Volume 45, Issue 3 - March 2010


A New Venue for Leads

GANA Virtual Trade Show An Online Success
by Brian Pitman

One of the new features of last year’s Building Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference was a virtual trade show. The Glass Association of North America (GANA) created this new feature as a way for many of our member companies to showcase their products and services to the industry without the cost of travel, shipping and time spent manning a physical booth. Additionally, the increasing popularity of online trade shows has proven that this means of marketing is full of potential for the commercial glass and glazing industry. The trade show was online with heavy promotion during the 2009 BEC Conference in Las Vegas, and it drew great national and international traffic for our virtual exhibitors.

Of course, many asked about doing it again this year. Building on the success of last year’s online exhibition, the 2010 GANA Virtual Trade Show brings new exhibitors and a revamped online experience for our visitors.

" A wide variety of product and company videos are featured in the booths this year, as well as up to ten downloadable resources … "

Navigating the Show
The first thing visitors notice when opening the trade show in their browser (by visiting the site www.glasswebsite.com/tradeshow) is that the design has been upgraded to a more efficient and cleaner design than last year, further showcasing the exhibiting companies. A new animated navigation system offers thumbnails of exhibiting companies’ products, as well as basic information about each company. The site also spotlights the sponsor of this year’s event, the PPG Certified Fabricators Program, which is a nationwide group of elite fabricators rigorously trained in the processing of all of PPG’s glass product.

When visiting a virtual “booth,” visitors can get a great deal of information from an exhibitor. A wide variety of product and company videos are featured in the booths this year, as well as up to ten downloadable resources, such as product white papers, detailed product information matrices, LEED credit guides for products and more. Visitors may browse through up to 15 photos per exhibitor in a lightbox-based photo gallery showcasing the many beautiful product applications and job photos. Our attendees also may download product brochures and SWEETS catalogs from the exhibitors.

Extensive contact information covering sales, technical support and more is provided for each company, as well as a simple lead sheet form to provide contact information if a visitor is interested in learning more from the exhibitor. With thousands of attendees during last year’s two-month run of the Virtual Trade Show, this contact information was used by many to make the connections to these companies offering such great products and services. When you take a few moments to check out the Virtual Trade Show, you will see what I mean.

This year’s trade show kicked off on March 1 and will continue until the end of April, so you have another month to see some great products, download technical and sales information on those products, watch online videos illustrating the brilliant work done by our exhibitors and make the connection to be able to offer these products in your company’s bidding process for contract glazing jobs. Keep in touch with this and other current GANA projects through our website at www.glasswebsite.com, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/glassnation. We will continue to bring you great opportunities without having to leave the comforts of your desk (if at all possible).

Brian Pitman is GANA’s director of marketing and communications. Mr Pitman’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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