Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer
The twenty-first annual Win.door Show, Canada’s only industry owned fenestration trade show, took place Nov. 3 through 5 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Changes to the show’s model in 2015 resulted in greater value and accessibility for attendees.
Fenestration Canada president Skip MacLean says Win.door 2014 ended with a resounding call from both exhibitors and attendees to refresh the show and inject some energy lacking from the event. “To this end we introduced several new and progressive changes to the very structure of the show itself.” These changes included modified show hours (the event started an hour earlier on the opening day and hours were reduced on the last day to better reflect peoples’ travel schedules and commitments).
Other key changes included central education and innovation presentation areas, a “quiet zone” for private informal meetings and discussion and a breakfast economic presentation on the closing day.
MacLean says central to the show has always been the exhibits and how some exhibitors prepare for the event. Exhibitors were also invited to present a new product or service through the centre stage area presentations.
“Once again this year we reached out to both attendees and exhibitors to get their feedback on the changes made and what other areas we could improve on or introduce for next year’s show through surveys performed during and after the show.”
The 2015 event kicked off with opening day keynote speaker Michael “Pinball” Clemons, who MacLean says had been chosen to help energize the show’s opening night and to draw local attendees to the event at off-peak rush hour traffic times. “His message of “team” and “be a part of it” hit home to many present and the feedback was very positive.”
He says most if not all of the presentations were well attended and received. “My personal favorite is always the economic outlook (this year by Scotia Bank chief economist Warren Jestin) and the discussions among attendees that follow afterwards. The technical presentations are always a huge draw and this year was no different.”
“The demand for these types of presentations is always high and with the dramatic change in the Canadian dollar against the U.S. and the drop in oil pricing there are a lot of folks looking for guidance.”
Technical presentation highlights at the 2015 show included NAFS (North American Fenestration Standard) and the custom home; a discussion about manufacturing and the Millennials; challenges builders face with fenestration products and codes; and energy standards updates.
MacLean says a new floor layout, increased focus on new products and a centre stage presentation area are just some of the changes to the show designed to enhance the visitor experience.
MacLean says one of the really unique ideas at the 2015 show involved opening the education pavilion/centre stage to exhibitors to present a specific product or service by means of short (5 min. or so) PowerPoint or slide show presentation from the stage. Nine exhibiting companies took advantage of the opportunity.
He anticipates offering the event again this year, adding that “Fenestration Canada’s marketing committee will be working with exhibitors to help them prepare and present.” “
Win.door is also a clear opportunity to give thanks and to celebrate with customers near and far,” he said. “Fenestration Canada has planned events such as technical committee meetings and Fabrication Council sessions that allow for fenestration professionals to understand issues that affect our industry and have an impact on matters that continue to impact the way we do business. The ability to network with peers across the country at one time, in one location, cannot be taken lightly. As they say, information is the true currency in business.”
MacLean says Win.door and the window and door industry is a living breathing thing and must evolve and change with the times. “Fenestration Canada, its committees and its members are working hard to present a rewarding and positive experience for all. Win.door is so much more than just a trade show.”
“The exhibits are the central part of the event. You might say the glue that holds everything together. Win.door is where we gather to network with our peers, discuss relevant issues with suppliers, officials and other stakeholders.”
He says Win.door is where the industry learns what challenges and opportunities are coming and how to best deal with these issues. Win.door, he says, is also a celebration of the industry, a way to thank everyone for their contribution and a way to give back to those less fortunate.
MacLean says there will be several announcements in the next few weeks once all of the survey results are tabulated and reviewed.
The next Win.door will be Nov. 15 to 17, 2016. For more information, visit windoorshow.com.