glassblog

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The blog has a singular focus this week: GlassBuild America. Before I begin, however, full disclosure: I do work for the National Glass Association, which sponsors the event. I know that some of you might be tiring of me constantly promoting this show, but I do it because I believe I have a compelling story to tell. So please read on, and see where I am coming from. 

I have attended GlassBuild America (known back in the day as The NGA Show) basically every year since 1998. There’s no doubt the event has changed, but so has our industry. Once upon a time I was even critical of the show, making fun of it for trying to evolve. (I now know that is what good companies attempt to do; me being immature, stupid and thinking I was bullet-proof missed that.)

When I joined the GlassBuild America effort, I figured I’d have no problems just jumping in. After all, I (with a few others) built the GANA BEC to more than 800 people, so I have handled big crowds. Right? Nope. It didn’t dawn on me until I really got into it how huge and intense GlassBuild America really is. The team that truly puts this show together is absolutely unreal: a handful of the hardest working people I have ever been around.

So you are probably now wondering where I am going with this…well it's simple: this year the show is tracking to have great exhibits and the best attendance in a long time. I just want everyone to be a part of it. I want it to be the BEST EVER.  I want it to be great for the exhibitors and sponsors who participate. And I want to throw it out to those on the fence, why they shouldn’t miss it.

First and foremost, this is the biggest event in our industry...by far. Combine every other event (and there are many good ones out there), and you won’t even get to a third of the people that attend GlassBuild America. Every major player either has a booth or a sponsorship, or at least, walks the floor. 

To me, the products make the show. Every year, new, groundbreaking and innovative products fill the floor, and smart participants that are either diversifying their business or looking for a new business channel lap it up and run with it. At the end of the day, GlassBuild and its amazing exhibitors make people’s businesses better. I even had one exhibitor ask me to chill out on the push to find more exhibitors because he liked that he didn’t have all of his competitors on the floor.

The networking is second to none, from the opening night cocktail party to all of the other events. You can accomplish more in three days at GlassBuild America than in three months on the road.

What else would you miss, aside from your competitors getting a massive step up, and chance to network yourself and your business? You’d miss the educational opportunities, from the great panel at the Glazing Executives Forum (featuring top people like Dick Beuke of PPG, Mike Turner of YKK, Jim Miller of View and Dr. Jeff Meyer of White Bear), to an insanely good marketing seminar by Rich Porayko, to one of the most exciting panels we’ve had in years on the growth and ascent of decorative printing on glass. (Believe me, digital printing on glass is extremely popular.) Plus, there will be even more of the popular floor demonstrations.

It’s the one place to find product lines like truck racks, storefronts, sealants, hardware, software, dynamic glass, handrails, screens, windows and so much more. And yes, machinery will be all over the floor as well. The entire industry will be ALL IN ONE PLACE. 

So there ya go; I ranted enough. If you want to be in the minority who miss the show, that’s your call. But I think you’d be making a big mistake, and I say that with years of experience of making mistakes. That includes back when I totally misunderstood how great this event and its people are.

Last, an extra incentive to sign up if you have not yet. There's a great opportunity to advance your own brand/company. One person will be chosen at random from everyone who registers this week. The winner will get a free video promotion from me for his or her organization. I will come to your location and/or jobsite, profile your company and shoot/edit/produce a high-end corporate video for use on YouTube and your personal website. No strings attached. This is one of my donations to the show effort and it will give you a chance to advance your brand image at my expense. The amazing registration staff at GlassBuild America will randomly choose the one winner, and I’ll make arrangements to get shooting…. And we’ll see you and the rest of the industry at the show! So click here to register now...

Read on for links and clip of the week...

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.

Monday, August 12, 2013

When I saw this Bank of America commercial, I immediately doubted its accuracy: not because I didn't believe the bank's assertion that it financed a revitalization project in Brooklyn, but because I found it hard to believe the bank was funding new construction projects in the enthusiastic manner depicted.

It's my understanding that banks are still hesitant lenders. In the American Institute of Architects' latest Architecture Billings Index release, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker referred to the "inability to access financing for real estate projects" as a "threat to a sustained recovery." That said, it's also my understanding that project financing is easier to come by today than it was three years ago.

So what are you seeing in terms of lending? Is project financing getting easier to obtain? Are an architect, a developer, and a commercial banker meeting over lunch to share a vision?

Chase is editorial director of Glass Magazine, GlassMagazine.com and e-glass weekly. Write her at jchase@glass.org.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

After a pretty mellow summer news-wise, the last few weeks have seen a lot of action—good and bad—in our industry. I knew it was just a matter of time before these maneuvers hit and I do not believe we’re done just yet. I see a few more pieces in play, as I think the climate is ripe for more acquisitions. Think about it: For many players, 2013 has been good and the appetite for more is growing. These players are not worried about survival; they either want growth or they want to add positive pieces to mask negative ones they might already own. Match that with the desire of some business owners to exit at a higher point than where they were two years ago, and I think the ingredients are in place. Mix in the industry getting together at GlassBuild America next month and you have your recipe for a lot more action on the horizon. Stay tuned.

Elsewhere...

  • I was extremely saddened by the passing of Jim Dwyer of Syracuse Glass. Jim was a kind, classy, professional man who did things the right way. We as an industry surely lost a tremendous person, and his family lost a great leader. His lessons obviously were not lost on son John, who remains one of the best guys in our industry today. My thoughts and condolences go out to the Dwyer family and everyone associated with Syracuse Glass during this very sad time.
  • A reminder: the next Glass Management Institute session, "Macro Economic Inputs to Strategic Planning" by Mark Silverberg is coming up August 20. I believe this will be a tremendous course, especially given the landscape of our industry and world. Who wouldn’t benefit from a business forecasting session like this? Register now. 
  • Funny mid-blog link: a skyscraper going up in Spain… and the architects forgot the elevator. Oops!
  • Last week, I bashed LEED and received a comment online from the esteemed Mic Patterson of Enclos. Mic is one of those guys I truly admire; he is always out and about, on top of the issues and persuasive with his arguments. The comment he left would fit that role. I love to bash LEED--or really anything that gets me frustrated--because that is what I do. I stir the pot and have been doing it since 2005. (Though as many know, I am more mellow now than I was back then!) Mic’s approach though is the right one: measured and intelligent as always. Whether or not we ever see the day where our energies are rightfully placed is another story, but we can always hope. Anyway, I thank you Mic for the comment and for reading the blog. Very much appreciated.
  • Last this week, another interview with a connection to GlassBuild America. One of the most popular seminars at any event I am involved in is the legal one. There are so many different twists and turns out there, and understanding the law and your rights is crucial. At GlassBuild, Rick Kalson of Babst & Calland out of Pittsburgh, will speak. For years, Rick spoke at various industry events, and I am thrilled he was able to bring GlassBuild into his schedule. He knows our world. Whether you are a two-man glass shop or a gigantic corporation, Rick gets it.

Here is part of my interview with him:

Your seminar at GlassBuild America will cover a lot of important subjects; can you give us a sneak preview of what attendees will learn about?
My presentation focuses on construction contracts, which have become far more complex and onerous in recent years. The ability to make a profit on a project is often squandered before work even starts due to unfavorable contract clauses. This construction law seminar will pragmatically present best practices for having favorable terms and conditions included in the contract documents while identifying key clauses regarding payment, indemnification and claims to avoid or negotiate. Finally, an invaluable contract review checklist will be provided as part of the presentation for your future use, which should be reason alone to attend this seminar.

You have spoken in front of the glass and glazing industry many times in your respected career. What makes this industry interesting for you?
I have very much enjoyed teaching and working with the glass industry over the last decade largely due to the mutual respect between industry competitors. I am constantly impressed by the high level of questions that I receive during and after each construction law seminar that I have presented to members of the glass industry, and I look forward to the same at GlassBuild America,

Thank you, Rick. And folks, if you have not signed up for GlassBuild America, get online now to do so.

Read on for links and clip of the week...

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.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Over the years, I have been a pretty vocal critic of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building rating system. Many people have taken shots at me because of that, but it sure seems that as time moves on, I have not been too far off base.

This past week, I was alerted to two situations that cast a negative light on LEED once again. While some of the attacks that this program took on recently may be a little beyond the pale even for my tastes, the fact remains that this system is not what it was cracked up to be, and is really not making the difference most people assumed it would.

Case in point, an article that ran in the New Republic last week. It broke down the absolute folly of the LEED rating system, and how things get off track once the building is occupied. LEED is working to change some of these loopholes with the new version, but it’s still a massive sore point. And even with changes, a lot of the holes will remain.

LEED also has been taking heat from the chemical industry on its lack of inclusion and stigmatizing of their products. This article spells out the latest issues. The rating system plays favorites, and it’s frustrating.

At the end of the day, the reason why anyone cares is simple: LEED is the system that the government uses, and it is most well-known rating program. So, you are stuck with that path, which is amazingly unfair. There are better paths to true sustainability but the LEED machine crushes them. And as we’ve seen in the past, it doesn’t matter; the USGBC machine has too much money and power. But, as more articles get written, maybe some things will begin to change.

Elsewhere...

  •  Also this week the Wall Street Journal ran an article noting that government construction spending is at a 6-year low. It was probably meant to depress you, but I actually took it differently. We are now matched at 2007 levels. (Remember those days? The GLORY days!) And, we’re way beyond the spending in 2000. In addition, it’s nice to see some spending control at the public level, given the debt load already. Plus a return to private construction spending surely would be nice.
  • Time for another interview. This one serves an extra purpose. With GlassBuild America coming up, I want to introduce you to some of the people and players involved, so you could plan your time at the show accordingly. This week I caught up with marketing guru Rich Porayko of Construction Creative Marketing & Communications, who will be leading a seminar that you cannot miss.

    Here are the details and interview:

    What seminar are you leading?
    It’s titled, Guerrilla Marketing for the Glass & Metal Industry. It will be an information packed, hour long presentation focused on getting solid results using a system of creative yet cost-effective promotions that rely on time, energy and imagination instead of big marketing budgets.

    There’s a lot of excitement surrounding all the GlassBuild America seminars, including yours. What can the attendees expect to take away from your class?
    The session is fun, fast paced and broken into easy takeaways so attendees will literally leave with dozens of easy, cost effective, time tested marketing tips and tricks that have taken me almost twenty years of studying and trial and error to put together. It’s the best deal going in Atlanta! Whether you are a closet marketer or a seasoned pro, there’s something for everyone.

    The world of marketing has evolved quite a bit in the last several years. What do you believe to be the biggest change?
    Hands down, it has to be social media and its integration with email and web marketing. There is something really satisfying about watching a social media campaign go viral live in front of your eyes. Every social media campaign can’t be a homerun but digital marketing can be measured in so many ways that traditional marketing campaigns will never be able to. If you can measure it, it can be improved. Each tweet, post or email gives you more insight on what works and what doesn’t.

    What would you say to any of the folks currently on the fence about attending the show and your seminar?
    What are you waiting for? If you make your living in the glass business, GlassBuild America is the place to be. The economy isn’t out of the woods yet, but it seems like every week you read and hear more positive news. If you miss GBA 2013, you will have to wait until September 2014, and with the pace things are currently moving, a lot can happen in 12 months.

Read on for links and clip of the week...

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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Affordable Care Act, known in some circles as “ObamaCare,” is certainly a program that every business owner needs to understand. This past week, I learned a lot about it during a tremendous Glass Management Institute presentation. Susan McKay and Matt Johnson of The Gary Law Group presented as much of this gigantic program as they could in one hour, and it was mind blowing. The amount of work that will need to be done when this act is fully implemented looks to be insanely large. And, the amount of uncertainty surrounding what will happen between now and then is beyond belief.

As a business owner, you are truly stuck in the middle of the road. Not preparing for the Affordable Care Act will leave you in deep trouble, but preparing and possibly seeing actions delayed or changed can be equally detrimental. Needless to say, if you have not dug into this yet, you need to. And yes, I know this is a hot potato politically, but this thing is coming down the pike, so you need to be prepared.

Also, if you have not looked at the Glass Management Institute, you are absolutely missing out. Now that the warm up act (me) is over, the real pros have taken over, and the remaining three sessions (Business Forecasting, Leadership, and Legal/Contracts) promise to be top notch. In any case, with issues like the Affordable Care Act, knowledge truly is power.

Elsewhere…

  • It’s been a tough few weeks for our industry as two excellent men involved with our world passed away. Merv Murphy was a staple in Detroit and a class act all the way around. “Murph” treated everyone well, knew all of the ins and outs of the industry, and deeply cared about every organization he was involved with—especially the Glazing Contractors Association. We also lost Alec Spielberg, the former president of Kentucky Mirror and Plate Glass. Mr. Spielberg built a tremendous company that is respected far and wide. I never met Mr. Spielberg, but always heard great things about him. My thoughts and prayers go out to both families during this difficult time. 
  • Thank you to Mandy Marxen of Gardner Glass Products for her comment on my last blog. I need to go see Pacific Rim, especially if that movie does break tons of glass. I appreciate the comment too!
  • Stumbled across an excellent blog over the last two weeks: Steve Watts, VP at Walters and Wolf, writes one at www.division8.com. Excellent and interesting content. Gotta get him signed up to blog at Glass Magazine too and join the incredible stable there.
  • We are six weeks away from the opening of GlassBuild America, and excitement is building. Love the exhibitors that have signed up, can’t wait to see some neat new technology and am pumped for the seminars and forums. There’s a great mix of people involved to make this, like always, the premier industry event. In the next few weeks, I’ll be breaking it down. Oh, and if you haven’t yet booked your hotel room, go ahead and get that done before the blocks close out.
  • The Architecture Billings Index continues to stay positive. Can this nice rush of a busy season be real? Is it sustainable? After my last blog, I got several notes from glaziers and fabricators who noted they are busy…real busy. Hopefully we are truly headed in the right direction.
  • Last this week: is it me or has summer just flown right by? If you go by the sports world calendar it sure has. The NHL schedule came out last week; the NBA schedule comes out this week; and the NFL is in training camp. College football kicks off in four weeks. Unreal.

Read on for links and clip of the week...

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.

Monday, July 22, 2013

For the June issue of Glass Magazine, I spoke with several decorative glass suppliers about the challenge of value engineering on projects. Decorative glass is a prime target for VE due to its high price point and late position on the project timeline. The suppliers offered tips to help avoid having decorative glass―and other specialty glass products―value engineered out of a project.

Since the article went to print, I have heard from a number of readers about how VE affects their businesses. Below are two letters we received about the VE issue.

In response to the article, the owner of one contract glazing firm added perspective on VE of decorative glass from his company’s experience: “One of the reasons besides cost that [general contractors] try to get [decorative glass] removed is that suppliers … require large deposits and 100 percent payment prior to shipping. Everyone wants to be paid promptly, but construction projects, and how they are financed, are quite rigid in procedures. When contractors have to make exceptions or additional administrative work, it is understandable that they will [attempt] to see decorative glass value engineered out.”

It’s clear that the VE issue extends beyond decorative glass and into all segments of the industry. I heard from Steve Fronek, vice president of technical services at Wausau Window and Wall Systems, who said the Wausau sales team faces the VE challenge daily.  

“The best way to ensure that the value engineering process serves the needs of all stakeholders is to make it part of early pre-bid design-assist. During design-assist, a cross-functional team focuses on optimizing fenestration configuration and design to meet or exceed performance requirements, address aesthetic preferences, and stay within budget—to maximize value for the owner. In this manner, a level of trust is established that makes the entire project run smoother. Wausau is often invited to participate in design-assist in partnership with an installing subcontractor," he said. "During the shop drawing and engineering phase, design-assist partners co-develop the details with the architectural team, so that all involved understand design criteria for better quality and a faster overall schedule.”

I’d like to continue the VE conversation here. What have your experiences been with VE? How does VE affect your company, and your profit margins? Feel free to email me directly at kdevlin@glass.org, or leave a comment below.

Devlin is senior editor for Glass Magazine. Write her at kdevlin@glass.org.

Monday, July 15, 2013

When commercial construction starts plummeted in 2009, the cover of the Glass Magazine forecast issue read: “We’ll use adversity to our advantage.” Four years later, that prediction is coming true, as glass and glazing companies emerge from what many describe as the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

It has been a difficult stretch for all of us. And while we still have a long way to go in terms of regaining higher profit margins, rehiring staff and rebuilding backlogs, I think it’s finally safe to say the process has begun. Today, the market is reversing course, with economists at Reed Construction Data predicting incremental growth in nonresidential construction through 2013 and 2014.

Industry-wide, companies are making progress. Seventy-six percent of the 2013 Top 50 Glaziers reported overall sales volume was higher than the previous year. That number topped more than 80 percent among Top Glass Fabricators. And looking ahead to GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo, Sept. 12-14 in Atlanta, suppliers will introduce products and services to meet the needs of the accelerating market.

Today’s glass industry is adapting to the “new normal,” in which companies oftentimes operate with fewer staff, at lower profit margins, than they did pre-recession. Yet simultaneously, these companies have become more efficient, a characteristic that will benefit them as the market regains strength.

In upcoming issues of Glass Magazine, we will run a series of articles on glass companies that have successfully navigated the recession and positioned themselves for growth. If you have a story to share for potential inclusion, please email me at jchase@glass.org.

Chase is editorial director of Glass Magazine. Write her at jchase@glass.org.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I was very excited to see the latest round of Glass Magazine Awards announced and more deserving companies recognized. These are the industry’s most prestigious awards, and there’s no doubt the judges must have had a very difficult time choosing. There are a few winners I want to recognize.

The Most Innovative Energy Efficient Glass Project really excited me, because the mix of products and companies interested me. Knowing that the tremendous people from Architectural Glass & Aluminum were involved made sense. Whatever they touch usually does turn to gold... or in this case, green.

I was also happy to see the folks from Pleotint win Most Innovative Commercial Window. You know me. I bang the drum hard for dynamic glazing, and this is yet another piece of evidence that this product segment is going to be very hot.

I must also say that the Shower Enclosure winner from Met-tec was pretty mind blowing. That is one very intense shower setup.

When GGI’s new website launched, I noted the great look right here on the blog. It's nice to see the judges agree with me. I had not seen PPG’s Visualizer yet, so that is now on my list of things to do.

Overall our industry really looked great here, so a hearty congrats to all of the winners… jobs well done!!

Elsewhere…

  • There’s still the people portion of the awards to come and you can vote on them now. This year, I am not familiar with any of the folks with the exception of one, so I’ll be reading all of the bios and making my decisions soon. Please take a few minutes and go vote. These are obviously deserving candidates who were nominated and then made the cut to the best three in their categories. Congrats to everyone who made it to this point!
  • Last week, I noted how positive things seemed to be out there, and some of the reports backed me up. We've seen great job addition for construction, and the best construction spending since September of 2009. Keep it going! 
  • The bad side is surely the worry that our industry is experiencing a severe lack of skilled labor. Between companies cutting back during the slow period and the fact that what we do is very difficult (and dangerous in some points), we have a massive worry out there on the horizon. This is one concern that I have chatted about a few times, but it is sadly a concern that does not have an easy answer. 
  • I did go see “Man of Steel” recently. I thought it was OK—a little too long, with too many unnecessary pieces for my liking. But once again, I do have to laugh that every time one of these movie heroes visits a town in the film, the local glaziers have to rejoice, because they break every piece of glass around. To the glass guy in Smallville, Kan., what a great business you have! 
  • And finally, just a programming note. There will be no blog next week from me. I’m going to give my fingers a rest. See you again week of July 28, unless major news breaks of course. 

Read on for links and clip of the week...

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.

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Architectural Billings Index bounced back in May after a very bad April, which for many observers is a major positive. Combine that with a very positive business attitude right now (most people are saying they are very busy and doing well), and you have a nice little moment happening. Hopefully it lasts for a very long while. I know we are not close to the "good ole days" but we are surely in a better place than we have been. Let's keep it going!

Elsewhere...

  • As you may have heard by now the big ASHRAE meeting took place a couple of weeks ago (Read this Glass Magazine article for some background). After more than 70 negative comments from the industry and interested observers, the task committee decided to delay any action to reduce the window to wall ratio on the prescriptive path of ASHRAE 189.1. They will take this all in, and should, given all of the consensus at play here, make the right call to not go forward with their plans to limit the use of glass. The industry came through this time, which is quite exciting to say the least. Hopefully now there is nothing that gets in the way of the right call being made by this committee.
  • The Wall Street Journal had a nice little piece on Guardian and their new relationship with Koch Brothers. Always good when our industry can be placed in a positive light. It's online if you have a subscription to the WSJ, otherwise, you'll have to wait 'til the pay wall comes down.
  • Congrats to Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope. They recently picked up an award for their advertising of their BIM product. It was a great campaign, and they deserved it. I have picked on Oldcastle in the past, but I have also been complimentary when applicable, and this is surely the case.
  • For those of you who run or exercise with music, I recommend a great song to add to your playlist: "We Own It" by 2Chainz and Wiz Khalifa. It's from the latest Fast and Furious movie, and it's a great piece.
  • Yes, in the same blog I noted that business is good, the industry has consensus, complimented Oldcastle and recommended a tune by a guy named 2Chainz. I am guessing the world will be ending tomorrow for sure. Ha Ha.
  • I am starting to get excited for the Glazing Executives Forum at GlassBuild America. The State of the Industry panel is coming together, and I will tell you this: it is going to be a blockbuster. There will be really strong leaders speaking on the subjects that affect this world every day, from all-different walks of our industry life. More information coming soon, but needless to say, you will want to be there for this session!
  • Last this week, on Tuesday, I celebrate my 2nd anniversary on my own. Thank you to everyone who supported and continues this adventure. My family and I will are and will always be grateful.

Read on for links and clip of the week...

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.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Another edition of the AIA show is in the books, and reviews have been somewhat mixed. A majority of exhibitors were disappointed with the traffic, especially after a brutal first day. There were some folks who felt the show was solid, though. So once again, I guess it depended on where you were and what you were selling.

From my point of view, it was not good. The floor layout was confusing, and I simply did not see the traffic the show enjoyed in 2012. But in any case, I still remain very positive about tradeshows in general, and I can't wait for the next big event, GlassBuild America!

As you have come to expect from me over the years, here's my rundown of the event, and what I saw and heard:

  • The big story easily was View and its latest round of funding, led by Corning. That had many people buzzing. It is tremendous news for the entire dynamic space, for which I am a huge fan. View's booth was seriously impressive, too.
  • From a product standpoint, the winners for me were Glass Apps and Pacific Architectural Millwork. Glass Apps had the coolest interior switchable product that I have ever seen (and I have checked out a ton), and Pacific Architectural Millwork had some sharp window and curtain-wall innovations. Both companies were not on my radar previously; they sure are now.
  • YKK AP premiered its latest fun architect video. Good stuff. At last count, it already had more than 102,000 views! That is amazing! Kudos to Oliver Stepe, Mike Turner and company.
  • Once again, the excellence of Rob Struble of PPG was on display with a creative usage of his entire booth space, including the backside. Somehow Rob knew the back end of his exhibit would be visible and filled the space with a cool ad to draw people in. However, for the first time in a while, Rob and company did NOT win best dressed. That award went to the very stylish gang at Viracon. They were sporting new shirts with their logo on the cuff—very sweet.
  • I noted View and the excitement surrounding dynamic glazing above, and the other players showed nicely too. SAGE with its smartly branded "Dynamic Decade" had a nice setup, as did the folks from Pleotint. My pals from RavenBrick garnered a lot of attention with their hair dryer simulation that made their product go from a clear to a tinted state. Good stuff from all.
  • It was great seeing former interview subject Mark Silverberg of Technoform on the floor and chatting with him regarding the next steps regarding ASHRAE (more to come on that), and visiting with the classy pair of Dave and Cliff Helterbran. That was a pleasure and honor. At the Guardian booth (bustling with activity thanks to several new product launches) it was awesome to see old friends Brian Craft and Bob Cummings. That was a day-maker. And at that booth, I'd be lost without the great Amy Hennes always looking out for me.
  • I did like the setup that Tubelite and Wausau Window and Wall Systems had. I just wish I had more time to browse there. Plus, I only got see the awesome Heather West from afar because she always had something going on. Good to catch up with Nick Barone of GGI, and the always-friendly Tom Herron of NFRC.
  • Schott did not have a booth at AIA for the first time in several years, but they still had a presence thanks to Don Press working the floor and Dan Poling out and about. Dan, by the way, was mistaken for the great actor James Franco several times. (Right now my mom just made a face while reading this... the fact I called James Franco a "great actor." Sorry Mom, I think he is...)
  • Downer of the week: a bottle of water was $4 at the convention hall. Ouch. And with the altitude there, you needed to drink.

Next week I'll be back with a look at the latest ABI, as well as a recap of the first Glass Management Institute session (still time to sign up folks- click HERE). 

Read on for links and clip of the week...

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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