GlassBuild America returns to Vegas
Photo courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau
GlassBuild America, the Glass, Window & Door Expo will be back at the Las Vegas Convention Center Oct. 6-8.Exhibitor numbers promise the show will be a poor indicator of the crumbling economy.
As of July 16, 430 companies were registered to occupy more than 155,000 square feet of exhibiting space, compared to 440 companies at this time a year ago. Of the 98 exhibiting non-U.S. companies from 12 countries, 37 are from China, representing the largest foreign contingency, followed closely by Canada with 35 companies. In 2007, a total of 139 non-U.S. companies from 18 countries exhibited at the show in Atlanta. Out of the 430 exhibiting companies already contracted, 67 or 16 percent are new; of those 67 companies, 22 or 33 percent are non-U.S.
"We recognize that the economy is down, but our registration numbers are actually ahead of what they normally are this many weeks out," says Denise Sheehan, vice president, Industry Events, National Glass Association, McLean, Va. "And being in Las Vegas this year is working in our favor; it's affordable, accessible and fun."
For an exhibitor's list, see Page 26; for a schedule of events, see Page 25. To read daily coverage during and after the event, go to GlassMagazine.com.
Seminars, panels, live shows
Keeping in line with the quality vs. quantity focus from last year, four seminars are on the agenda along with the third annual Glazing Executives Forum presented by the NGA. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Schaumberg, Ill., also will present "Architects of a Better Mind" Oct. 6-7.
Live impact demonstrations will take place on the show floor. The Glass Association of North America, Topeka, Kan., and Hurricane Test Laboratory LLC, Riviera Beach, Fla., will sponsor the demos Oct. 6-7. Visit www.GlassBuildAmerica.com for demonstration times.
"We have assembled another terrific lineup of seminars for this year's event, led by a cross section of industry leaders and experts," says David Walker, vice president, Association Services, NGA. "It kicks off on the first day with the third annual Glazing Executives Forum, a must-attend event for glazing industry professionals. We're focusing on the residential window and door segment the next day, and decorative/retail on the final day, with interactive sessions covering the state of the industry, environmental sustainability, retail marketing and trends in decorative glass."
The "State of the Window & Door Industry Panel" discussion, Oct. 7, will be led by Jeff Dietrich, senior analyst, Institute for Trend Research, Concord, N.H.; Andrew Bohutinsky, managing director, Lincoln International LLC, Chicago; Joe Hayden, senior project engineer, certification, Pella Corp., Pella, Iowa; and Dan Glover, owner, River Valley Window Co., Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
"My discussion will be on marketing and analysis trends in the window and door industry," Bohutinsky says. "GBA is a terrific networking event for my practice, which focuses entirely on the building and construction industry. It is also a good chance to get a 'pulse' on the current state of the industry and ferret out M&A [merger and acquisition] opportunities that may exist between some of the companies that are attending."
Specific topics that Bohutinsky will discuss include: how market conditions have affected M&A in the residential and nonresidential sectors; whether strategic buyers and foreign strategic buyers are still active; what business owners can do to make their business more attractive to buyers, strategic or private equity, in the future; and valuations currently for businesses in the window and door sector.
Glover will share his company's experiences from the onset of the housing crisis to the present day, and how it has changed the way they do business to continue being profitable in the face of one of the toughest recessions on record.
"Being a smaller business, I want to touch on the hardest part for me, which was having to lay off key employees," he says. "Being in a remote area with fewer employment opportunities, being laid off often means relocating to find employment. This can be very disruptive for employees, especially those with families."
Glover will share how he redirected his sales efforts from new construction to remodeling by promoting retrofit windows and doors. "This transition enabled us to realize a bigger profit margin with fewer service issues," he says. "We have also taken the opportunity to upgrade our installation procedures to incorporate current industry advances in flashing systems.
"Being a typical small business in the window and door industry, I feel we were on the front end of the economic slowdown, and will be on the front end of the recovery," Glover says. His experience can be used as a gauge of what direction the industry is heading, he says.
Moderator Ira Blumenthal, president, Co-Opportunities Inc., Acworth, Ga., will lead a panel of speakers in the "World Going Green: What do Homeowners Want in Environmentally Responsible Windows?" discussion, Oct. 7. Nathan Good, owner, Nathan Good Architect PC, Salem, Ore.; Corinne Asturias, vice president, and consumer strategist, Iconoculture, Minneapolis; and Bill Shireman, CEO, Global Futures, San Francisco, will be the speakers.
"The focus of our session is to begin with clips from focus groups ... and view the consumer through their eyes as they respond to questions about 'green,' 'eco-friendly,' 'home improvement' and obviously 'environmentally friendly' windows," Blumenthal says. "This focus is primarily through the eyes of the consumer. It's less important to market and sell what you want to market and sell, and more important to market and sell what they want to buy. Understand the consumer's perceptions, preconditioning, viewpoint, needs, wants, beliefs, and then we can sell them more effectively, efficiently and profitably.
"With green the new black ... change is inevitable; growth optional," Blumenthal adds.
On Oct. 8, Steve Schiamara, national sales director, WorldGlass, Tampa, Fla., will moderate the discussion "New Age of Trends in Decorative Glass-Options and Trends in the Market." Speakers include: Belinda Bennett, owner, Bennett Design Group, Houston, Texas; Randy Brooks, president, Gardner Associates, Troy, Mich.; and Victor Trnavskis, president, NGI Designer Glass Inc., Concord, Ontario. Participants will learn the business benefits of designed glass, the latest design elements and the view of designers in their selection of optimum decorative glass.
"World Glass has grown very quickly by placing a network of companies and design firms like the ones on the panel together," Schiamara says. "This gives us a different view of the decorative glass industry in that we are involved in all aspects of the process from design conception to manufacture or fabrication to installation."
Bennett's participation on the panel is to help glass providers learn how to work with a professional interior designer, how to integrate their business into the design community, and how to become a valuable team member on a project, she says.
"Glass providers need to understand the design process behind the construction documents and learn how to integrate themselves into the process," Bennett says. "This will better help their specifications on a project 'stick' through the bidding process and keep them on future projects."
Doug John, president, Connecticut Marketing Associates, Wilton, Conn., will lead a panel on "Marketing That Works." The seminar will focus on local marketing activities: how to design an effective local marketing effort from both a strategic and tactical standpoint with the emphasis on successful real-world solutions.
"An effective local marketing program is one of the best ways GBA attendees can profitably build their business, especially in today's challenging economic environment," John says. "Moreover, the presentations by NGA members talking about their actual programs will provide attendees with practical advice and proven recommendations."
Glazing Executives Forum
The third annual GEF, Oct. 6, will feature presentations and breakout sessions. Charles Eastman, director, AEC Integration Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, will present "BIM and Your Business."
"It will be a review of Building Information Modeling and address the role of ready-made products, such as residential and commercial windows, and made-to-order products, [such as] curtain walls, within the new world of BIM," Eastman says. "The paths organizations should be following and issues of realization will be outlined."
BIM is changing the basic representation and the processes used in building design and construction, and many clients are requiring it of architects and contractors (See Page 42, June 2008 issue).
"One of the potential benefits of BIM is that it allows direct model to fabrication of systems," Eastman says. "This is in active development in precast concrete facades, steel fabrication, mechanical systems and other areas for stocked standard windows."
Eastman, along with Richard Voreis, founder, Consulting Collaborative, Dallas, will lead breakout sessions, "BIM Repercussions, Store-front & Curtain Wall Unitized Curtain Wall Fabrication & Installation," and "LEED and Green Developments in Fenestration Subcontracting."
Jeff Dietrich, senior analyst, Institute of Trend Research, Concord, N.H., will present "Industry Econ-omic Forecast and Q&A" during lunch.
"My talk is focused on providing an overview of the economy, trying to separate what is noise from the most significant lasting trends that are impacting businesses and consumers," Dietrich says. "I take the focus off Wall Street, stock market, alone and put it on Main Street, helping people understand how the combination of factors such as a weak dollar, oil and gas prices, mortgage rates, tighter credit and falling home prices really matter to them as consumers and how it impacts their businesses going forward. Our tag line is 'Economic Information with Application.'"
Lunch will be followed by more breakout sessions; "Anti-Terrorism Codes and Blast Load Design" led by Stewart Jeske, professional engineer, Jeske Engineering Inc., Kansas City, Mo.; "Training Your Employees," a MyGlassClass study; "Construction Management vs. General Contractor Projects, Pitfalls & Problems to Look for" led by Paul Main, vice president and division manager, Trainor Glass Co., Phoenix office, and Ed Trainor, executive vice president, Trainor Glass Co., Alslip, Ill.; and "Water Proofing Buildings" led by Peter Poirier, technical director, Tremco Glazing Solutions Group, Ashland, Ohio.
"Most do not know what to expect when they see project specifications with performance requirements," Jeske says. During his session, he plans to answer questions about anti-terrorism code requirements; what to look for in the specifications and plans; and what systems and connections seem to work best, he says. Someone who attends his session should "walk away with tools and knowledge to help them engage this rapidly growing part of the industry," he says.
Jose R. "Pepe" Charles, senior consultant and workshop leader, Management Action Programs Inc., Las Vegas, will deliver the keynote address, The Top 10 Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, after the breakout sessions.