Why trade shows are valuable windows into the world of fenestration

At Soft Tech, we’re firm believers in the value of attending industry-specific trade shows around the world. There are a good number of them, too; we generally exhibit at GlassBuild America in the USA and AusFenEx in Australia, along with seconding delegates to several others.

We attend for multiple reasons which go beyond the obvious of sharing new developments with our existing customers and demonstrating our software and solutions to interested parties.

Being alert to developments in our industry is valuable, because like many other industries, fenestration is in flux. There are always new designs for windows and doors, on the one hand, as architects and designers push the boundaries of possibility (and manufacturers have to produce these creations, somehow).

Then there is the ever-increasing impact of technology. This is in terms of smart designs, with windows and doors capable of wondrous things. It is also in terms of manufacturing technology which can accelerate efficiency and productivity.

Keeping an eye on both these elements is important, because it can present opportunity for improvement, or it could portend the threat of new competition. We like to think more in terms of opportunity, because being informed in good time means you’re equipped to do something about it.

Business development is a big part of trade shows, and it’s another reason why I heartily recommend attending at least one or two events in your region every year. The trade shows don’t just pull crowds, they pull the right crowds. They are an ideal opportunity to meet with the “who’s who”, meet with your existing customers and seek out new ones. You’ll also find distributors, specifiers, architects – all like-minded professionals who play a role in your business.

So, without further ado, here’s our list of the nine best fenestration trade shows (in no particular order) which you might consider putting into your calendar:

1. Fensterbau takes place once every two years in Nuremberg, Germany. It’s coming up next March and is a ‘must go, must see’ experience (that’s the assessment from Mitch Lewandowski, our North America VP of Sales). It is the best networking and meeting place on the planet for the industry.

2. WinDoor Canada is a relatively small show but pulls an excellent crowd. It takes place this November.

3. GlassBuild America is the largest annual gathering for the entire glass, window and door industries in North America. Going for 17 years, this year’s event is in Atlanta in mid-September; stop by our booth #1917 and say hi!

4. AusFenEx happens annually and is the top event Down Under for our industry. The 2019 event is in August and we’ll be there as a sponsor and exhibitor. Do say hello at stands #105 & 110!

5. FiT Show is an annual event in Birmingham in the United Kingdom. We exhibited at our first FIT Show earlier this year and had a great response. The next event is scheduled for May 2020.

6. Fenestration BAU China is a three-day exhibition in Shanghai covering all aspects of the window and door industry. With more than 650 exhibitors, it’s a big one.

7. Zak World of Facades deals with façade design and engineering and takes place ‘everywhere’, with 61 editions around the world every year.

8. Windows Doors & Facades is in Dubai every year, with the 2019 event happening in September. As the region’s only dedicated industry event, it draws a ‘who’s who’ for one of the busiest places anywhere for the fenestration industry.

9. Glasstech Asia is billed as ‘the Glass Hub of Southeast Asia’ and takes place in November in Jakarta. It is targeted at the glass manufacturing, processing, products and materials sectors.

10. Batimat is probably most well known as the world’s leading construction exhibition, with not only a focus on the fenestration industry, but on building industry products, equipment and services as a whole.  Batimat takes place every two years, with the next one scheduled for November 2019 in Paris.

Attending trade shows generally doesn’t require a major investment. But they are invaluable for staying on top of what’s happening in the industry – and staying on top of your game.

I look forward to seeing you at one of them soon!