Door and Window Musings
by Tara Taffera
January 25th, 2013

Best of IBS

It’s time for my annual observations from the International Builders’ Show—things you may not find in our videos or print coverage. What did you see or hear at the show that was interesting? Let us know your best of IBS.

Best quote regarding state of the market:  “Our sales will be up 25 percent this year. It’s better than a sharp stick in the eye but still when you’re coming from the bottom ….”—Gary Robinette, president and CEO of Ply Gem.

Best conversation with a CEO—Avi Shoshan, president, Panda Windows and Doors. It was nice to have some time to catch up with Shoshan whose company I visited a few years ago in Las Vegas. He reported the company’s last-minute decision to exhibit turned out to be a wise one. Many companies stopped by the booth to say they are eager to sell Panda’s products in their markets and Shoshan reported that the company is experiencing growth. The mood at IBS was a great one overall, and Shoshan’s energy and enthusiasm for the industry is palpable.

Best conversation with an industry heavyweight. If you’re in the door and window industry, it’s a safe bet you know Jim Krahn, manager of codes and regulatory affairs at Marvin Windows and Doors. We ran into each other on the show floor and remarked how great it is to see such positive energy and optimism shared by attendees. “It’s all about a positive attitude,” said Krahn, and we were both glad to see many embraced this mantra as well.

Word of the show—Innovation: Royal sums it up best:  “All we’re showing here is brand-new products,” said Jennifer McGill, group marketing director. “It’s all about innovation.” In fact, the company has introduced some 26 new products in the past two years.

Product category of the show—Apps: Countless companies introduced apps this year, proving that companies are embracing this mobile technology.

Vinyl shows up again in other markets: We’ve written several articles recently about the move of vinyl into higher-end homes and even commercial uses and that trend was confirmed once again at IBS.

Product I want for my house: Schlage’s Trane energy management system, which can measure the amount of energy used in your home through appliances, etc.

Celebrity endorsement: Therma-Tru said the product garnering the most attention is its Pulse doors. Clean lines and crisp angles configure together to deliver the sleek, modern designs of the new Pulse studio of doors. Ty Pennington, host of ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, came into the company’s booth and said he wants to use it in an upcoming episode.

Contemporary designs gain in popularity. For the past years at IBS, we have seen a trend toward the contemporary, and this definitely continues. Berit Griffin, public relations coordinator at Marvin Windows and Doors, said, “People always think of us as a company offering historic wood windows, which we will always offer, but we are definitely placing an emphasis on contemporary designs.”

Worst of IBS: Usually I have just the best but this year I have to include the worst. You may notice my blog is a little shorter than in recent years. That’s because on day two I became ill and was in my hotel room sick all day. Definitely the worst!

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