Volume 40,   Issue 10                          October  2005


2006 BEC Conference
The Evolution to Major Industry Player
by Max Perilstein

As the Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) division of the Glass Association of North America (GANA) begins finalizing plans for its 2006 conference, Id like to reflect on the historic beginnings of what has become a major event for the contract glazing industry. In February 1998, 104 individuals from the contract glazing industry sat together for the First Annual Contract Glazing Conference, which evolved into the BEC Conference. Those attendees discussed industry specific topics that affected their businesses and the impact on their time and focus as presidents and chief executive officers. 

Growth in Numbers
Over the next seven years, the hot topics of discussion for the industry have changed, but the BEC Conference continued to focus on keeping quality employees, how to adequately bid jobs, making sure that contracts are fair without hidden deadly pitfalls and how glazing contractors could work together with architects and general contractors as an integral part of moving the industry forward. In terms of attendance, the BEC Conference slowly climbed to 113 attendees in 1999, but then nearly doubled in size in 2000 with 205 attendees. A burgeoning spark had ignited into a brushfire in the contract glazing industry, and the BEC division was on the map.

These days, the BEC Conference is known as the event to attend for contract glaziers and their suppliers. Customers and suppliers have the opportunity to network in the perfect setting of Las Vegas, while also receiving quality education and information about new trends, opportunities and potential pitfalls. This mix of education, networking and Vegas is a potent one. As we moved through the early 21st century, the conference continued to grow in 2001 with 254 attendees, 2002 and 2003 with 264 attendees, 2004 with 289 attendees, and growing yet again with our most recent 2005 event, which welcomed 320 attendees from the contract glazing industry.

Better than Ever
The 2006 BEC Conference is now on the horizon, and extensive planning sessions have been underway since the wrap-up of the 2005 event. The 2006 program will include presentations on new products, design considerations in silicone structural glazing, air quality and sick building syndrome, industry innovations in aluminum products, preserving claims and managing risk from contract formation and beyond, integrated building systems, the LEED points system, why glass breaks and blast hazard mitigation specifications. 

In 2006, we are also bringing back our highest-rated keynote speaker ever, Steven Little. In 2004, Little led an outstanding discussion on real world growth opportunities for the contract glazing industry. His 2006 presentation will focus on employment issues that face us globally, as well as contract glazing-specific issues of concern.

Im personally committed to the continued success of the BEC Conference and the contract glazing industry. As we work toward an invaluable event, please make plans to attend February 26-28, 2006, at the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Visit www.glasswebsite.com to learn more. 

the author:
Max Perilstein serves as the director of marketing for Arch Aluminum and Glass and is the GANA Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) division chairperson.

Copyright 2005 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.