With the industry’s newest trade show set to take place this week, registered attendees say they’re eager to experience GlassCon Global VE-Glass Expo VE’s familiar format.

In a time when industry events struggle to find their places among websites and video conferencing platforms, the show is among the first to strive for an in-person feel, starting with a virtual lobby. From there, navigating to other “spaces” is as simple as following signs—the same as you would at traditional trade shows and conferences.

“I believe it is the responsibility of all of us in the glass industry to stay abreast of the current technologies and technologies to come. I am glad that GlassCon Global was able to move to an online format so we can still all share information during a time where it has become more difficult to get together,” says Michael Saroka, COO of Goldray Glass.

Set to take place over the course of two days, September 9-10, show partners are equipped with virtual booth spaces where they’ll share product info through videos, downloadable PDFs and other materials. In addition to those static materials, attendees will also have the option to engage with company representatives through live, text-based chat. Attendees will be able to see a list of personnel on hand in each booth to request specific representatives.

“It’s an exciting adventure for me to attend the show and I’m looking forward, curiously, to the meetings I’ll have,” says Elmar Rastner, head of marketing and sales for the Southern region for Swisspacer. Rastner’s company plans to utilize the show’s format to present a new market study, he says. “Everything is ready and prepared for good talks at the show!”

For networking with one another, lounges, resource centers and other interactive avenues offer options for participants to gather in additional spaces.

“COVID-19 has forced all of us to adapt to new ways of doing business. As an industry, we have shown incredible resilience. This online event is a good example … I think the organizers did a great job putting this together in a short time and creating a platform that is new to nearly everyone,” says Sheldon Kahan, commercial program manager for Deceuninck. “I am hoping to make some new connections, chat with some old friends and customers, and see our industry’s latest technology and products—all from the comfort of my office.”

Co-sponsored by the Finishing Contractors Association International and USGlass and [DWM] magazines, the event also includes the familiar GlassCon Global educational program, provided through a virtual auditorium.

The event starts with an optional, pre-show Virtual 5K designed to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Open to runners and walkers, participants in Run for Glass VE 5K receive authentic race medals, T-shirts and downloadable race bibs. Registration is $35 (separate from GlassCon Global VE-Glass Expo VE) and all materials are mailed in advance directly to registered participants.

Click here to view the full schedule of events.

Registration is open until the close of the event. To register, go to www.glassexpove.com/attend.php.