All of us in the glass industry – any industry – spend a lot of time talking on the phone, texting and emailing customers and colleagues. This is all time well spent, but it pales in comparison to meeting in person and showing products in a fresh way.
It sounds simple, but those two activities are the most important reasons Guardian Glass invests in industry events like GlassBuild.
Displaying products in a booth is not a new idea, of course. We’ve all been doing it for years. Last year, though, was the first for Guardian Vacuum IG™ units. There’s a lot of interest in our industry in the high performance of vacuum insulating glass units, and we had many quality conversations.
When we did a deep dive following the show, however, we believed there was a better way we could reach our customers on the value of Vacuum IG.
Why not take advantage of the product’s success in the commercial refrigeration industry? We decided to work with one of our partners to create a compact unit that would be a part of our trade show booth.
We brought the Guardian Vacuum IG unit installation – a cooler filled with water bottles – to the American Institute of Architects Conference on Architecture in Las Vegas in June.
The cooler enhanced the product experience for our visitors because people could touch one side of the 8 mm unit at 72 degrees, then the other, which was only 36 degrees. This replicates how a Guardian Vacuum IG unit installation would perform: In cold climates, building occupants close to windows would be very comfortable; while in warm climates, Guardian Vacuum IG units would keep the building’s HVAC system from overwork.
Seeing the narrow profile and feeling such an extreme temperature difference made it interesting and different for our guests (and they got a bottle of water, too).
We also invited people to interact with our display of new Guardian® Bird1st™ glass, which features UV vertical stripes that are visible to birds, but very subtle to the human eye. Each visitor could spray the IGU with glass cleaner. The moisture made the UV stripes visible, and when they wiped the glass dry, the UV stripes again became virtually invisible.
These products became much more memorable for our visitors because of the tactile experience. Passers-by could see the activity around these two product displays, and that in turn sparked more conversation.
We can’t approach this kind of product conversation through the website, or from mailing a glass sample, and certainly not through an email.
That conversation – talking to our current customers, new contacts and colleagues – is the other key reason Guardian Glass invests in industry events. These relationships are incredibly valuable, so we need to take every advantage to see each other in person.
Many studies explain how face-to-face conversations are seen as more positive and perceived as more credible than digital or audio communication. And we frequently get a chance to have a more casual conversation over dinner, coffee, or another activity once the show is over. That time to catch up is invaluable.
So we’ll see you at GlassBuild America. Look for the cooler!