Volume 8, Issue 6,  November/December  2004

A Whole Lotta Tinting Goin’ On - International Tint-Off 2005
by Hayley Steele

February 27, 2005. What does that date mean to you? If you’re a professional tinter, it is the apex, the zenith of your field. It is the Super Bowl Sunday of your profession. It is the date of the 2005 International Tint-Off.

To be held at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fla., the Tint-Off is part of the International Window Film Conference, Expo and Tint-Off (IWFE), which will run from February 25-28, 2005. In addition to the seminars and competition of the IWFE, attendees are also invited to peruse the Independents’ Glass Association (IGA) Independents’ Days Spring Glass Show, where there may be more networking opportunities for those looking to set up what some might call referral partnerships (in this case, referring business to a glass repair or replacement company who would, in turn, refer tinting business to you). Independents’ Days Spring Glass Show is a two-day show with a large variety of exhibitors that offers attendees the advantages of seeing new products, meeting new contacts, learning new tips and techniques, and for one on one conversation with each exhibitor. The Spring Glass Show will be held Friday, February 25, from 3– 6 p.m. and Saturday, February 26, from Noon – 3 p.m. Big names in the glass industry that will be there include Dow Automotive (formerly Essex), Pilkington, CR Laurence and Creative Extruded Products.

So, who should attend IWFE 2005 and take advantage of the chance to visit the IGA Spring Glass Show? Well, anyone reading this magazine should be there. Why? Because this is your industry and this is the best time and place to get to know others in the industry and see what resources are available to you.

“Super Bowl” Sunday 
What’s the best part of competition? Arguably, bragging rights. Some changes to the 2005 Tint-Off have increased the things that will constitute bragging rights. For those competing in the Auto Glass Tint-Off, the first prize purse stands at $5,000 (along with a gold medal). Second place gets a silver medal and $1,000 while a bronze medal goes to the third place winner, along with $500.

Those who would rather try their hand at competitively tinting flat glass can vie for a $1,000 prize (also accompanied by a gold medal). Second place winner of the flat glass competition will receive a silver medal and hotel registration for the 2006 IWFE and he (or she) who finishes third will receive a bronze medal.

Tinters will compete under the same rules as years’ past, with the Flat Glass Tint-Off following a similar format to the Auto Glass Tint-Off. Neither the type of glass nor the size or shape of it to be tinted in competition will be announced until the day of the competition. Depending on the size of the field, preliminary rounds may be held to determine who tints in the finals, and in such an event, heat time and numbers will be determined by a blind draw.

Much like the World Series and Super Bowl for professional athletes, tinters who wish to compete in the Auto Glass Tint-Off will need to earn their spot in the playoffs, and just like the professional sports, what happens during regular season counts. What does that mean? Window Film magazine, a co-sponsor of the event, has created Tint-Off kits for distributors to use to set up their own local competitions. Distributors are allowed to nominate up to three competitors to the competition in Orlando. Distributors who purchase a Tint-Off kit will also receive a two-night stay at the host hotel to use at their discretion.

Competitors in the Flat Glass Tint-Off don’t have to qualify to tint, but must be nominated by a distributor.

In this show, too, distributors are encouraged to take a more active roll in the events. Not only will they send their best tinters to the competition, but they will introduce them to the crowd and present the awards to the winners. They, too, get to join in the bragging rights if one of their tinters win the competition. Think of them as the “home town” (or state) for the winners of the Tint-Off. Post Tint-Off riots are discouraged.

Even the presentation of the awards from the Tint-Off has been overhauled. Instead of the fairly informal, end-of the day and end of the conference awards presentation that has become standard the last few years, 2005 will witness a more official awards ceremony with the distributors and dealers being officially recognized along with the winners. The format will give a chance to see who is behind the success of the tinter, as well, letting the distributor have the chance to tell the world that it is the best and it has the best tinter.

Start the Wave
Not everyone attending IWFE is inclined to compete, but for those who wish to be in the grandstands cheering on their favorite tinter there will be some changes as well. Spectators will be allowed to watch from the raised mezzanine platforms where the table tops will be housed.

Early registration is encouraged for everyone thinking of attending the show. Tint-Off spectators will be charged $10 onsite if they don’t pre-register—and that’s on the less expensive end of things. Registration before February 15, 2005 allows members of the International Window Film Association (IWFA) to attend the conference for free, but will be charged $149 to register onsite. Prior to the February 15 deadline, non-IWFE members will pay $149 to register and the price will increase by $50 (to $199) onsite.

IWFE Schedule at a Glance*

Friday, February 25
3-6 p.m.                                                         Spring Glass Show 
7:00 – 10:00                                                 Welcome Reception
Saturday, February 26
8:30 – 10:15 a.m.                                            Keynote Address: How to Find 
                                                                    More Sales Than You Can Imagine
10:30 a.m. – noon                                         Seminars
noon -3 p.m.                                                 Spring Glass Show 
3:00-5:00 p.m.                                             Seminars
Sunday, February 27
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.                                    Auto and Flat Glass Tint-Offs
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.                                    Table Tops open
4:00 – 6:00                                                 Tint-Off Awards Ceremony
Monday, February 28
8:00 – 9:00                                                 Seminar
9:15-10:15                                                  Industry Overview
10:00 – noon                                               Seminar 
*schedule subject to change

So what does the money get you? It gets IWFE attendees into the intensive seminar schedule. Seminars such as, “How to Start Your Window Film Business,” and “Ethics in the Industry” will be more concentrated in their information. This, in turn provides, attendees with the opportunity to gain more effective knowledge in specified areas tailored to the needs of attendees. The schedule of the seminars also opens up a new window for attendees; the seminar schedule has been re-evaluated and changes to it now allow attendees more time in each session for question and answer segments and time to attend more sessions.

Final Score
It’s a competitive market, the window film industry. If you want to prove you’re running with the big dogs, get off the porch and join us at IWFE 2005.                                                                     WF

Hayley Steele is the events promotion manager for Window Film magazine.


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