GlassBuild America wrapped up on Thursday with exhibitors going home largely satisfied with all they accomplished in Atlanta this week, as well as with the improving state of the industry as a whole.
“I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to where we were,” says Gary Simpson, one of the owners of Los Angeles-based CTD Machines Inc., “but we’ve come back from the dark side. Things have definitely gotten better.”
Many exhibitors echoed Simpson’s comments, although there were a few – usually those assigned to lower-profile spots within the cavernous Georgia World Congress Center – that were obviously disappointed with less-than-expected results from their three days in Atlanta.
Eva Xu, the sales manager for Quingdao Jinfer International Co. Ltd., made the 16-hour flight from China to make her GlassBuild America debut. Although somewhat disappointed with the lower numbers of foot traffic than she expected, she said her company will take part in next year’s show in Las Vegas, albeit with a smaller booth.
But she appeared to be more the exception than the norm.
Rajiv Agarwal, vice president of India-based Ozone Overseas Pvt. Ltd., was among the many who made the most of their time in Atlanta with closed deals, promising leads and extensive professional networking.
“It’s been an excellent exhibition for us,” he says. “We’ve already been in Toronto for about two years and we wanted to put our products in other markets.”
There was no argument from Mike Synon, the vice president of sales and marketing for HHH Tempering Resources Inc., after what he described as a “very good week.”
And Mark Liston, the president of Glass Doctor, says the recent tough times endured by the industry may have only helped restore the natural order of things. He says his business continues to thrive, especially in the flat glass segment.
“It seems to me the good are getting better and those that are falling by the wayside probably would have anyway,” Liston says.