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“I don’t have time to improve my business.”

I’ve never heard anyone say that, have you? What I have heard, year after year at GlassBuild America, is why taking a few days away from your business improves your business.

Yes, you’re busy.

Yes, you’re short-handed.

No, you haven’t seen it all before.

Everything you read below is something I’ve heard many times over from our trade show attendees. If you need more convincing, there’s one more suggestion I have for you: Come see for yourself on Sept. 17-19 in Atlanta. 

Get new solutions to your business challenges. And if you’re all set, pay it back; help someone else.

See and evaluate products and services in person. There’s nothing like a trade show for that.

Learn how the industry is changing and how that impacts your company.

Find new suppliers. GlassBuild America attracts 40+ new exhibitors each year.

Reward your high-performing employees. Every year, smart owners bring employees so they can learn and grow. Investing in their growth and understanding improves employee retention.

Find new customers. Attendees sell to other attendees. Or maybe you want to sell your company one day. There’s a buyer here for you.

Get inspired. Ask questions; share what you know.

Find out what your competition is up to. Sometimes they tell you themselves at a trade show (I’ve seen and heard it happen).

Get new ideas. Be open to everything around you.

Find out what’s coming next. Good and bad, certain and uncertain. Knowing what’s driving the industry beyond your business can help you make the right next move.

Reconnect with industry peers and learn how they are improving their businesses.

Share best practices and get trends insight at the Glazing Executives Forum and Window & Door Dealer Day.

Meet new people. Learn what they are doing that you can apply to your company. And get happy.

Learn something, learn many things. Learn the unexpected. Learning happens by osmosis as you walk through a trade show, but it can also be intentional. Check out the Express Learning stage for 20-minute single-focus topics, the Action Demos in the live demonstration area, and ongoing live demos in exhibitor booths.

Visit the Knowledge Bar in the Association Pavilion and get answers to your technical questions.

Get in on the action. Tweet or follow @Glassbuild.

Get help from your trade association. NGA, WDDA, AAMA and IGMA are in the Association Pavilion eager to show you how to leverage your membership. Trade associations reflect the industry they serve, and members drive the outputs, goals and vision. What do you need?

Ask exhibitors, “what can I learn from you about growing my business?” Many GlassBuild America sales and booth personnel have been in the industry a long time. They visit company locations; they know a good operation when they see it.

The Conversation Happens Here. This is your industry on display, in action. GlassBuild America is the only national glass and fenestration trade show in the Americas, ranked 117th of the top 250 trade shows in the entire U.S. That’s 450 exhibitors in 180,000 square feet, and if you plan (see helpful planning tips below), you can see it all in three days.

Three days to improve your business for the next 362. I look forward to finding out what you gained. 


  • Set your goals. Who and what do you want to see? Make sure to leave some time for the unexpected conversations and eureka moments.
  • Register ahead; ask one of your suppliers for a trade show pass or register here.
  • Book your hotel early—the closest hotels and best rates sell out.
  • Scope out the floor ahead of time; lists exhibitors and their products and services.
  • Read GlassBuild America’s official publications, Glass Magazine and Window & Door for show previews and other coverage.
  • Download the GlassBuild America show app in August.
  • Pick up the Show Catalog at the show.
  • Stay open, be curious, maximize your opportunities. It’s your industry in a three-day world.

For more trade show tips, see these articles from our publications:

Insider Tips for Trade Show Talk

Building a Booth: Seven tips for trade show success

Tips for a Great Show

Nicole Harris is president and CEO of the National Glass Association, organizer of GlassBuild America. She can be reached at