By Laura Weil

Oh WinDoor, you’ve introduced me to some of my most beloved people. You’ve also given me heartburn and pimples.

My first WinDoor experiences were in the North Building at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, close to 20 years ago. It was exciting. The supplier representatives I came to know were seemingly in their natural habitat, together in groups that I wouldn’t have considered, shaking hands aggressively, wearing big grins on their faces. They laughed loudly and were enthusiastic to show their latest and greatest to everyone who came through. I loved seeing the new intricate doorlites and new hardware options that were so clever. There were glass-smashing demonstrations, and buzzing saws and corner cleaners, all making a wonderful racket. I liked watching my bosses mingle so effortlessly amongst their friends – most of whom were competitors.

I never even thought of who the show was presented by or the people who worked to make it happen. It was just there, and it was on my birthday, and I loved everything about it.

It was a few years later that I learned about CWDMA (Fenestration Canada’s previous name) and the fact that WinDoor was predominantly organized by volunteers. I discovered this when my “Window Godfather” Skip MacLean enticed me to share my time with the FenCan organization. At this point, the show had lost luster, and the big grins were becoming blank stares with promises to not come back next year. It sucked – my favourite trade show was coming to an end. I sat in on a few WinDoor Committee meetings, which were even more depressing, as it was mostly an overview of failing numbers with no immediate strategy on how to revive the show to it’s previous splendour.

I’m noisy, tall, opinionated, defiant and willing to work. Quite a few other people in the committee were ready to roll up their sleeves too. Together, we changed almost every aspect of the show, without much experience and minimal guidance. We brought in a new show organizer, changed the location, the layout, schedules and entertainment. I had no certainty that it would work. None of us did.

It worked.

The show was in Montreal, on my birthday (that part had to stay the same), with good attendance and most importantly, more enthusiasm.

A year later, with the momentum found from Montreal, the show is once again redefined with a new venue, different location, and another large effort placed in networking and entertainment. I’m geeking out over the education tracks – Track 1; Technology / Codes Standards, Track 2; Business / Sales / Marketing, Track 3; Manufacturing / Operations. This is coming at a transitional period for our industry where there is a growing amount of acquisitions, new and upcoming performance standards coming into play, all combined with business growth for the majority of our industry.

Come and visit us. It’s located in the most accessible venue by the airport and minutes from Toronto’s fenestration hub. Be sure to go to Wednesday’s education tracks and the off-site gala event that same night. I’ll be there – noisy, tall, opinionated and so happy to see you.

Laura Weil is the sales manager at Euro Vinyl Windows in Woodbridge, Ontario.

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