Well, if someone would have told me a year ago that I would not be attending GlassBuild America in Vegas in 2020, I would have told them they were crazy. After all, I have gone to every single GlassBuild America show since its inception in 2002. Well, here we are in 2020, and I am still going to be at GlassBuild, but not in Vegas. Instead, I will be there in my office or living room, or perhaps sitting on my deck in the backyard. Or, maybe I’ll be in my hot tub. But, once again, despite this pandemic, I will still be at GlassBuild in 2020 (one way or another).

Instead of three days of a live show on the floor in Vegas, we are being treated to a virtual GlassBuild Connect lasting 22 days, with 44 educational sessions and the opportunity to see over 600 products offered to door and window fabricators. Why, there are even events running on Labor Day, so if your local Labor Day parade is cancelled this year, you can tune in and learn about energy code changes or learn all about safety glazing while you are slow cooking your ribs on the grille!

This year’s virtual format makes perfect sense, not only because of the social distancing considerations, but also because of the unique time constraints that fabricators are experiencing in 2020. Just about all my customers are busier right now than they have been in years, with some setting new sales records every month. Yet, despite the strong sales numbers, production is lagging in their plants due to unprecedented labor shortages, extended lead times from suppliers, and extraordinary workplace requirements necessary to prevent possible COVID-19 outbreaks on the plant floor. The result is that orders are backing up, lead times are being extended and stress is building up.

Given this scenario, if GlassBuild were to be held in Vegas as planned, it might not have been very well attended. Fabricators are super busy this month dealing with this stressful situation in which both the good (increased sales) and the bad (manpower shortages) are both outcomes of this crazy year of the virus. So now, instead of only a three-day window to experience GlassBuild on the exhibit hall floor, window and door fabricators will have all month to log in, check out products and attend webinars with a much more flexible schedule.

I have called many of my customers and asked them if they plan on checking out GlassBuild Connect. Some say yes for sure, but others respond, “Maybe, if I get the time.”  Given the current challenges facing our industry, we cannot afford to not take the time. Solutions are out there to help us increase output and operate more efficiently. New products are here that will enable us to maintain a competitive edge.

So, as busy as one may be, delegate a few tasks, jump online and check out GlassBuild Connect. You can do it from wherever you happen to be. It’s GlassBuild wherever (and whenever)!

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