GlassBuild America 2011, Day 1

So Day 1 of GlassBuild America is in the books, and after a slow start the afternoon saw some brisk movement throughout the hall. My first thought is this year the show floor looks the best it has ever looked. The exhibiting companies really brought their "A" games. I am blown away by the style and class so many of the booths are showing. Really top notch!

As for seen on the floor... and the way I do this is in a rapid-fire style... so hang on, here it comes....

The first guy through the gates this a.m. was Dan Pompeo, the headlining manufacturer's rep—one of the best around no doubt. As always, the gang from Walker Textures dazzled not only with their impeccable clothing choices (as always), but the continuation of the Saturday Night Fever style dance floor. I've noted in the past that PPG sets the fashion tone for traditional booth-wear, and Rob Struble did not disappoint with lightweight vests that had pockets. Nice stuff, Glenn Miner and Joanne Funyak were styling as always.

Great looking booths... Cristacurva left you speechless—just strong. My friends from General Glass International had amazing examples of what they do in full size surrounding the space, and, they are serving ice cream in their booth. So, you get great looking stuff and one of the greatest foods around! Loved the Lauren International booth. As they told me, it's hard to make rubber products look exciting. Well they did, and they did it with style! Guardian Industries' booth was huge and very impressive. No doubt Earnest Thompson, Chris Dolan and company are bringing the best every time out now. They raise the bar with each show.

I met one of my blogging heroes, Bill Evans [Evans Glass Co.] on the floor. The guy is awesome in print, and inspirational as heck. Just a thrill to meet him in person.

The Glazing Executive Forum was a veritable "who's who" of the best glaziers in our world, along with some seriously good suppliers. It looked like things went very well though I'll be curious on what everyone thought of the keynote speech, and I'll have to bring that up in a future post.

The highlight of my time though was the whole Quanex experience. Quanex is without question the dominating presence at the show... bigger than life. This year though I had an amazing opportunity to get inside the booth and have time with the Chairman, President, & CEO of Quanex David Petratis. I did an interview with him that will be up on www.GlassBuildAmerica.com soon, and quite frankly I found him to be engaging, genuine and motivating. The guy is a gem. Then later I got to meet Mike Hovan in person for the first time after following him for years and catching up with great old favorites like Erin and Larry Johnson, Joe Erb and new friends Brian and Kim Kress. Just a thrill for me, for sure. Ironically they all like the older version of my blog when I was a little "harder" with my edge... I'm a kinder, gentler blogger now... but you never know maybe my teeth with show again...

All in all, Day 1 was a crazy whirlwind of a show. People are busy right now, but I believe everyone is very worried about the coming months. No one can really accurately predict what next year will bring, and I think that just scares people to the core.

Day 2 and 3 I'll be all over the floor. I look forward to catching up with more people and seeing things that are "new" for me. So that's the goal. To me the show is strong because, as noted above, the exhibitors really came out strong. People that are attending are enjoying the benefits of that for sure.

Read on for links of the week and the pre-show blog.

The author is founder of Sole Source Consultants, a consulting firm for the building products industry that specializes in marketing, branding, communication strategy and overall reputation management, as well as website and social media, and codes and specifications. E-mail him at MaxP@SoleSourceConsultants.com.

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors. 

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