January 30, 2024

Glass Expo Southeast™ ’24 Recap

By Paul Daniels

Last week, I attended the Glass Expo Southeast™ in Orlando. It was exciting to see the enthusiasm and participation of all involved. This was one of the first glass shows to kick off the new year, and everyone I spoke with, both vendors and customers, was enthusiastic about the year ahead.

Our industry has a large pool of knowledge and experience, and people are dedicated to passing that experience on to the next generation.

The format was well accepted, with half the agenda dedicated to education and half to the vendors on the floor. They said that the number of vendors attending was up over last year, as well as the attendance. The floor setup made it much more personal than larger shows, giving attendees time to go back around the floor and spend more time with the vendors of interest.

Unlike other shows I have attended, the time was dedicated to the floor and presenters. No education seminars were going on during open show floor hours, so all attendees could focus on attending seminars. I had a chance to attend several seminars and even presented one called “Heavy Glass Handrails and Guardrails.”

I want to thank all those who attended in person and stopped by to say hello. Our industry has a large pool of knowledge and experience, and people are dedicated to passing that experience on to the next generation. This was a great format for that. The presentations I attended all seemed to have a great theme: to pass on application information. This only comes from hands-on experience.

Stewart Jeske, P.E., founder and president of JEI Structural Engineering, spent an hour reviewing projects he had been involved with over the years that had “ugly details” in the drawings. He also showed the best practices implemented to solve the problems correctly.

You can always look up engineering details, test reports, and generic installation instructions on products online. However, understanding basic application information and problem-solving only comes from those who have faced these issues in the field. Jeske had no problems answering questions from the audience.

Keith Daubmann, a self-proclaimed glass entrepreneur and empathetic sales maestro with MY Shower Door, gave a great presentation on selling. He applied what he learned in sales over the years to his glass business experience. These were not just pie-in-the-sky ideas but practical approaches to selling and servicing customers in his showroom.

Daubmann also shared his family’s journey from a small town in central Massachusetts to building a successful business in South Florida that has created life-changing opportunities for many. If you get a chance, you can visit the USGlass website and watch the recorded versions, it will be time well spent.