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Profine’s bustling Fensterbau booth.

My publisher, Tara Taffera, has had a running joke with me since I started here at DWM — “Told ya!” It’s a reference to how great the people and events in this industry can be.

Well, I just got back from the ultimate “Tara told ya” event — Fensterbau Frontale in Nuremberg, Germany, the world’s largest gathering of the door and window industry. I’m still blown away by everything I saw, and not just because it was my first-ever trip to Europe.

From the ancient beauty of Nuremberg to the modern exhibition hall, it was quite an experience. And the booths at Fensterbau? It feels wrong to refer to multi-thousand-square-foot displays with full food and beverage service (seriously — we’re talking 20-50 tables for some of the larger companies like Veka, Profine and Roto), dancing girls and live bands as “booths.” (They call them “stands” over there, which still doesn’t sound quite right.)

On that level, there’s really nothing like it in North America.

There’s really nothing like the products at Fensterbau in North America, either. Triple- and quadruple-pane glass was common in the windows, as well as extremely thick and sturdy frames that provide outstanding thermal performance. Doors, both sliding and hinged, seemed more advanced than over here. Advances in machinery, led by the Germans and Italians, are re-inventing manufacturing for a new era. And hardware companies are going all in on high-tech products and home automation. In short, we here in North America could learn a thing or two from our cousins across the pond — and I suspect we already are.

So mark your calendar for March 20-24, 2018, and get yourself to Fensterbau. You’ll have a blast and learn a lot, too.

 

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