GlassBuild America Prospects Strengthening with Market Rebound

Exhibitors to focus on improving energy performance and other product enhancements in Las Vegas
August 1, 2010
Meetings & Events

The window and door market may not be the picture of health yet, but it is recovering. Those strengthening conditions are boding well for GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, this fall, organizers report. More than 325 exhibitors are expected for this year’s show, scheduled for the Las Vegas Convention Center, September 14-16.

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“Residential window and door sales are clearly on the rise," says Phil James, president and CEO of the National Glass Association, organizer of the event (and publisher of Window & Door). “With the worst behind them, manufacturers are now focused on the future.  We expect many will be coming to GlassBuild America looking for ways to make their products more energy efficient and differentiate themselves moving forward.”

"Energy efficiency has become a national priority over the past year or two,” adds Denise Sheehan, NGA's VP of industry events. “Window and door manufacturers know that more stringent codes and government incentives will continue to increase demand for higher performance products. GlassBuild provides the perfect venue for them to talk to suppliers and look for new ways to meet current and future standards.”

That was certainly true at last year's show. The 2009 event in Atlanta was noteworthy not only for the optimism expressed by exhibitors and attendees alike, but for the increased focus on energy efficiency. With tax credits bolstering the replacement market, exhibitors focused on components and equipment for producing windows and doors delivering higher levels of energy efficiency.  Triple glazing options were highlighted by numerous exhibitors. Mikron Industries launched its new EnergyCore vinyl window system designed for higher performance an Bystronic featured a new automated line for the production of high performance Sashlite windows.

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Window and door manufacturers focused much of their attention on components designed to deliver improved energy efficiency at last year's GlassBuild in Atlanta.

Building Expectations
“Despite the struggling economy, GlassBuild America continues to be the only show that is of the industry, by the industry and for the industry,” Sheehan points out, adding that interest levels for the show have increased steadily in recent months. “In May alone, 47 companies joined the show —11 first-time exhibitors—averaging 12 companies a week and totaling more than 9,000 square feet of exhibit space in one month. I expect that momentum to continue over the next couple of months, as our exhibiting companies have commented that they expect a small turn in sales by the end of the second quarter.”

Exhibitors are becoming more optimistic for the market and the show. "The market appears to be on a slow but strong recovery and we believe that is what it will take to sustain itself," says Matt Kottke, marketing support manager for  Truth Hardware.  "The new products that Truth is rolling out and the many special projects that we continue to get requests on from our customers is indicative of a market that should be a very exciting one come this fall, as companies look to position themselves for a robust 2011."

“We believe the show will be well attended as manufacturers are expressing cautions optimism in the midst of the market turnaround,” says Lori LePera, marketing manager for Deceuninck. “Manufactures will come to the show looking for innovative products that will allow them to position themselves for the market turnaround that is underway. Thermal efficiency will be sought as the industry responds to changes to the energy codes.”

"The past couple of years have been tough and we put a heavy emphasis at GlassBuild on helping our customers get through all of the changes in the industry and the challenging economy," says Erin Johnson, director of marketing for Edgetech I.G. Inc. "But, this year, as the overall GlassBuild theme ‘Roll Forward’ suggests, the industry is ready to look to future. I believe the attitude will be different this year–more positive."

Johnson shares organizers' views that attendees will be focusing on energy efficiency, noting that window and door manufacturers are well aware that energy-efficiency regulations are only going to become more stringent. "No one wants to be left behind, so I believe a focus on high-performance components will be a theme that lasts for many years to come," she states. "Manufacturers will be looking at ways to expand and improve their product lines to differentiate their organizations from the rest. Continuous improvement initiatives, both in products and processes, are paramount to succeeding in the competitive marketplace."

Introduced last year in Atlanta, GlassBuild America once again will feature a special “Innovations Pavilion” designed to showcase cutting-edge technologies and groundbreaking products in the glass and window industries. Fourteen companies have registered to participate so far, featuring the latest advances in photovoltaic, energy conservation, and green products and design.  The trade show will also feature the popular Live Impact Demonstration by Hurricane Test Laboratory again this year.

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Last year's event also saw the introduction of several new technologies for adding woodgrains and color to vinyl window and door products.

Traditionally, exhibitors bring more window and door equipment when GlassBuild is held in Altanta.  A look through the products to be showcased in Las Vegas, however, indicates there will be some new machines on display at this year's event.  Window and door manufacturers will also find numerous hardware producers, vinyl extruders, suppliers of glass and IG components, and software providers targeting the residential segment at this year's show.  A full list of exhibitors can be found at the Glassbuild America Web site.

Dealers Forum
Unique this year at GlassBuild will be the inaugural Window & Door Dealers Forum hosted by the Window & Door Dealers Alliance.  "This is the first time that window and door dealers from across North America will gather under one roof to engage in peer-to-peer sharing, learning and networking," says Jana Goodrich of Seaway Window, co-chair of the event for the recently formed organization.  “We’ve needed this type of event for as long as I can remember, and I can’t wait to join my peers from around the nation at our annual gathering.”

Scheduled for Wednesday, September 15, the dealer forum is a day-long event featuring interactive breakout sessions on the most important issues facing residential window and door dealers, including managing workforce issues and generating sales leads, says Matthew Rumbaugh, WDDA senior manager for education and training. "Participants will share and discuss best practices, collaborate on solutions to business challenges, hear from some of the top experts and speakers in the industry, and wrap up with a relaxed and informal networking reception."

In contrast to some other executive meetings, WDDA's forum will be focused on how to run a successful window and door retail business, Rumbaugh continues. "We will not focus on items out of the dealer’s control. Economic conditions, codes, administrative laws and the like all have their place, but the focus of this day is how to maximize your chances of success in the areas of business you control. That’s why we’re bringing world-class experts to speak to these issues."

More informatiion about the Window & Door Dealers Forum, including a list of speakers and agenda, is available on the WDDA Web site.  WDDA is putting in much effort to bring in strong speakers, but "the real stars" of the day are the dealers themselves, Rumbaugh emphasizes. "This event is by them and for them and we want them to feel free to share experiences, challenges, and most importantly, solutions. If we’ve done our job here, then dealers will walk away with a handful of ideas to take back to their businesses and immediately implement."

Planning for the coming GlassBuild America show, NGA' s Sheehan points out that every attendee has an opportunity to visit the show for three days free of charge by contacting their existing industry vendors. “Our headquarter hotel, the Las Vegas Hilton, is also offering lowered rates for its rooms and suites for all GlassBuild America registrants, along with more than $100 worth of dining coupons for their stay upon check in," she also notes.

GlassBuild America will take place September 14-16 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The trade show will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday. 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 Association, 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.