GlassBuild America 2019 Preview | Grow. Learn. Connect.

Conversation heads to Atlanta for GlassBuild America 2019

During the show, follow @GlassBuild and @GlassMag on Twitter for complete event coverage.  

For three days in September, glass industry leaders will gather in Atlanta at GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo to see new product innovations and solutions, learn about emerging trends and opportunities, network with suppliers and customers, discover ways of growing their businesses and more. “The conversation happens here,” says Nicole Harris, president and CEO of the National Glass Association, the event organizer. “This is your industry on display, in action. GlassBuild America is the only national glass and fenestration trade show in the Americas, ranked 117th of the top 250 trade shows in the entire U.S. That’s 450 exhibitors in 180,000 square feet.” The annual event runs Sept. 17-19. This page offers need-to-know information for visitors before the show, including products to be on display, the schedule and an exhibitor list (see resource links in the sidebar). For additional information, visit

Gain the Most Value from GlassBuild America

By Alice Dickerson

In 30+ years in the glass industry, I have experienced being on both sides of the aisle at numerous events and conferences and I’ve managed more than a decade of GlassBuild America exhibits. In 2017, I revisited the role of attendee at GlassBuild for the first time in many years. No matter my role, I have always seen value in participating in the show. 

Value for every sector

There are obviously many ways to gain value from a trade show, but how you participate is a matter of the role you play within the industry. At GlassBuild, I see value for three specific audiences.

Owners of glazing firms should, at minimum, attend the show. Participating in educational seminars, live demonstrations and networking events at GlassBuild is the surest way to stay relevant and grow in the industry. The event also can be used as a training experience for key employees in sales, customer service and glazing. Rewarding employees with the opportunity to attend GlassBuild can motivate employees to learn more about the industry, new products and installation techniques. This is particularly ideal for employees that are within driving distance of GlassBuild.

Exhibiting at trade shows gives fabricators and manufacturers a powerful competitive edge. My first GlassBuild in the late ’80s taught me a powerful lesson about the value of trade shows for suppliers. While at the event, I saw in the aisle a prospect who had never given me the time of day—his words, not mine. I stepped out of my company’s booth to catch up with him and called him by name. He then walked back to my booth with me and I was able to capture about 15 minutes of his undivided attention. Thanks to that in-person connection, this contact soon became a regular buying customer. I would estimate over the course of time I managed this account, product sales amounted to over $1.2 million.

This individual had always refused my request for an appointment because he was very loyal to my competitor. He refused to meet with me when I made a cold call. Only at this GlassBuild event did I have the unique opportunity to connect. Exhibiting not only gives your company a show of strength, but also provides an opportunity to build loyalty with existing customers, connect with potential buyers and learn what competitors are doing. 

Architects and designers local to the venue will find GlassBuild an excellent opportunity to explore what’s new in the glass industry. While events positioned specifically to architects can provide exposure to glass and glazing products, they also can be overwhelming in the sheer scope of product types on display. The building envelope is the largest part of a project from the standpoint of design aesthetics, energy efficiency, and daylighting, making GlassBuild the perfect venue to gain expertise and to make connections in this area.

Plan your approach 

While digital marketing has changed how we go to market in more ways than one, I remain a firm believer in the potential benefits of trade shows. As an attendee, events are an opportunity to learn who and what is new in our industry—and, to identify what’s trending. It’s a chance to stay current with products and regulations, and to discover new processes to help your business function more efficiently and profitably. 

To see value as an exhibitor, it’s critical to plan your approach. Make sure exhibiting will support your overall marketing strategy, goals and objectives. Have the proper exhibit display materials and team members in place to make the show a success. Think about how you will measure ROI. 

GlassBuild is the largest annual event in our industry, allowing exhibitors the opportunity to reach the largest number of people and achieve the highest level of exposure. 

Alice Dickerson is the founder and managing director of Division 08 Marketing LLC, a full-service ad and marketing firm dedicated to the building products and construction industry. She can be reached at

Education in Atlanta

GlassBuild America once again offers a key opportunity for representatives from all segments of the industry to access need-to-know glass and glazing education.

14th Annual Glazing Executives Forum: Building for Tomorrow

Who should attend? Owners, executives and senior managers from contract glazing and full-service glass companies.

The U.S. glazing market remains healthy, with companies reporting the number of new projects out for bidding or negotiation is as strong as ever. Glazing company owners and managers will gather at the 2019 Glazing Executives Forum in Atlanta to learn and share best practices for managing growth and building for tomorrow.  

All events will take place at the Georgia World Congress Center, Room 312-313, unless otherwise noted. Separate registration is required, and the full-day program includes breakfast, lunch and cocktail reception, plus admission to the GlassBuild America trade show floor and Happy Hour. Register at

Express Learning

  • Tuesday, Sept. 17, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Wednesday, Sept. 18, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • Visit Express Learning for schedule information. 
  • Location: Express Learning Theater, Booth 4029
  • Free to all registered attendees.

Express Learning is back on the GlassBuild America trade show floor. For the last several years these 20-minute educational sessions drew standing-room-only crowds. This year, the content experts at the National Glass Association are producing a new series of Express Learning sessions, aimed at providing attendees with specific product- and business-related information they can use to build more profitable companies.  

Business management

The Express Learning Theater will be home to several business management sessions covering a range of themes, from the construction forecast to employee development and more. 

What can the glass and glazing industry expect from the construction economy in the coming years? What are the threats to track and the opportunities to watch? Program economist Connor Lokar for ITR Economics, will address these questions and more in his industry forecast. 

Workforce development directly affects productivity, according to business leadership experts Mack and Ria Story. The co-founders of Top Story Leadership, will share strategies to increase the productivity of current employees, creating a pipeline of leaders.

How can owners protect their companies from inside threats? Dustin Anderson, owner of Anderson Glass, will offer a first-person story and present key takeaways for all business owners. 

Business owners face one inevitability in running their company: eventually they will exit. To ensure a smooth and successful exit and succession, planning is essential. Glass Magazine Editor-in-Chief Katy Devlin will present key considerations for this process based on the Glass Magazine and NGA book “An Owner’s Guide to Exit & Succession Planning,” which was named best business book of the year in the 2019 American Business Awards. 

Innovation and trends

Express Learning sessions will also look at what’s possible with glass and glazing, through presentations on top industry innovations and performance trends.

Biophilic design has become a prominent consideration among architects and building owners. How can the glass and glazing industry provide solutions to demands for increased occupant comfort, health and wellness? Presenters from AGC Glass Co. will discuss the expectations and opportunities for the industry in the realm of biophilic design.  

Join the moderator of the popular Facebook group “Shower Door Professionals,” Chris Phillips, as he walks attendees through some of the best shower enclosure installations on social media, while providing insights on the most profitable trends of the year.  

Winners of the 2019 Glass Magazine Awards will gather at the Express Learning Theater for the official award ceremony. Attendees will have the opportunity to check out the advanced products and innovative projects that garnered the attention of judges and industry voters.