New times new ideas

“Time waits for no one” sang the Stones long ago. It’s true, very true, and obvious for us who have reached a certain age. One example of this is this week’s premiere of a brand-new forestry show – the Swedish Forestry Expo. I visited my first forestry show in 1979, Elmia Wood, and there haven’t been many new ones since then. 

Back in the old days at Elmia Wood in 1979. A Kockum 850 with a 10-meter(?) crane operating in a first thinning. Photo: Per Jonsson

New times new ideas

Of course, there have been new shows since then, but not many. One of them is the Scottish Forestry Expo which was born for similar reasons as the Swedish Ditto. Namely dissatisfaction with the established fairs in the respective country – the APF show in the UK and Elmia Wood in Sweden. However, there is one big difference … 

The suppliers of large forest machinery in both countries were not satisfied with the concept of the shows. They all wanted more focus on the large machines and didn’t want to be mixed up with suppliers of equipment meant for e.g., private forest owners. The difference was that the Swedish suppliers wanted fewer demos on the shows and the British suppliers wanted more. 

The Forest vs. the City

Logically, the Brits ended up in a large forest demo site in Scotland and the Swedes in the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, or at least close to Stockholm, on a horse racecourse. 

Spontaneously I stand with the Brits in this case. As an old forest owl, it’s obvious to me that a forestry show should be in the forest and the displayed machines should run. 

On the other hand, as I used to work with the Elmia Wood show I know that the exhibitors (in Sweden) don’t like the demos for cost and safety reasons. During the 12 years I was at Elmia, the demos decreased to almost nothing among the suppliers of large machines (the suppliers of small machines still love doing demos). 

So, suddenly the large forestry machines are shown far away from the forest. One could have many opinions on that and there are discussions about it among both exhibitors and visitors. The most puzzled ones are probably the international visitors that are used to visiting the “old” Elmia Wood concept in the forest. 

Why not?

Personally, I still prefer the forest as the place for a forestry show. But I must confess that the Swedish Forestry Expo is an interesting experiment. I really look forward to visiting the show on Thursday this week. Besides, forestry shows in cities are not a new thing. There are many such shows in the World. The most famous is the Interforst in Munich, Germany. 

But maybe the choice between the forest and the city doesn’t matter. A bigger problem for the forestry shows (if you ask me) is the lack of news among the large machines. It was a long time ago now that we saw any major steps in the development of forest machines. But that’s another story

I’ll be back with more about the Swedish Forestry Expo after I visited it. Stay tuned! 

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