by Leslie Shaver
Glass Expo Rocky Mountain returned to Denver, CO, in early February as part of the ongoing pursuit of USGlass magazine to present educational opportunities for people around the country who do not have the ability to reach national shows.
According to exhibitors and attendees, the 1998 edition of Glass Expo Rocky Mountain, held at the Hyatt Regency downtown, was both bigger and better than the inaugural event held in 1996. "I was pleasantly surprised," said exhibitor Mike England of Automatic Entrances of Colorado, Inc.
One major reason for the participants satisfaction with the show was the quality of the participants they encountered, whether it was meeting a supplier or potential buyer for the first time or catching up with a past business associate. "We met a lot of our customers face to face and we also got some leads for the future," said Art Ballejos of Agalite Shower Door in Denver.
"It was an opportunity to see people I dont get to see," said England. "It was also a chance to meet people we dont do business with."
Randy Mackey of Glas-Weld Systems, Inc. of Bend, OR, also found the show valuable but says it is doubtful that he will see the fruits of his labor immediately. "We were breaking into a new area. We made some good contacts and we talked to some people from other areas," he said. "Eventually our work at this show will pay off."
Van Tuin of Tuin Glass in Hotchkiss, CO, had a much different reason for enjoying the show. "We were looking for software and we found people who sell software," he said. "I also wanted to look at cut-out knives and I ended up buying one there."
Many attendees also found that they saved money by attending the show. John Thompson of Auto Glass and Specialties in Ft. Collins, CO, saved money by learning that a product he was on the verge of buying was not what he expected. "The show saved a bad investment I was about to make on a product," he said.
Dennis Lord of All Glass Scratch Removal in Woodland Park, CO, found a new distributor that saved him money. "I came up with a distributor that was able to offer a better price," he said.
In addition to a busy trade show, the event also offered seminars on various subjects pertinent to the glass industry including flat and auto glass and insurance issues, window film techniques, auto glass installation, shower door installation and business issues. Ballejos, who attended the shower door installation seminar, found it valuable. "We got some new information out of it," he said.
Robert Dyer of 4DL Industries in Denver, CO, who attended an adhesives seminar and witnessed a windshield replacement, also found the seminars useful.
"I learned more about adhesives," he said.
Lord thought the demonstrations were helpful. He added, "The glass repair seminar for cracks and dings was very informative."
England added that the pace and layout of the show were assets. "I thought the show was well set-up organizationally," he said. "There did not seem to be a slow-down at any time. There was a very steady flow of people."
"The administration of the show was very good and the hotel was nice," said Mackey.
The only notable difficulty was encountered by exhibitors who at times found moving in and out of the Hyatt to be troublesome. "It was a little tough to move products in and out," said England.
These minor problems, however, did not diminish the overall enthusiasm for the show. "I enjoyed it," said Leonard Langston of All Seasons Sash and Door Manufacturers in Glen Wood Springs, CO. "I made a lot of good solid contacts."
"It was great," said England. "I think every-other-year is a great way to do the show."
Glass Expo Rocky Mountain takes to the road again in 2000, when it returns to Denver.
Leslie Shaver is the assistant editor of USGlass magazine.
© Copyright 1998 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.