June marks my one-year anniversary at USGlass magazine. I had to be reminded. It’s funny how fast time flies.

Throughout the year, I attended various events across North America, from San Antonio to Montreal and parts in between. My most recent journey took me to San Francisco for the (A’23).

Events such as A’23 are crucial to the advancement of industries. In addition to tours and the architectural Expo, the show featured hundreds of educational sessions. The breadth of learning opportunities was immense.

San Francisco holds a special place in my heart. I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Mountain View, near the bottom tip of San Francisco Bay. I remember train rides to San Francisco to see the seals and walk the city. Those were good times.

While I was happy to be back, this trip was less about reminiscing and more about work. It was my first A’23 event, and it did not disappoint. As you have probably read, I managed to squeeze quite a bit out of my short time there. I visited the Finishing Trades Institute in San Leandro, Calif., walked the entirety of Moscone Center multiple times, wondering where the heck I was, and spent ample time meeting and talking to various glass, glazing and metal experts.

As someone new to the industry, the learning curve can sometimes be daunting. I remember my first trip to a glass conference in Chicago. The number of acronyms and technical mumble jumble dispersed nearly fried my brain. I like to think I have come quite a way since those early days.

However, there’s still tons to learn. That’s why events such as A’23 are so crucial. In addition to tours and the architectural Expo, the show featured hundreds of educational sessions. The breadth of learning opportunities was immense.

Though I could only peek into what the show had to offer, I left more in tune with the industry than I was when I arrived. That’s because I chose to dive headfirst into what the show had to offer. That involved meandering through the Expo floor, meeting new people, watching puppies play (if you were there, you know what I mean), and taking in the latest products that companies had to offer.

If there is one thing I learned, it would be that sustainability remains at the forefront of the industry. In a society where climate change is weaponized, it’s a breath of fresh air to see industries come together and attempt to reduce our environmental impact. Digitalization also reared its head time and again. For companies reticent to buck tradition and tap into new ways of work, it’s getting to the point of no return. You either jump on the boat or sink.

It could be said that shows such as these, where companies step outside their boxes, is where the real work advancing the construction industry begins. It was nice to see it in action.

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