What is the future of the industry?

With the glass and glazing industry seemingly careering from one challenge to the next over the last year and a half, Glazing Summit 2021, which takes place on October 21 at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham, cannot come soon enough, says Andrew Scott, the summit’s founder and CEO of organisers Insight Data and Purplex Marketing.

After 35 years in the glass and glazing industry, I thought I’d seen it all. Nothing comes close, however, to what it has faced in the last 18 months with Brexit, the pandemic, supplier and material issues, and labour shortages.

While some companies report record sales, it is clear that operations and margins have suffered, and it’s taken its toll on management teams and staff.

With things slowly getting back to normal, where will the industry go next, and what does it mean for your business and your customers?

I launched the Glazing Summit in 2018 to provide a space for business owners and directors from companies across all sectors of the industry to come together to discuss the major issues affecting them. And, after the last 18 months, this space has become more important than ever.

With everything that has happened, setting an agenda for a summit such as this should be easy; it’s been anything but. With so many areas to discuss and debate, fitting everything in has been nigh on impossible, but we think we have managed it.

Our line-up of industry experts and keynote speakers will take part in a series of dynamic debates, including: how the supply chain is addressing product shortages and skyrocketing prices; how installers are tackling key issues from materials and labour shortages to digital transformation and online sales; concerns around recycling, sustainability and big changes to energy ratings and Building Regulations; upcoming threats and opportunities, such as the Future Homes Standard 2025 and the drive towards net zero carbon; and industry consolidation.

Renowned economist and financial expert Greg Perdon will discuss the outlook for the housing, construction, and home improvement markets and, as always, Insight Data will deliver it’s state of the industry report, which will analyse the impact of the last 18 months, what it means for the industry, and the current trends.

I believe our industry has an exciting future and there will never be greater opportunities than in the years ahead.

With almost 18 months of being stuck behind a computer or the phone, connecting with industry peers is something we have all missed, and it’s vital for your brand and your business.

With around 300 leading fabricators, installers, glass companies, distributors and material suppliers set to come together for the day, the opportunity is there to connect with potential customers and key players.

There are plenty of networking opportunities available through the day, while the popular Glazing Summit Dinner takes place in the evening, with 150 of the industry’s finest getting together for a fantastic evening.

Those in attendance can ask questions during each debate, discuss solutions, share their ideas, and discuss how the industry moves forward.

Live events have been missed, particularly in our industry, and the feedback we’ve had is that people want to get back to in-person events.

I can understand why there are concerns around very large events with people milling around, such as exhibitions, while smaller, well-managed events such as conferences with dedicated seating and spacious venues, are booking up fast.

We want everyone attending to be able to feel safe throughout the day, which is why we will be using a much bigger, well-ventilated space than before, with restrictions on table numbers.

The future of the industry is in our hands. Let’s come together and help shape it.