GlassBuild America breaks records at opening
The largest glass show in North America opened Monday with a record number of exhibitors at the second largest convention center in the United States.
GlassBuild America: The Glass Window & Door Expo attracted 540 companies to the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. The number included about 160 international companies, 130 new exhibitors and others that were returning to the show for the first time in years. Registration counts neared 9,000.
“We had a great opening day,” said Denise Sheehan, vice president of Industry Events at the National Glass Association, McLean, Va. “The exhibitors I have talked to have commented on the quantity and quality of the attendees. I think we exceeded everyone's expectations, and we are thrilled with the turn out."
The opening day of GlassBuild America included the Glazing Executives Forum, an all-day symposium focusing on commercial glass, and the first day of Preventing Insulating Glass Failures presented by the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Ottawa, Ontario. Attendance at the Glazing Executives Forum reached 141—40 percent higher than last year.
"We had a stellar line up of speakers, and the NFRC [National Fenestration Rating Council] point/counterpoint segment really did live up to its contentious expectations," said David Walker, NGA vice president of Association Services. "We got a lot of great feedback from attendees this year, and everyone walked away with more knowledge to make their business better."
For the first time, GlassBuild America included an Auto Glass Pavilion to meet the needs of retailers and distributors involved in auto glass repair and replacement. Suppliers and installation experts were on hand to answer questions from attendees. NGA officials unveiled an online auto glass technician certification program. As of January 2008, auto glass technicians will have the option to take certification tests online at their shop locations via a secure Web site.
Officials from the Hurricane Test Laboratory of Riviera Beach, Fla., put on a windborne debris impact resistance demonstration. An air cannon fired a 9-pound 2-by-4 at 34 miles per hour into ¼-inch non-impact monolithic glass and 9/16-inch impact-resistant laminated glass with polyvinyl butyral interlayer. The 2-by-4 shattered the non-impact glass. The impact-resistant glass cracked but did not shatter.
GlassBuild America is organized by the NGA, in partnership with IGMA, the Glass Association of North America, Topeka, Kan., the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, Schaumburg, Ill., and the Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association, Topeka. It has been listed as one of the Top 200 largest U.S. tradeshows for four years in a row in the annual listing compiled by Tradeshow Week magazine.