Top five show tips
Glass Build America will be in Atlanta in September. Phil Dewhurst Jr, commercial director at The Georgian Bar Company, has been to the show five times since 2014, in both Atlanta and Las Vegas, and has experience to share.
The Georgian Bar Company now has a thriving business in the US. Here are my top five tips about using the shows as a focus to break into new markets.
Ask people who have been before. Before I went for the first time, I was really lucky to talk to both Guy Hubble from Regalead and Mark Hickox from Thermoseal about what to expect. They were both very helpful and gave me lots of information so I could get the best from visiting the show.
Research the market. The US market is vast. It spans from the $99 window churned out of huge sheds in tens of thousands a day, to more European style windows, and everything in between.
There are differences between the east and west Coasts, and shipping inside the US can be prohibitively expensive. It’s worth looking at this beforehand so that you don’t waste time and effort in something that will be rejected by delivery costs.
Plan your visit. Make appointments, or have a plan of your top list of prospects at the show.
Take time to look at the floorplan and see who is exhibiting. I usually have a combination of planned meetings as well as time set aside for prospecting. As you walk round the show, talk to the exhibitors about what they do and how they do it. I’ve found that most people are happy to explain how they work, and it’s given me a huge amount of insight into the market.
Stay central. Often the show will have a hotel as its HQ, and it’s worth staying here as you will end up sharing a drink or two with exhibitors and visitors in their downtime. You’ll find all the official information on www.glassbuildamerica.com
Sign up to the events by the show organisers. These are great places to meet up with people in the industry and are brilliant for networking. There’s a Pigs being run in Atlanta this year and it’s definitely worth going as all the Brits will be there.
I hope these tips will come in useful and look forward to seeing you in Atlanta.