A robust Glass Expo West ’15 began today at the Hotel Irvine Jamboree Center in suburban Anaheim, Calif., with a full slate of seminars, networking events and activity on the trade show floor, open from 3-8 p.m.
The morning began with a welcome from USGlass magazine publisher Debra Levy, who introduced Donn Harter, the founder of Glass Expo West more than 33 years ago.
“It is wonderful to see this event back,” he said, also introducing another founder, Fred Harter.
Door & Window Market (DWM) magazine publisher Tara Taffera then welcomed door and window industry colleagues to the “Fenestration Day” track of the event, designed specifically for door and window manufacturers, distributors and dealers.
Both tracks came together to hear a realistic picture of both current economic conditions and the construction market from noted economist William Greiner, the chief investment officer at Mariner Wealth Advisers, for the keynote address.
“The good news is that households are being formed again,” Greiner said. “The bad news is that young people are moving from their parents’ basements into apartments, not homes.”
Greiner’s presentation covered the latest economic outlook both globally and in the U.S. He pointed out that the developed economies will only rise 1.9 percent in 2015, while the globe’s emerging economies will increase 5.4 percent.
Greiner noted one item of interest for the fenestration industry: By January 2017, household formation is expected to jump by 68 percent as the “Echo Boom” generation – aka Millennials — matures and moves into the housing market. Greiner also discussed the reindustrialization of the U.S. and the globalization of industrial activity.
Also early Thursday, Mike Collins of Building Industry Partners hosted a seminar on how companies can generate cash and access credit. He discussed strategies for securing loans and investments, common mistakes to avoid when trying to get capital, and ways to improve your company’s capital position.
Chip Gentry of the Call and Gentry Law Group, gave a presentation entitled “Patent Trolls: The Monsters Under Your Profits Bridge.” Patent trolls are individuals or entities that try to enforce patent rights for products they didn’t create to extract money from companies. According to Gentry, more than half of all patent lawsuits filed in 2013 were from trolls, including 28 suits against door and window companies.
Gentry said patent trolls cost firms lots of money and time. He laid out strategies for lessening the effects of these nuisance lawsuits. Among them were insurance and joint defense groups, early settlements, challenging the patent itself and designing products to avoid any asserted patents.
Brian Smith of Dave Yoho Associates presented Fenestration Day’s closing session, “Going from Good to Great in 2015.” The presentation, subtitled “Changing the Mind-Set to Change the Results,” focused on forcing organizations to rethink how they do their work. One slide, “Differential to Dominate,” summed up a key takeaway: “Master the basic thing so well that your customers don’t see you in the same category as your competition.”
Early on Thursday at Glass Expo West, Mary Hester and Leigh Ann Page of JLM Wholesale Inc., held a seminar on hardware. Richard Voreis, the CEO of Construction Collaborative, gave a presentation on trends in building construction with a special emphasis on the exterior building envelope.
Marketing and sales expert Brian Offenberger was Glass Expo West’s opening day keynote speaker. He discussed ways to use social media to boost business.
Later, Carl Christ, director of onsite services for Diamon-Fusion International, gave a presentation on hydrophobic protective coatings.
The event continues tomorrow, as attendees and exhibitors, both old and new, roam the show floor, sit in on the various presentations and network.
“It’s exciting to be here,” said Barry Wood of Wood’s Powr-Grip. “Our company has never missed a Glass Expo West and we are pleased it is back.”
Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for more from Glass Expo West.