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FGIA: FGIA Summer Conference to be a virtual event this year

FGIA will provide the same high-quality industry content participants have come to know, only in an online format


June 18, 2020
By Margaret Webb

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As we know by now, this spring’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 have left those planning industry events in 2020 having to think fast and adapt accordingly. This has been the case for the Fenestration and and Glazing Industry Alliance as well – our Summer Conference scheduled to take place in Chicago, Ill., has transitioned from an in-person event to a virtual one. The virtual conference takes place Tuesday, June 23 through Thursday, June 25, in designated blocks with plenty of breaks to reduce meeting fatigue. Registration will remain open throughout the event, for those who decide to join in after it begins.

Because FGIA’s membership is made up of those in Canada as well as the United States, the conference content will cover matters of interest to both. Here is a rundown of some of the Canadian topics that will be covered, and when.

On June 23, participants will have access to a Canadian legislative and regulatory report. This will include the current status of the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) Glass Standards, including the proposed reaffirmations of four active standards and the proposed harmonization of CGSB 12.1 and ANSI Z97.1, both covering safety glazing. It will also include updates on proposed future work activity, such as updating CAN/CGSB 12.20, Structural Glass Design in Buildings. Since this standard has not been updated since 1989, this will be a major undertaking for the Canadian industry. CGSB, a subdivision of Public Works Canada, operates on a cost-recovery basis for standards development and maintenance. Even reaffirmation of a standard requires funding of $30,000. We will report on funding estimates that have been provided by CGSB for the CAN/CGSB 12.20 work and the proposed harmonization of CAN/CGSB 12.1 with ANSI Z97.1. A report on current CSA activities will also be included. Anyone with industry ties to the Canada marketplace will be interested in the latest on these matters.

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Later that day, participants will hear an update on FGIA certification programs and gain an understanding of COVID-19’s impact on each. First up will be the IGMAC Certification Program and a discussion of its harmonization with the IGCC-IGMA program. Current statistics on the program’s participants, plants and certified products, including air and gas content, will be shared. Following this, there will be comparable information about the IGCC-IGMA Certification Program shared, along with an update on the Rapid Assessment Chamber (RAC), an IGCC research and development project, partially funded from the Glass Products Council R&D fund.

On June 24, a codes report will highlight Canadian information pertaining to the Joint Task Force on Safety Glazing as well as a report on submitted public comments on proposed code changes to the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC). Finally, a market transformation status update will be provided to those registered for the conference.

On June 25, the final day of the event, an hour session will be held about various U.S. and Canadian financial relief programs available to large and small businesses as well as individuals and employees. While this conference will not focus solely on COVID-19’s impact on our industry, we are planning to have some discussions about the pandemic during the event. Beyond financial relief, the topics being strategized are lessons learned and forecasting of what is to come.

In general, three or four meeting sessions will be hosted each day beginning at 10:00 a.m. Central time and wrapping in the late afternoon, with plenty of breaks. We know time zones will be different across the breadth of those attending, so the schedule allows for folks to grab lunch at a reasonable time based on where they are tuning in. Sponsor promotion, video clips and fun trivia activities will take place during these breaks.

FGIA will provide the same high-quality industry content participants have come to know, only in an online format using Zoom video webinar that is password-protected to ensure the security of the event. There will be one track, making it easy to connect and to know you will be in the right “room.” Additionally, we understand those who come to our world class in-person events love doing so for the networking. To meet this need, FGIA will be hosting optional “happy hours” following Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s sessions– BYOB, of course! Meet up as a small group in a themed “room” online with moderator-led discussions of topics you care about most or elect to join a social “room” for general conversation and catching up.

FGIA staff has worked hard to plan a blended slate of association business sessions as well as panel discussions, speakers and other content of most value to those in the industry in these unusual times. Keynote speaker Dan Hampton, known as “Danimal,” is a retired Hall of Fame NFL player for the Chicago Bears. He will address the importance of leadership and adapting to change – clearly a relevant topic given current world events.

While the format has changed, the quality level will be what participants have come to expect from FGIA. Plus, being a virtual event allows an opportunity for colleagues who are unable to attend in-person conferences to connect with and reap the value provided by the association.

Contact FGIA at meetings@FGIAonline.org with questions about the upcoming virtual Summer Conference. We hope you’ll join us.