From the Fabricator: GlassBuild 2016 Recap

GlassBuild America 2016 is now in the books and it truly did not disappoint. The combination of a great economic climate and a well-organized tradeshow made for three incredible days for our industry. There’s a lot to cover, so here goes.

First, this show once again proved that these events work. The networking is huge and the education crucial. Missing it is simply not an option. One of the overall takeaways was that people are either expanding their equipment needs, upgrading them or both. The action at all of the machinery booths was impressive. And keep in mind, the Las Vegas show is not really known for its equipment set up--that’s the Atlanta one--so this really was a big happening. 

The diversity of products on the floor was strong. One glazing company owner told me of a story about seeing a process at GlassBuild that solved a major product need he had, and he had no idea the process existed until he saw it at the show. That was awesome. Also, software options for every aspect of our industry really took a step forward this year, in my opinion. 

Overall attitude of the attendees was positive and the exhibitors really raised their game this year with even more booths that were eye catching and smart. More on that below. If there were any concerns it was the upcoming election, the circus that it is, and the potential negative effect on the economy, but that was it. 

Last on this, the rumor mill was surely churning. Some massive moves will most likely be busting open in the next several weeks, though with our industry, you just never know. But that added some more spice to it all.

As I do every year, here are some thoughts on what I liked, who I saw, who I missed and more…

  • I liked the LAMATEK approach with their booth a ton. They went with the “voting” theme, and it was smart and creative. I also liked Smart Builder offering free cups of coffee. Speaking of beverages, so many exhibits had beverage service and party-like atmospheres, who needed an expensive Vegas club? I thought the Vitro/PPG booth was outstanding. Rob Struble continues to be one of the sharpest guys in our industry. And I have to give props to everyone who did a great job being social on Twitter, but special recognition to FeneTech and their program. Really fun stuff there and kudos to Ron Crowl and team. And once again, the team from Salem Distributing rocked the best shirts. That’s becoming old news, but a special mention to Paul Knadler of Arizona Shower Doors who had a shirt the same color as my crazy media vest. That one was something to see!
  • From the people side, I saw so many people that I had not seen in years. My past lives were all intersecting constantly. The most fun was seeing Mike and Joyce Cully of United Plate Glass. Unless I am crazy, the last time I saw them is when they came to my wedding… in 1994! That was cool and neither of them has aged a day. Also seeing past coworkers like Tom Olson, Joe Marini, Jeff Kirby, Wardi Bisharat, Mike Dishmon, Kevin Heim, and of course the great Dave Michaeli (you know the should-be NFL hall of famer if his knees held up) was incredibly cool. Amazingly they were all nice to me too after all these years. Speaking of nice, it's hard to top people like Stanley Yee of Dow Corning and Urmilla Sowell of GANA; just good folks for sure.
  • It was a miracle to see Michael Frett of after he had the most adventurous trip to Vegas. The story is so amazing; it needs to be saved for another post!
  • I always enjoy running into folks like Tom O’Malley and getting updates on his world. Good to hear that Clover Architectural is doing super out there. Tom Herron of NFRC is a gentleman, and I give him tons of credit for putting up with me always whining, complaining, etc. I rarely get to see the folks from Glass 3 Enterprises, but when I do it’s always a pleasure. Good to see Paul DeGray who probably hopes I never pick the Rangers to win anything ever again. And speaking of sports, I am happy for guys like Mark Silverberg whose Indians are in the World Series. Catching up with Mark was overdue and quite important to me. 
  • Meeting new people at these events is also a high for me, and this time there are two of note. Bill Pollock of Northwest Glass in Montana chased me down and introduced himself. That was incredibly nice. Also new for me was Tony Montez of Montez Glass. What an impressive guy and fun to catch up on the world of glazing in Northern California. Though, Tony noted he’s never read my blog, so that means I need to work on adding audience in the west, obviously! 
  • I also love other marketing and PR folks that are crazy talented. Getting to see my good friend Rich Porayko doing his thing at the highest level was a pleasure. Shawn Donovan is always ahead of the curve, so getting to just chat with him for a few minutes was tremendous. Heather West is one of the best in her craft, so catching up with her is meaningful to me in hopes that her talent may rub off on me some day! 
  • I missed a ton of people since the show was so busy. People that I wanted to see and chat with like the great Shelly Farmer of SC Railing and of course good pal Garret Henson of Viracon. Hopefully next time I’ll get to run into you guys. I would’ve also liked to have seen rep extraordinaire Margaret Brune but missed her too as well as the folks from Gardner Glass Products. I got to see old pal Jim Ventre for a split second, but not long enough to catch up that is for sure.

Now we put this one into the books and look forward to the next. Time to keep moving our business and industry forward!

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

Max Perilstein 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

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.


Login to post comments