What are your plans for GlassBuild America?

John G. Swanson
September 5, 2007
THE TALK...

The Talk, Page 2...

Survey Results for 09/05/2007:

What are your plans for GlassBuild America?

I'll be attending, looking to see what's new.

 

 

18%

 

I'll be there; my company's exhibiting.

 

 

17%

 

We've gone before, but we're passing this year.

 

 

14%

 

I won't be there, but others from my company are going.

 

 

10%

 

It's never been on our calendar.

 

 

41%

 

 Last week, as most of the Window & Door staff prepared to head down to Atlanta for GlassBuild America, we decided to ask whether you were planning to go. Given the current conditions in the window and door market, I knew many companies were watching costs. So would they still invest in sending people? More importantly, are window and door manufacturers looking to invest in new product development or equipment right now?

Looking at the results, I wasn’t surprised that GlassBuild America isn’t even on the calendar for many. As an event targeting residential window and door manufacturers rather than dealers and distributors, naturally, it’s not the place to be for everyone. The other responses to the poll did indicate to me, however, that some window and door companies would be cutting back when it came to sending attendees. And that seemed to be the case on the floor of the show, which concludes today. The overall size of the show has been greater—thanks in part to strong activity in the commercial market and an influx of international exhibitors—and attendance has been more than respectable, but the impression I got was that the number of window and door industry attendees was probably off a little from previous years.

I haven’t been too surprised. What has surprised me as I walked the show floor is the general level of optimism among window and door industry people. People are not unrealistic. I heard more than one manufacturer say “times are tough” or “it’s a struggle for us right now.” Those on the new construction side of the business are not expecting a rebound soon by any means, but most of the ones I spoke with in Atlanta aren’t panicking either.

Those more involved in replacement and remodeling have generally sounded more optimistic, although you still get mixed signals. Some companies report their sales are increasing while others say their markets are pretty flat.

The overall sentiment among window and door people, I would say, is “We’re going to get through this. We’ve tightened our belts, but we’re looking at the long-term and we’ll take the steps necessary to position ourselves for when the market comes back.”

It’s made me feel better looking toward 2008. Perhaps the less resilient companies didn’t make it to Atlanta, but I prefer to believe overall, we’re a resilient industry.

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