A couple of weeks ago I was helping out Jade and Christelle on the Boole software stand at Expobois 2014 just outside Paris.

Although we found ourselves in the context of a rather depressed French economy, this year’s Expobois international woodworking fair was a real success.

According to official figures, during the 4 days exhibition, Expobois hosted 250 exhibitors including 50% international visitors with nearly 20,000 visits.

For us the show was a really interesting event.

We met some very interesting people and were amazed and encouraged by the dynamic resilience of the wood working industry and the people working in it.

international woodworking fair

Specializing in what you do best

My general impression was that the evolutions I touched on in my eBook ‘the 21st Century Craftsman’ were actually well under way.

I talked to numerous thriving small businesses that had customers willing to pay higher prices for higher quality uniquely designed products.

After many years of research and testing of new technologies, many of these dynamic and creative wood working businesses came to Expobois looking for real solutions to improve their production.

I also noticed a new trend of a different emerging class of wood worker designers. These are small businesses that design for other businesses or private customers but no longer make the actual parts.

They will design and then outsource the manufacturing and installation, or just the manufacturing. These businesses capitalize on their creativity and technical knowledge.

I’m sure that this business model is going to become a major actor in our industry. The complexity of the modern world forcing each of us to capitalize on what is unique to each person and which is also what we do best.

We met and demonstrated our software to over 50 companies ranging from industrial factory units to one man shops, and the verdicts were unanimously that Polyboard and StairDesigner were surprisingly easy to use, powerful and significantly less expensive that other comparative software packages.

Choosing the right software

If you are thinking of buying software for your business don’t forget to read the ‘How to choose Software for your Workshop’ section of the 21st Century Craftsman. This eBook is available to download for all Free members of the Wood Designer Community. Click here to sign up and get a copy.

Thanks to everyone who came to visit us on the stand and hope to see you all again soon.


  1. Peter Bown on December 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Ness
    We have a trade show here in Australia every 2 years called AWISA ( australian wood industry suppliers association )
    Its great to see all the latest trends from the other side of the world
    Ours was held in early August this year in Brisbane

    There are some great toys out there


    • Ness on December 12, 2014 at 6:30 am

      Hi Peter,
      thanks for the comment.
      It would be intereting to compare trends between different parts of the world as well as to know how each person perceives the industry.
      What about starting a thread on the forum about all this?
      All the best,

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