Volume 39,  Issue 12,  December 2004

A Look Back
    Reviewing the Highlights of the Fall's Regional Shows

Megan Headley

Regional trade shows offer an opportunity for members of the glass industry to go out and take a look at what’s new to the industry and to their area, without traveling too far from home. Even when it’s made that easy, however, not everyone can attend every show—and sometimes, not everyone attending can follow everything that goes on at a given show. Whether to see what you missed or be reminded of what you saw, here you can find the highlights of three regional shows, Glass Expo West ’04, Glass TEXpo™ ’04 and Glass Expo Midwest™ ’04. 

A Sure Bet for the Glass Industry 
“This is my first trip to Vegas.” It seemed someone new made that announcement every time the elevator doors at Mandalay Bay pulled opened and shut. It was an event worthy of an announcement, though, since Vegas is an experience unto itself. First-timers and old hands alike were more than happy to soak up the fun-filled setting for the California Glass Association’s (CGA) Glass Expo West ‘04, September 24-25. 

The sprawling, palm-tree covered resort and casino offered visitors plenty of chances to gamble, but for a sure bet, attendees headed to the show floor where they found booths for manufacturers and distributors such as Stretch Forming Corp., Gunther Mirror Mastics, Wood’s Powr Grip and Arch Deco Glass. Exhibitors agreed that a steady flow of people seemed to be visiting the booths, and a similar scene set the stage for two days of seminars. 

“There’s been a real steady flow,” said Kenneth Hegyes, of Capital Tape. 
“It’s turned out better than we anticipated,” added one attendee. 

Kelly Green, president of California Glass Bending, gave a seminar titled “Measuring and Installing Bent Glass,” which helped attendees obtain a workable quote for those installations. Tom Martin, of R&B Glass, and Rick Smith, of Leucadia Glass, led discussion on how to measure screens, what Smith called the most overlooked element of window installation. Jerry Razwick, president of Technical Glass Products, offered his insight on designing with fire-rated glazing. 
Smith also assisted Bob Eugley of Mirror Shower & Glass with a joint presentation, “Showroom Marketing.” Attendees got twice as many suggestions on how to create a showroom that embodies Eugley’s advice, “Become a resource to your customer.”

While in Vegas, however, it’s evident that attendees and exhibitors didn’t spend all of their time working. At the end of the day, many of the industry’s representatives filled the resort’s Border Grill for cocktails, hosted by the CGA, while others moved out onto the streets of Las Vegas in search of other sights and events. 

Glass Along the Gulf
Imagine a long, rectangular room with transparent walls at either end, alternately hosting an informative breakfast, a morning awards presentation and a night of gambling. Through one long window, viewers can see the sparkling water that surrounds Galveston, Texas; through the other, three large glass pyramids in varying colors. With such creative examples of the glass industry’s work nearby, what better place could there have been than Moody Gardens to host Glass TEXpo ’04, September 30 - October 2.

A beautiful locale wasn’t all that was offered, however, by this year’s TEXpo, co-sponsored by the Texas Glass Association and USGlass magazine. Attendees from all parts of Texas, Oklahoma and other nearby environs came to visit exhibitors such as Craftsman Fabricated Glass, Winco, Dorma and ADCO Products. 

In addition, speakers addressed a variety of concerns relevant to the flat glass industry. Jerry Kingwill, vice president of operations for Cobb Hill Construction in Concord, N.H., instructed listeners on how to use blueprints and specs as “a communication tool.” According to Kingwill, drawings and specs should go hand-in-hand, but since he admits that isn’t what generally happens, his seminar aimed at teaching glaziers how to interpret blueprints for themselves.

Doug Penn, marketing manager for YKK America, and Mark Kearns, sales manager for Dlubak Corp., gave a joint presentation on new hurricane glazing requirements. The discussion was particularly pertinent since, according to Penn, Texas follows Florida in the number of hits it receives from hurricanes. Scott Haddock, president of GlassLock, the Protective Glazing Council (PGC) and the International Window Film Association, took another look at protective glazing, with a talk on blast-resistant glazing. 

Lyle Hill, president of MTH Industries, familiar to USGlass readers for his column, “The Business,” entertained listeners with a serious subject, “Knowing Your True Costs.” 

“In the process of analyzing you need to look at where you’ve been and be aware of where you’re going,” Hill began. By guiding listeners through ways of handling sales and costs, Hill gave attendees a better idea of how far their companies might be able to go. 

Another talk took place during the breakfast sponsored by AFGD Glass. Barry Maher, author, motivational speaker, consultant and president of Barry Maher Associates, talked to the glass industry with the intent of teaching shop owners how to make their yellow pages advertising more effective. At the same breakfast, the TGA presented its annual Glass Professional of the Year award to Debra Levy, publisher of USGlass magazine. 

“It was a wonderful surprise honor,” said Levy. 

The TGA’s casino night was also a success, according to the response from its high-stake gamblers. The show’s fun continued late into the night, with many guests seeing red and black poker chips floating behind their eyelids as they headed, hours later, to the show floor for a second day of networking and learning opportunities.

Winners in the Midwest 
Visitors to Glass Expo Midwest ’04 headed north to autumn leaves and low temperatures—but a warm reception—in Milwaukee, October 14-15. 

Attendees filled the aisles set up in the Baton Rouge Hall of the Four Points by Sheraton where the event was held. Exhibitors, including Wisconsin Shower Door, ITW Reddi-Pac and Custom Hardware Mfg. Inc., displayed hardware, transportation and handling systems, window systems and more. An auto glass installation took place on the floor both days, although on Thursday attendees hovered around the demonstration with drinks in hand and plates of hors d’oeuvres provided by the F. Barkow Café. Gunther Mirror Mastics also offered a demonstration on mirror installation techniques. 

On another hallway, two floors of seminars kept attendees busy. Carl Tompkins of Sika Corp. gave an enthusiastic presentation about selling, demonstrating his recommended techniques so well that one glass shop owner said she was prepared to buy from Tompkins, her competition, because he seemed to really care. 
“Value is what all consumers look at and the only reason they talk price is because that’s all they know,” Tompkins said. 

Kevin Turner, the national sales manager for SAFTI glass, also demonstrated winning sales techniques when he offered his lecture as a salesperson for the entire fire-rated glazing industry, explaining the importance and specific applications of the different types of tests and products. For his turn, CRL’s Paul Daniels took a look at shower doors, explaining, “Glass can be something that can date or modernize a building.” His installation tips helped installers “modernize” their techniques when working with new doors. Once again, a luncheon provided by USGlass featured Barry Maher’s talk on effective yellow pages advertising, a powerful combination with Tompkins’ sales pitch for selling. 

The show lasted from 4-8pm on Thursday, but the networking, mingling and a bit of karaoke, lasted considerably later. At least 20 guests, however, were prepared bright and early Friday morning for a drive through stunning red-yellow leaves and icy rain to F. Barkow’s Milwaukee plant. 

In celebration of its 125th anniversary, F. Barkow was responsible for not only the previous day’s delicious food, but also a tour of its local manufacturing plant and offices. Upon their arrival, visitors were guided through the production areas where blue and orange sparks jumped from the metal of glass racks in varying states of assembly. 

Upstairs in the company’s office, names were drawn for an expensive giveaway. Guy Longest of Builders Glass in Greenville, Mich., won the grand prize of a Barkow model 609H-A cargo van glass carrier, a $1700 value. First runner-up Richard Howard, of Grand Lake Glass in Grove, Okla., received two Barkow Stake-Loc™ stakes, while second runner-up Judy Schulze, of T & L Glass in Milwaukee, received two Barkow 10-inch load holding straps.

Coming Up
Like many of you out there, by the time these regional trade shows had finished, USGlass had already taken note of next year’s events (see sidebar on page 89 and educational calendar sent with this issue). Be sure to keep on the lookout for what’s coming up in order to experience these learning opportunities firsthand. 

Megan Headley is the assistant editor of USGlass magazine.



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