Trends and Innovation

Keep up with the growing industry at GlassBuild America 2018
Olivia Parker
June 14, 2018
FEATURE ARTICLE, Meetings & Events | Markets & Trends

GlassBuild America

Attendees to GlassBuild America can anticipate seeing the latest in manufacturing technology, as well as innovations in components and supplies. (All images by Robb Cohen Photography & Video.)

glassBuild America

Exhibit Hall Days & Hours

Wednesday, Sept. 12
10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 13
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Friday, Sept. 14
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Fall Conference 
Sept. 11–14

Online

Visit GlassBuildAmerica.com for more information on:

  • How to exhibit
  • How to register
  • Where to stay
  • How to download the app
  • How to map your route on the trade show floor

The fenestration industry and construction markets are anticipating continued growth throughout 2018, according to many industry reports, including Window & Door’s own Industry Pulse Report published in January. With 88 percent of manufacturers anticipating an increase in sales for 2018, according to that study, and remodeling spending projected to exceed $340 billion by 2019, as reported by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, it is vital for residential window and door manufacturers to keep up with the new technologies that will help them adapt to market conditions. GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, is the place for fenestration fabricators and manufacturers to achieve just that. 

Suppliers, fabricators and manufacturers will convene at the largest annual gathering place for the entire glass, window and door industries in North America, now in its 16th year, where they can track trends, meet customers and learn more about the industry. 

“GlassBuild America is not only an annual event appreciated by visitors interested in topics related to the construction industry,” says Martin Boulanger, director of marketing for Energi Fenestration Solutions. “Every visitor and exhibitor is able to obtain business profits. Each exhibitor demonstrates the commercial impact and profitability of this event.” 

Syndi Sim, vice president of marketing and business development, Diamon-Fusion International, calls GlassBuild America “the epitome of the epitome.” The event will take place Sept. 12-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What to expect

This year’s GlassBuild America will host an estimated 450 exhibitors from a broad spectrum of companies, many focused on glass and glazing but also including manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and equipment companies that support the manufacture of residential windows and doors. Show organizers report that the increased interest for exhibit space for the 2018 show required the addition of an extra hall. 

“With the industry thriving, we knew we’d have increased demand again,” says Molly Grenn, events director, National Glass Association, the event organizer. “We maintained the larger space, even adding a few more thousand net square feet and, as of early April, we are nearly 90 percent sold out; even more so for the machinery space.” 

New for 2018 is the Opening Reception, featuring food, drinks and some fun activities. Held the evening of Sept. 12th on the trade show floor, entry is included with registration. “Participants indicated they want more networking opportunities, so this will close out the first day with time for people to be social and make more connections,” Grenn explains. 

Another big theme underlying this year’s event is the National Glass Association’s recent merger with the Glass Association of North America. Nicole Harris, NGA’s president and CEO, says that the positive impacts of the merger will be seen on the trade show floor, in the education content and in the Association resources on display. “NGA now represents the entire architectural glass and metal industry supply chain,” she says. While that supply chain is always evident at GlassBuild America in the displays and attendance, Harris anticipates that more of those supply chain participants will now be attending. “This combination further solidifies GlassBuild America’s position as the industry’s annual gathering place.” 

GlassBuild America

Keeping up with trends

A key aspect of adapting in the ever-evolving industry is keeping up to date with the trends, challenges and opportunities that are constantly affecting it. “For VEKA, we are going to have an emphasis on integrated window and door technology,” says Steve Dillon, marketing director for Veka Inc. He adds that color continues to be a trend attendees can expect to see on the show floor. 

Another innovative trend that is getting a lot of attention is automation. “Because labor is the biggest issue our customers are facing right now, they all come [to GlassBuild America] to see what’s new in high-speed automation lines,” says Erin Johnson, director of marketing, Quanex Building Products. 

To this, Ron Crowl, president and CEO, Fenetech, adds that the ongoing challenge of finding reliable labor will continue to drive investments in software and automation. “Along with advances in IoT and Industry 4.0,” he says, “[the labor challenge] will be prominent at this year’s show.” GlassBuild America is an important resource to keep up with what’s new in automation. An estimated 24 percent of this year’s exhibitors will be showcasing machinery and equipment and/or software solutions for the changing industry. 

“With the expansion of business within the industry, it is more important than ever to meet with customers and suppliers,” John Moore, vice president of marketing, GED Integrated Solutions, says. “Automation, robotics and software solutions play a big part in alleviating labor concerns that many of our customers have mentioned. We have solutions in all three areas that we will be highlighting at the show. This is a great opportunity for our customers to see the products in operation.”

GlassBuild America

Educational opportunities

The industry is not only evolving internally but is also subject to external codes and regulations. It is important for companies, no matter how seasoned, to keep learning about the industry. GlassBuild America hosts several educational sessions through Express Learning sessions and action demonstrations on the floor (both included with registration). 

This year’s GlassBuild America will include a new set of educational topics to keep participants as up-to-date as possible on the information that is most relevant to them and their businesses. But it’s not just attendees that will be learning more to grow their business. “While we invest a lot of time and resources on education, oftentimes we’re the ones who learn from our customers,” says Andrew Haring, VP of marketing for C.R. Laurence Co. Inc. 

“It comes down to actively listening to our customers’ needs and ultimately helping them solve their problems. Attendees are there to improve and grow their businesses—a goal that we wholeheartedly embrace and advocate for,” Haring continues. “Our purpose is to present ways where we can add value to these efforts. Whether they’re looking to increase capacity, enhance efficiencies, incorporate new products into their existing offering or tap into new business segments, CRL is ready to partner with these companies to help them succeed.”

Making connections

Even with all the resources available to participants, many say that the most invaluable part of the event is the chance to meet and speak with customers face-to-face. “GlassBuild America is important to the industry because this is the one venue in the U.S. where all parties come together—from customers, to suppliers to other industry experts,” says GED’s Moore. “Attendees have the opportunity to quickly see multiple solutions to their challenges. It provides us all a chance to connect, face-to-face, at a time when email has become an important part of our personal communications.” 

Those opportunities for interactions abound. Matt Taylor, director of product development for HOPPE North America Inc., says he always looks forward to an opportunity to connect with friends and partners in the industry. “GlassBuild America is an excellent venue to shake hands and have face-to-face conversations that seem harder and harder to come by these days,” he says. “We are also looking forward to the industry’s feedback on the current business environment particularly some recent supplier consolidations. Finally, we want to know what challenges our customers are currently facing and, at the same time, how they have experienced success this year.” 

With educational forums, networking opportunities and a trade show floor full of the latest, most innovative equipment, products, technologies and services for the glass industry, the event provides participants with knowledge and information to help build a better business. “GlassBuild America gives us the chance to share our best practices with the industry and to learn from others. With so many industry leaders in one place, we always come away with new ideas,” says Mary Avery, vice president of marketing, Tubelite Inc. 

Editor’s Note: GlassBuild America is presented by the National Glass Association, now combined with the Glass Association of North America, and the Window & Door Dealers Alliance, along with association sponsors, the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, and the Insulating Glass Manufactures Alliance, and in conjunction with the industry’s leading publications—Glass Magazine, and Window & Door. To register for the show or to learn more, visit glassbuildamerica.com

 

 

Schedule-at-a-Glance

As of May 22, 2018. Schedule is subject to change. Visit GlassBuildAmerica.com for updates. All GlassBuild America events will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, North Halls, unless otherwise noted.

Daily Schedule

Wednesday, Sept. 12Thursday, Sept. 13Friday, Sept. 14 

Registration Open

8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Fall Conference 

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 

13th Annual Glazing 
Executives Forum

10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Exhibit Hall Open

10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Express Learning     

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Action Demonstrations                 

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

GlassBuild America Opening Reception

5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Registration Open

7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Exhibit Hall Open

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Fall Conference 

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 

4th Annual Window & Door Dealer Day

8 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Express Learning

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Action Demonstrations

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Registration Open

8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Fall Conference

7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. 

Exhibit Hall Open

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Express Learning

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Action Demonstrations

10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.