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USGNN Original StoryGlass Expo Midwest™ Draws Crowd in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Glass Expo Midwest™ '07 brought together those from throughout the Midwest last week in Grand Rapids, Mich., for an industry trade event unlike any other. More than 800 people gathered for the two-day event held at Amway Grand Plaza Hotel & DeVos Place. The event was co-sponsored by™/USGlass magazine, the Michigan Glass Association, the Detroit Glass Dealers Association, the Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin Glass Associations, the Illinois Glazing Association andthe Association of Glazing Contractors.

More than 60 booths could be found on the trade show floor. Exhibitors at the show said regional shows such as this one allow them an opportunity both to see current customers and meet some potential ones.

"I always consider it a good show. We always get to see some customers and pick up a few new ones," said Mary Hester of JLM Wholesale.

Hester also notes that at regional shows, she often sees a much different crowd than those at the larger events.

"I think the people who aren't willing or able to go out to the big shows appreciate this opportunity," she said.

The show also proved a useful excuse for connecting with other glass industry professionalsin the region. Nancy Longest of Builders Glass of Greenville Inc. Greenville, Mich., reported following the show, that her husband, Guy, president of the company, took advantage of the regional show to reunite with colleagues and customers he hadn't seen in quite a while.

"He refreshed some contacts that he hadn't had for a few years," she said.

David Elson, a sales manager with Guardian Industries in Ypsilanti, Mich., was another attendee who "absolutely" found the show to be beneficial. "I think the glass expo had a lot of really top-notch people that put it on," he commented following the show.

In addition to the exhibits, the event featured various seminars designed specially for glass shops.

"I … saw tons of people going out for the educational program, too, so that's always good to see," Hester said.

"I think that a lot of the seminars were very beneficial," said Elson. He found the presentation on overseas competition from Michael Collins of Jordan, Knauff and Co. to be especially insightful. Collins aimed to inform attendees about the impact of global competition, particularly from China, on door and window companies in the United States. "That was a very beneficial one," Elson said.

Among the other seminars designed specially for glass shops attendees heard tips on expert phone interaction during from Dan Molloy of Molloy LLC; explanations from Chris Holmes of PPG Industries on how to utilize low-E and spectrally selective coated glasses in projects; and insight from Tom Minnon, of YKK AP America, about the distinct differences between storefronts, window walls and curtainwalls, and where and when each should be used.

In addition to the tailored presentations for glass shops, attendees were able to sit in on a talk from former NBA player Tim McCormick. McCormick, who now provides color analysis as a broadcaster for ESPN and ABC College Basketball, focused his motivational message on the belief that NBA stands for Never Be Average. Click on the camera icon to view a video excerpt from the talk.

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