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Gumption: In the Glass and Fenestration Industry, We Press On. Always.

Andrew Haring headshot

Good golly what I wouldn’t give for some good ol’ fashioned precedented times, finally. Don’t worry, this isn’t another “in this together” warm and fuzzy read—you can find those elsewhere, some even penned by me. This one is about business and perspective. This is a battle cry.

Flashback to BEC in Nashville (remember when half the glass industry was almost Thanos-snapped by a tornado?), when the concept and threat of COVID was largely unfamiliar and its duration and impacts unknown and debated. Six months later we’re still debating, but we can all agree the economy took it on the chin, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors where you and I play. Projects stopped, plants shut down, and people got laid off.

We got hurt. But we’re a scrappy sort. We rallied, pivoted and changed the way we operate in the field, plant and office. We changed the way we sold and procured. Our funnels and supply chains were tested and triaged. We ditched the conference rooms for Zooms, lunch n’ learns for webinars, and forgot to unmute ourselves 40 percent of the time. We staycationed. We bobbed and weaved, and we figured s**t out. We also made, sold and installed gobs of glass protective partitions and storefronts along the way. Ideal? No. But we adapt, make do and find a way.

And now we’ll find ourselves being tested and maneuvering again this September, the time of year where, historically, professionals of all walks and corners of this industry come together to build. Be it themselves personally, their businesses, their vendor list, their production line, customer base or professional network. People come together with plans and expectations to buy, sell and learn, and many companies have relied on GlassBuild America to be that vehicle for decades.

For many companies, GlassBuild is the one line item in their annual marketing budget and the prime stage for new product launches. For others it’s a substantial percentage of their annual sales projections. For those that make and install, stakeholders know that in just three days they can get caught up on a years’ worth of code updates and regulations impacting their projects and see the latest and greatest product innovations from across the globe to improve quality, output and profitability.

The industry counts on GlassBuild for business. And so here we are, unable to meet in-person under one roof. Of course we were all looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones; shaking hands, seeing what’s new, and maybe ducking in a reception or four. We can’t have that this year, with a big pandemic obstacle smack dab in the middle of our path to better businesses. We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it.

So, in the spirit of this industry comprising the world’s gutsiest and persistent troublemakers, the National Glass Association has decided to truck right through it and deliver the brand exposure, product launch platform, education and engagement opportunities that we were all counting on this September. Enter GlassBuild Connect.

What is GlassBuild Connect? It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s your best bet to deliver the ROI you and your company were anticipating. It’s for the commercial glass and residential fenestration players. It’s for every member of the supply chain and for every staff position in every company. It’s for YOU.

  • 1 Month of industry-focused programming and product exploration
  • 22 Days of education content targeting all industry segments
  • Over 75 presentations, demonstrations, roundtables and peer group sessions
  • Over 15 hours of AIA Continuing Education Learning Units
  • 330+ companies showcasing the latest products and services
  • 5 daily content themes zeroed in on your business sector

GlassBuild is an institution, the brand and organization you’ve trusted and the one that repeatedly delivers. I’m sure you’ve seen the other events promoted for September. A lot of organizations are forced to try emergency pivots in tough times. I wish them well and hope they survive. I can’t tell you what they have to offer, but I can guarantee that you can only find sheer volume of products, education and business connections at GlassBuild Connect.

It’s online, all month, and absolutely free. Not just to subscribers or advertisers, FREE to ALL. We have the range, quantity and quality, and now so do you.

Still a far cry from thriving as an industry, but we’re shoving our way through it on our way to the next normal. In September we rise and press on. It’s what we do.

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