Plan B

September 12, 2017
THE TALK... | Strategies & Practices

In one regard, my GlassBuild America experience is unfolding much as it has for previous trade shows I have attended, with people, equipment and vendors assembling on the exhibit floors. From another perspective, it’s like no other event I’ve attended.

We arrived in Atlanta for setup on September 11. That date was not lost on any of us, and our CEO, Nicole Harris, began our staff meeting by remembering the anniversary and what it meant, the lives lost and the importance of keeping things in perspective.

Ken Mariotti of Woodland Windows & Doors echoed that sentiment in his remarks at the Opening General Session, saying, “I think it bears remembering, a day after the 16th anniversary of 9/11, that we are all lucky, very lucky to be here.” He went on to relate, “As Americans, as leaders from around the world, we are capable of resilience as we seek new solutions for intractable challenges.”

Currently among those challenges are Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Thousands of lives and businesses have been disrupted by the record-breaking storms, with further damage and cleanup still on the horizon at this writing. Presently and in line with our arrival for GlassBuild America, hundreds of Florida residents evacuated to Atlanta hotels that are also housing event attendees. Every free space, lobby, restaurant and hallway is filled with people (and, in many cases, their animals; there are dozens of dogs and cats at the hotels, having evacuated with their owners). 

Watching this situation unfold, I can’t help but reflect on how resilient people are in the face of difficulty. Whether facing delays in equipment arrivals, personnel challenges as flights are changed or cancelled, or a family turning a hotel conference room into a makeshift game room, I have seen that people are remarkably adept at spinning what was Plan A into Plan B, and finding a way to make that new plan work.

GlassBuild America is still taking place, the airport is open, and the city of Atlanta is beginning to return to its vibrant, busy pace. The families who are here in the hotel will, hopefully, be able to return home soon to begin to rebuild. As Mariotti commented, “Many of us will have an important role to play in rebuilding Houston, Florida, and whatever comes next to challenge our imagination and resolve.”

Here at Window & Door, we are busy talking to show exhibitors as they demonstrate that imagination and resolve. Those attendees whose Plan B rerouted them from the show can visit our Twitter page and new Instagram account, our websites and newsletters for updates and can click here and here for Day 1 highlights.