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Glazing Clippings and Musings October 2016 by Helen Duval

Looking at the news over the last few weeks it is not surprising that Theresa May considered, at the recent EU Summit, that she will have to tackle ‘difficult moments’.  I think in fact,  there are a couple of people across ‘The Pond’ who have had their fair share of difficult moments already, with the Clinton vs. Trump debacle continuing to run on.

I, for one, feel beleaguered by all the media surrounding the US Presidential election, which a friend in America found staggering when we talked about it.  The level of interest in it from an international media perspective really astounded them.  Thank goodness, soon we will all be put out of our misery, or not, depending on how you look at it.  For me, JK Rowling summed it up perfectly in a recent tweet where she wrote, “When a man this ignorant & easy to manipulate gets within sniffing distance of the nuclear codes, it’s everyone’s business.” Of course, it’s everyone’s business.

That said, if you put the Republican candidate’s position on …well if I’m honest, on pretty much most things aside, (which is an extremely difficult thing to do), I still can’t quite fathom out how the American ‘Constitution’ enables someone, without an ounce of political acumen to run for one of the most powerful jobs on the planet. It does make our governmental issues almost pale into insignificance, doesn’t it?  …

Einstein once said that politics was more difficult than physics, but without keeping an eye on it, surely, we are all lost?  Politics is everyone’s business isn’t it?  Trading today means being part of a global community and that affects all of us – whether its oil, stocks and shares, imported wine, kitchen tiles, materials or intrinsic parts for equipment, there will be international and legal implications that affect these somewhere along the chain, all of which are driven by negotiations, price, standards and naturally, the political dictates of the importing and exporting countries.

GlassBuild Open For Business

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With GlassBuild doors still wide open as I write, and many European companies including Bottero Glass Technologies, Forel S.p.A and Optima Computer Software exhibiting right alongside many Chinese contingents, it is evident that America remains a vital and important business arena for this industry.  News in, from the press room, is that business is thriving and that cheerful optimism is filtering through in relation to eventual post Brexit business. The inaugural Legacy Awards seem to have been well received by exhibitors and sponsors at the expo, with exhibition loyalty rewarded by the show organisers.

That positive vibe seems to be flowing across our own exhibition floors as we all negotiate our way around the current major trade fair halls that are open across the country at the moment.

So, despite all the political machinations, there has been a lot to discover in terms of product developments as new innovations abound, which was particularly noticeable at the NEC with UK Construction Week.  Whilst the aisles were a little quieter in TimberExpo and the Build Show than I remembered last year, I was then pleased to discover so many companies from the window and door industries exhibiting in the Grand Designs Live hall.

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It seems obvious that with so many window and door exhibitors in the main Grand Designs arena that there was an obvious desire for fabricators and manufacturers to reach the consumers directly, with striking stands that reflected the best in high end living. The floor was buzzing and having spoken to a number of visitors, it would seem that the general desire was not to just add value and reduce energy bills but to be able to really enjoy the touches of luxury they had commissioned for their homes.  They were definitely lifestyle choices.

I would certainly be surprised if the footfall was down on last year’s exhibition which had pleased many of the exhibitors I spoke to, including window manufacturers, bifold door companies and top end kitchen and bathroom manufacturers such as The Cast Iron Bath Company, for whom business was booming.

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On walking the floor, it was interesting to see just how diverse the bifold option has become, with so many on display in varying guises including Garden Rooms, Garden Offices and separate home studios it was evident that this was a product with great scope.  It certainly was much more than just an alternative option for home extensions and conservatories.  Anglian and Yale were major players in the Grand Designs section with Anglian being a key sponsor and exhibitor.  The stands were alive with people keen to learn more about how their GBPs would stretch further to provide greater security, more light, a beautiful appearance and a luxurious personal touch in their home.

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Most people seemed unconcerned regarding the expense of exhibiting and were generally unperturbed regarding Brexit, with a ‘let’s wait and see’ attitude which rippled through the Hall when asked about the possibility of a future troubled economy. The BSI team stated that most people merely wanted to know about current compliance for the UK market, with any potential European standard changes, post Brexit, not really a great concern for many at the moment.  For UK Construction Week the future certainly looked very bright with both happy exhibitors and consumer visitors keen to explore new options.

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Rewarding Times

So, as we look towards the last quarter of the year, it will be exciting to watch as people gear up for the Awards of the Year.  Already the fast paced social media news feeds are charged with nominations being announced by some notable industry movers and shakers including The Consultancy, Solidor, Edgetech, MRA and The Thermoseal Group in some of the industry’s most prestigious awards categories.   Product innovations and breakthroughs, customer initiatives and business excellence will all soon be rewarded and recognised.

As award season starts to gather momentum with the #NFA16, G-Awards 2016, Construction Marketing Awards and The Building Awards all preparing to honour the great and the good of the industry,  it certainly reflects well on the sector, with a buoyancy and determination to push forward to greater things, irrespective of political storms.

Written by Helen Duval 2016

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