February 10th, 2014
Best of the Builders’ Show
In my annual tradition, here is my best of the International Builders’ Show which I attended last week in Las Vegas. The event drew more than 75,000 attendees and the mood was nothing but positive.
Best way to encourage innovation: Ply Gem invited companies to its booth to introduce new technologies in front of a panel of esteemed judges, including Ply Gem president and CEO Gary Robinette. Three window-related innovations were introduced including a trim system from EZ-Trim and a thermochromic technology from Ravenbrick.
Interesting reason I heard to be there: To check out the competition, of course. That’s what the president of one regional Midwest company told me when I spotted him checking out the window products of his competitors.
Best marketing slogan: “When the nozzle turns blue, stop your crew.” That’s the slogan Fomo devised to promote its new nozzle which helps its customers know when not to install in cold weather conditions.
Best service introduction: NanaWall’s Nana Wellness System app. “This is a concept that allows the homeowner to control the CO2 in the home,” says Nana’s Matt Thomas. “Why are we doing this? Because we care about the well-being of homeowners.” The company will give the service to those who purchase a system starting in Q2.
Best conversation with a president: Chris Dimou, president, Roto Frank of America. I spoke with Chris a few weeks ago about the company’s explosive growth and he reiterated that when we spoke at the show. Again, it’s great to hear these stories from companies all over the industry who are experiencing growth.
Best phrase I never heard–cautious optimism: Even when thing started to pick up in 2013 you still heard people say they were “cautiously optimistic.” “We are no longer cautiously optimistic. We are now just optimistic,” said Joe Shaheen, director, sales and marketing at GED Integrated Solutions.
Best quote proving the market has shifted: “We used to always hear from customers, ‘I think I may, and now it is ‘I am going to do,’” said Lance Premeau, product and market manager at Kolbe and Kolbe.
Best affirmation of a great product line: While I was at the Simpson booth a customer came by and said, “You are on the right track with those doors [modern].”