GlassBuild Betting on Vegas Again

Market recovery, pending Energy Star changes, set stage for busy show in September
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 Components designed to provide enhanced energy performance were featured by numerous suppliers at last year's GlassBuild in Atlanta.
 

Improving markets enjoyed by some window and door manufacturers already and anticipated by others are setting the stage for a busy GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo coming this fall. Nearly 7,000 industry professionals are expected for this year’s show, scheduled for September 12-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“Recovery is coming slowly to the residential window and door market, but it is coming,” says Denise Sheehan, VP of industry events for the National Glass Association, the show's organizer (and publisher of Window & Door). “We’re expecting a busy show in Las Vegas because exhibitors see more window and door manufacturers ready to gear up for growth. There’s still caution out there, but more companies are ready to invest in new product lines and options, even new equipment.”

One sign of growth Sheehan points to is an increase in pre-registrations. They are 50 percent ahead of last year's pace, suggesting that attendance at the 2012 Las Vegas show will surpass that of the 2011 edition in Atlanta. The number of exhibitors, well over 300 at press time, also continues to increase steadily, she reports.

Exhibitors are optimistic about this year's event as well.  "We expect a greater turnout than in recent years," says Mike Hovan, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Quanex Building Products. "With the upcoming Energy Star changes and market pressures to differentiate, attendees will be looking for the latest innovations to improve their products and processes. There’s no better place to catch it all in one place than at GlassBuild."

"We are expecting this to be the best GlassBuild for Veka in years," says Joe Pielert, president of the vinyl window and door extrusion supplier. "Many of our customers are experiencing solid double digit growth this year so far. New product launches that we have jointly worked on are making a strong impact in the market."

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Expanded color and finish options for vinyl products are expected to be prominent in Las Vegas..
 

Window Industry Developments
“Last year, window and door industry exhibitors featured some significant new technologies aimed at increasing energy efficiency. There was also a burst of new color and finish options on display,” says Phil James, NGA president and CEO. “We see continued momentum in those areas as well look ahead to this year’s GlassBuild.”

Energy efficiency advancements highlighted at last year's event included the Atlas IG assembly line demonstrated by GED Integrated Solutions. Developed to meet expected demand for higher-performance IG, the line is designed for high-speed production of triple-lite units. Erdman Automation featured a new integral gas-filling station for its horizontal IG line. Energy efficient components featured included Deceuninck's Innergy new non-metal reinforcements for vinyl windows, as well as several new vinyl window and door systems designed for upgraded performance.

"This year’s GlassBuild attendees will be serious about meeting the new Energy Star requirements, which will go into effect in less than two years. Some manufacturers will need to redesign and retool their products to achieve the proposed U-factors, and less than two years really isn’t a long time," says Quanex's Hovan. "They will really be focused on new products and innovations that will help them meet their goals with minimal investment."

The Atlanta event also saw an influx of new color and finish options for vinyl windows.  Vinyl extruders were highlighting more color and woodgrain options and several new European exhibitors–including Walter Hornschuch and Zobel–introduced new products to the North American market as well. 

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 Several equipment suppliers are planning to demonstrate new machines this year.

Veka's Peilert sees the trend continuing at this year's event. "Based on discussions we have had with many fabricators, meeting the growing demand for interior and exterior colors is another priority," he reports.  The focus is on solutions that meet homeowner expectations in terms of variety and long term quality, while keeping manufacturing complexity in check. "Overall, we believe they are looking for relevant differentiation," he continues. He sees fabricators looking for "fresh ideas" that can enable them to gain a competitive edge in the market by appealing to dealers and end users on a broad level–not just for high-end niche applications.

Traditionally, exhibitors bring more window and door equipment when GlassBuild is held in Altanta. Numerous suppliers will be bringing new machines to Las Vegas, but much of the emphasis will be on window and door components. Joining Quanex and Veka in exhibiting vinyl window and door systems will be Chelsea Building Products, Deceuninck, P.H. Tech and Westech Building Products. Window and door hardware manufacturers will also be well represented. Amesbury, Ashland, Caldwell, G-U/Ferco, Interlock, John Evans' Sons, Truth and Vision Industries will be featuring a wide array of new offerings in Las Vegas. 

A list of exhibitors begins can be found on the GlassBuild America website.  A special section of WindowandDoor.com provides a comprehensive preview of window and door industry products on display in Las Vegas.

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As they continue to gain in popularity, multipanel doors, as well as hardware for such products, willl be featured by numerous exhibitors.

Dealers Forum
In addition to the trade show, GlassBuild will feature a variety of educational opportunities, including the third annual Window & Door Dealers Forum, organized by the Window & Door Dealers Alliance. In addition the the WDDA event, scheduled for September 12, GlassBuild will also host the NGA Glazing Executives Forum and a number of seminars.

Word-of-mouth marketing and lead generation will be featured topics at the WDDA forum, which will feature several presentations and interactive breakout sessions.  With a background in the lumber and millwork business, Brian Bunt of EmptyBin.com will lead the word-of-mouth workshop. His interactive session is designed to provide participants with a ready-to-implement campaign specifically tailored to their companies.

The lead generation session features Gail Brown of Lead Builders, who has been working with home improvement and window and door companies more than 25 years. She will review various strategies and provide detailed tips on how to generate leads through sales promotions and public relations programs like home improvement shows, advertising, and database and internet marketing.

Other sessions will feature Frank Reed, editor of Marketing Pilgrim and an internet marketing consultant will focus on capitalizing on social media marketing opportunities, and Collette Carlson, a business consultant who will focus on targeted marketing for women.

 WDDA's Dealer Forum enjoyed increased attendance in its second year.

"What really sets the Window & Door Dealers Forum apart from other industry events is its focus on sharing best practices," says David Walker, WDDA VP. "Participants come prepared to share and interact with their peers on the most significant challenges they encounter in their businesses every day, and they come away from the session with actionable ideas they can implement as soon as they return to the office."

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Scheduled for September 13, the Glazing Executives Forum focuses on the commercial and architectural markets, and will feature updates on LEED and green, a state-of-the-industry panel discussion and a session on marketing to architects.  Seminar sessions, scheduled for September 14, include a solar power symposium, an update on the latest trends and technologies in decorative glass, a state-of-the-industry update from investment banker Michael Collins, and a presentation on customer service featuring Mark Liston, president of Glass Doctor.

GlassBuild America will take place September 12-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The trade show will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday;  10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday.  In addition to the trade show, forums and seminars, the event will feature a reception at the Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton) on the opening night of the show. 

Designed to provide a single venue for the glass fabrication, architectural glass, and window and door industries, the all-encompassing event is organized by the National Glass Association and sponsored by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Glass Association of North America and Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association. More information about the exhibition, including details on hotels, registration, seminar content and exhibitors, as well as a floor plan and exhibitor information itself is available at www.glassbuildamerica.com.