supporting partners for the successful organization of the 13th Wood Conference in Cape Town. Looking ahead to the next edition, Roger Kuratle promised another exciting program. The 14th Wood Conference on sustainable building in South Africa will take place on February 27, 2025. We are looking forward to starting the planning.