It’s been quite a first year for this fenestration newbie — at least as far as trade shows go.

About a month after starting a new job covering an industry that was new to me, I was at my very first event — the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. If you’ve been to that, you know how overwhelming it can be.

Imagine what it was like for a rookie.

IBS Vegas is all about huge halls, massive displays and miles of walking each day — and then plenty of social events at night. To give you some perspective, my only previous conference/trade-show experience was the 2006 American Copy Editors Society conference, which was held in a few small salons at one hotel — in Cleveland. Not quite the same.

Last week, I was at GlassBuild America at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. While it’s not quite as huge as IBS Vegas, in many ways it’s more challenging, because nearly the entire fenestration industry is there under one roof.

If it’s got glass in it, on it or near it, it was probably on display at GlassBuild.

Were there groundbreaking new products? Certainly. Rochester International’s new FoldUp window, with innovative hardware from Caldwell Manufacturing,  was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. G-U Ferco’s biometric door, which opens with a fingerprint scan, was like something out of a James Bond movie.

But to echo DWM publisher Tara Taffera’s recent blog from GlassBuild, it’s all about the people.

Just like in Vegas, I met warm, engaging entrepreneurs who are passionate about the products they make and the services they provide. In many ways, these folks are one of the few common threads in this staggeringly diverse industry. And getting to know them has been among the many joys of joining my new company.

In a couple of months, I’ll mark one year covering fenestration. While I still have a lot to learn about the products, I’m pretty much up to speed on the people — I like them.



  1. Trey

    Very well said!

    The fenestration industry revolves around a group of brilliant, dedicated and passionate people! It is like one big family which is why there is a saying that, “Once you join the window and door industry you can never leave. You may disappear briefly but you will always resurface somewhere else in the industry.

    So, as Emerson, Lake and Palmer once put it, “Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends!”

  2. Jim,

    Thank you! I enjoyed meeting you at GlassBuild, and I look forward to see you at other events.

  3. Trey,

    You have been a great addition to DWM with your thirst for knowledge and ever present smile. Although you were a “newbie”, you were able to capture the “lingo” easily and blended right into your new enviornment! Once you get in, you never leave

  4. Thanks, Jayme! It’s been great getting to know you and many others in the industry over the past year.

  5. Trey,
    Thanks for your perspective. You are so right, it IS about the people..and what a small world it is. So, while this year was a newbie experience, next year will be more like a reunion…and I look forward to seeing you then! As Disney showcased (over and over and over again) “It’s a Small World After All”….and I think especially so in the fenestration business.

  6. Thanks, Amy! Look forward to seeing you there, too.

  7. Hello Mr Trey. I understand what you felt at the fair in Las Vegas. Three years ago I visited my first show in Nevada. I was very impressed. I’m looking for more information about the biometric doors. Where I can get more information about manufacturer and patents. Thank you.

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