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The little big show

Win-door punches above its weight.


December 16, 2011
By Patrick Flannery


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Win-door is not the biggest show we go to, but it is really important
for us,” says Kari Tamminga, a marketing specialist with WTS Paradigm.

Win-door is not the biggest show we go to, but it is really important for us,” says Kari Tamminga, a marketing specialist with WTS Paradigm. “It is kind of the little big show.”

That seems like a fair way to characterize the 2011 edition of Win-door that took place Nov. 15 through 17 at the Toronto Convention Centre. While the crowds were not huge, there were enough people to generate some bustle. The feeling of connections being made and deals going down was in the air. Many exhibitors reported they had a great show, and the usual grumbles about traffic did not rise above the level of background noise. Overall, there was a sense of important things going on and suppliers working hard to put their best feet forward. Those who were not there missed out.

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bigcheque 
Good luck getting this cheque into the ATM. Members of Habitat for Humanity, Toronto Police, Toronto Fire and Toronto Emergency Medical Services gratefully accepted a $5,000 donation from Fenestration Canada president Yvan Houle.


 

Show management estimated a 20 per cent increase in attendance over 2010, with exhibitor numbers staying steady. “Any time a trade show keeps its numbers steady in this environment, it is a win,” show chairman Matt Kottke remarked.

Education seminars packed
The talk of the show was the incredible popularity of the various seminars put on by experts from Fenestration Canada, the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Altus Group and others.

Fenestration Canada technical consultant Jeff Baker’s discussion of upcoming building code changes went beyond standing room only to the point where people were crowded outside the lecture theatre and craning their necks to see in. Efforts were made to expand the theatre seating to accommodate more attendees, but to no avail, as the Thursday version of the talk also overflowed into the show aisles. An aggravating outcome for those who came too late to get a seat, no doubt, but a refreshing change from the half-empty seminars that are all too common at trade shows these days. Don’t look now, but relevant technical information from top industry experts still has the power to draw a crowd, even in the Internet Age.

A new look
The Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association (CWDMA) formally unveiled its new name and logo as part of the opening ceremonies for Win-door. The association will now be known as Fenestration Canada.

The name change was announced at the CWDMA’s conference in Banff, Alta., in May, but the new name was phased in over the summer and fall. The Win-door ribbon-cutting marked the formal adoption of the new name, and the end of the old identity. Fenestration Canada past president Kevin Pelley and president Yvan Houle shared the ribbon-cutting duties. Houle explained that the old acronym, CWDMA, had always been awkward to pronounce and remember and had not enjoyed wide recognition in the fenestration industry. The name Fenestration Canada was chosen for its simplicity, its accurate description of the association’s sector and the fact that it is the same in French as in English. Houle said the new name marks a new determination by the association to represent window and door manufacturers in every part of the country, providing a single, national voice even while working closely with regional groups.

Pelley toasted the new name and kicked off the show with his trademark cry of  “Sociable!” Given Win-door’s excellent tradition of serving drinks to attendees on the first evening of the show, everyone was quite ready to join in.

Sociable responsibility
Fenestration Canada has chosen Habitat for Humanity Canada as one of its preferred charities. 2011 marks the first year of partnership between Habitat and the association. The aim was to align the association with a charity that would tie in with its philosophy of building, renovating and providing hope by giving back to communities across Canada where members live and work. Habitat’s philosophy of providing families in need with a hand up, not a hand-out, resonated with Fenestration Canada members and was one of the key criteria for choosing it as a partner. To kick off the partnership, a $5,000 donation was made to Habitat for Humanity Toronto and the 911 Build, tying nicely into Fenestration Canada’s long-standing support of the Emergency Medical Services Chiefs of Canada’s Window and Balcony Safety Awareness Program.

The Toronto Habitat 911 Build is a joint effort by Habitat for Humanity Toronto and Toronto police, fire and EMS services. This collaborative effort has seen two homes built for two families that require wheelchair access. Both homes are in the finishing stages with the families slated to move in in the next month, allowing them to be home for the holidays.

“We are very excited that Fenestration Canada has chosen Habitat for Humanity Canada as one of its preferred charities,” said Stewart Hardacre, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada. “Through its first generous donation of $5,000, Fenestration Canada is demonstrating they are committed to helping Habitat build stronger, safer and more sustainable communities across the country. We are looking forward to working together to build out this great partnership and, ultimately, helping to build and sell affordable housing to families in need.”

The Habitat for Humanity booth at the show got attendees into the swing of things by hosting a rousing hammering contest. Contestants tested their mettle against the clock, with the person hammering the most nails into a beam in 20 seconds won a hammer and the second won a screwdriver set. The very talented Simon Grenier and Vito Alpa won easily. For the less handy, a draw was held for a set of Calloway Diablo golf clubs generously donated by Truth Hardware.

All must have prizes
Giveaways and awards were popular at Win-door this year, starting with the draw for three Kobo e-Readers. The lucky prize-winning attendees were Tom Cheney of Cheney Window and Door in Oakville, Ont., Lindsay McGhie of Centennial Windows and Doors in London, Ont., and Clarence Kent of Kento Windows and Doors in Conception Bay South, N.L.

Truth Hardware and North American Logistics sponsored a draw for a set of Callaway Diablo golf clubs that went to Santosh Nair of Durabuilt Windows in Edmonton, Alta.

Mike Bruno of Everlast Aluminum raised $1,200 for Habitat for Humanity by raffling off a $1,000 Air Canada travel voucher.

The Jim Parker booth awards were handed out by industry veteran Jim Parker himself. The award for large booth went to Acrylon Plastics, with second place going to Royal Group and honourable mention to 360 Innovations and Tru Tech Doors. The small booth award went to JSA Machinerie, with honourable mention to Groupe Promax, Aribell and Eclipse Architectural.

Plans are already being laid for the next edition of Win-door. It will be held Nov. 6 to 8, 2012, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building. Glass Canada will continue its comprehensive coverage of this important show with news and updates throughout the year.


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