by Regina R. Johnson
Blue-sky golfing weather, a deluge of new glass products and services and a spicy Southwestern ambience provided the flavor of the NGA Show '98, held May 13-16. According to the National Glass Association (NGA), its annual conference and exhibition had 4,862 registered attendees and 291 exhibiting companies in 642 booths at the Phoenix Civic Plaza in Phoenix, AZ.
The event began with the association's awards ceremony at the Wednesday evening opening session. Joseph Graskemper of the Peter Hasek Glass Co. was presented with the Community Service Award for personal accomplishment, also known as the "Hank Award" in honor of the late Hank Siesel, the trophy's first recipient. The Glass Professional of the Year Award went to Frank Archinaco of PPG Industries. Keynote speaker and former U.S. vice president Dan Quayle discussed challenges faced by the nation, a presentation described as blatantly political by some who attended. Following his speech, Quayle fielded polite questions from the audience of approximately 300. Products Launched
Those who attended the show's exhibition Thursday through Saturday saw a deluge of new products presented on the floor of the Phoenix Civic Plaza. Among companies presenting debuts, Cleveland, OH-based Glazer's Choice demonstrated a new line of closed-cell glazing products designed for the window and door industry. The materials offer excellent adhesion, weather resistance and longevity, according to the manufacturer. Riverview Architectural Products Inc. of York, PA, presented its window lines and described its recent entry into the high-end window restoration business. According to representatives, the company now has coverage in 23 states and expects nationwide distribution by the year's end. Autostock Scratch Removal/Novus, Inc. of Bloomington, MN, demonstrated its updated scratch removal system. The low-maintenance system is used in the distribution warehouses of such companies as PPG Industries and Pilkington LOF, according to Autostock. Diamon-Fusion International Inc. introduced its system for imbedding a diamond-like material onto glass, tile, porcelain and granite surfaces to render them water-repellent, scratch-, stain-, graffiti- and break-resistant. The San Juan Capistrano, CA-based company hosted a live demonstration of the patented process. Many more of the scores of items introduced are described in this issue's 15th Annual Guide to Products and Services. Traffic Lighter This Year
While most exhibitors said that attendee traffic on the exhibit floor of the show was lighter than in previous years, many asserted that the high quality of those in attendancethat is, their interest in the range of products presented and ability to make purchasing decisionsmade the show worthwhile. A representative of Visteon's flat glass division summed up the popular sentiment when asked if he was pleased with the quality of show participants: "We've seen the right kind of attendees, yes; volume of attendees, no."
An exhibitor in the booth of Madison Heights, MI-based Sika Corporation added, "It wasn't steady at all by any means, but you need to be seen."
However, many participants commented on the conspicuous absence of some of the industry's biggest players: PPG Industries, Pilkington LOF, Kawneer Company and Tubelite. Particularly missed was a presence from the window manufacturing segment. Among those absent were Andersen Corporation, Mikron Industries and Jeld-Wen Inc.
Companies exhibiting new products were most enthusiastic about the participants. "We've had an unbelievable response," said Hank Groves of Groves Inc. regarding interest in his newest harp rack storage system.
"Amazing turnout," remarked Arthur Maring of Saf-Glas of West Palm Beach, FL, a first-time exhibitor at the show. "I have lots of meetings lined up for next week (as a result of exhibiting)," he added.
"People really think this is great," said Tony Glazik of Glazelock Shims, inventor of the company's interlocking plastic horseshoe shim. Glazik added that his booth was on its second roll of tape for electronic leads.
Howard Cohen of Broadway Glass in Long Island, NY, said this was the first national show he had ever attended. "It gave me some new ideas on product lines I haven't seen before," he remarked, adding that he plans to pursue using some of the new products he saw there. Learning Opportunities
In addition to providing information about the newest products and services the industry has to offer, the show also offered participants practical education through seminars. Auto glass installations and seminars were offered on business topics, training and procedures, a report on the state-of-the-industry for several business segments and standards and testing.
A seminar on the state of the architectural glazing industry brought together a panel of industry experts including moderator John Sands of Courtaulds Aerospace, Inc.; Paul Bush of PPG Industries, Inc.; and Gerhard Reichert of Edgetech I.G. Inc. The authorities presented information on sealants for insulating glass (IG), manufacturing considerations for coated glass and warm-edge technology. Among other trends, the panel discussed the new generation of IG sealants including one-part curing systems, increasing production automation, the increased use of coated glass and the dramatic shift from aluminum to warm-edge spacers in residential IG units. A question and answer session followed the presentations.
In Selling to the Architect, architect Warren E. Pechin of Pechin Associates described how to target and court the architect as a client, and convince him of your firm's expertise. To accomplish this, "create a logical reason to contact your targeted architects," advised Pechin. He distinguished between marketing and selling services, and urged attendees to make the media work for them.
Several groups scheduled their annual meetings to coincide with the national show this year. At the annual membership meeting of the Bath Enclosures Manufacturers Association (BEMA), Linda Rees of Procter & Gamble presented a discussion of the advantages of the partnership between her organization and BEMA. Jay Fogg detailed the development of the BEMA website. In addition, the 1997 Bath Enclosure Design Awards were presented to Kirk Lichty, owner of Amirrortech of Jacksonville, FL, and Bruce Downs, owner of CB Showers in San Carlos, CA. During a brief meeting at the show, the National Windshield Repair Association's (NWRA's) board of directors discussed plans for its annual meeting, to be held in mid-March 1999 in Las Vegas, NV. The group decided to offer a reduced registration rate to both marriage and business partners.
Finally, at the International Window Film Association's (IWFA's) board meeting, the board discussed illegal window tinting practices and the association's activities regarding this matter, including denouncement of the practices in Window Film® magazine by IWFA president Kent LeMonte. IWFA executive director Darrell Smith announced the activities of the Institute on Business and Home Safety in relation to window film dealers. Other discussions included plans for the association's annual meeting in November.
Next year's event will take place April 7-9, 1999, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA.
Regina R. Johnson is the managing editor of USGlass.
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