Volume 40,   Issue 4                             April  2005


IGA Opens Doors to Architectural Glass
The Independent Glass Association (IGA) turned its attention this year to courting the architectural glass market, offering a whole separate seminar track arranged for the flat glass industry at its Independent Days National Convention and Spring Glass Show™ held in Orlando, Fla., February 24-26. More than 800 participants took part in the event.

Among those leading seminar sessions was noted USGlass columnist Lyle Hill, who led the presentation Auto & Flat Glass Do They Mix? The seminar offered a look at what those in either industry should know when considering crossing over.

A Lot More Talk
“People associate all glass products with a company that does glass,” Hill explained to his audience, reasoning that someone who handles one type of glass (architectural or auto glass) should, at the very least, consider diversifying into other kinds of glass work.

He clarified this opinion—which he readily admitted to his audience was merely an opinion—with an example straight out of his own history. Having helped a gentleman in need of a new shower door, he asked how the man had come to his company. The fellow said his neighbor had referred him and when Hill asked if they had replaced the neighbor’s shower door, the client said no, the windshield. 

Hill used the example to show that some customers make the jump from one kind of glass to another and expect a glass shop to work on both kinds of glass.

“Do I think you should [make the shift to selling both]? Absolutely. If you can add another product line that has a natural connection, you’re crazy not to at least consider it,” he said.

The session even covered other aspects of working in the industry, including diversifying value-added products, such as window film, and differences in technology between the different sides of the glass industry, such as computer programming. Hill’s seminar lasted nearly twice the length for which it was scheduled. 

Hill also led the seminar session on knowing overhead costs, aimed at both architectural and auto glass audiences, but he wasn’t the only one sharing wisdom of working in architectural glass. Dave Lamantia of Glass America led the session on proper mirror measurement and Jeff Ziesche of Arch Aluminum discussed hurricane and impact-resistant glazing and requirements. 

The sentiment among attendees to the show was strong.

“Attending the IGA Glass Show is priceless, not only for the education we receive, but for the invaluable networking with other independents, as we receive a renewed spirit and lots of great ideas!” said Donna Braden of Jack’s Glass.

A Little More Action
The doors at the Spring Glass Expo were open to the architectural glass industry as well. Strybuc was recognized during the course of the weekend as being the first architectural-only glass-related business to exhibit. 

“We opened the show for the first time to flat glass suppliers. We had already booked this hall before we made that decision, so we had room for only a few companies, but I’d like to recognize Strybuc Industries as being our first purely architectural glass company to display at the show,” said Marc Anderson, IGA executive director during his opening statement.
In the aftermath of the show, Anderson felt the addition was successful.

“It was a good thing to do. We feel we want to expand on it and I feel it was a good start,” he said.

The show ran from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday and noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

The 2006 event is scheduled for next spring in Las Vegas. Details will be announced in USGlass as they become available. 

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