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Win-door North America celebrates 15 years.

October 16, 2009  By Jim Parker

Launching a trade show doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with a need,
followed by an idea that’s backed by a lot of hard work.  That’s how
Win-door got its start.

Win-door North America celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2009. Treasurer of CWDMA Eva Ryterband of Screenco Manufacturing cuts the ceremonial ribbon to open the Win-door 2008 tradeshow.


Launching a trade show doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with a need, followed by an idea that’s backed by a lot of hard work.  That’s how Win-door got its start.

When I joined vinyl extruder Engineered Profiles (now Westech) in 1990, I noticed that suppliers to the industry exhibited at industry trade shows like NARI and IDEAS. These shows were well done, but were directed to renovators and dealers. For us suppliers of components, equipment and services, there was little choice, we had to reach the window and door manufacturers in some way.


The Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association (CWDMA) held meetings in November in Toronto every year. These were well attended by owners, managers and technical people from the industry. The sales crew at Engineered Profiles, John Middlebro’, JP Braaten and I decided to promote our products at the 1994 meeting. We set up shop in a room next to the meeting area. As the people came out of the meetings, they were “encouraged” to check out our mini window assembly operation.

From the success of this venture, we kicked around the idea of having a show targeted to window, door and fenestration product manufacturers only. John brought in his Shriner friend and trade show manager, the late Harold Shield. We put together a proposal to hold a show starting in 1996. This was presented to the CWDMA board in June 1995 at the summer meeting in New Brunswick.  The board was excited about the idea and voted to go ahead – but why wait a year?  Do it in the fall.

With a lot of hard work Shield & Associates and the show committee organized the first show in November 1995 at the Congress Centre near the Toronto Airport. It was a small show, about 35,000 square feet but it was very well received by exhibitors and visitors. The combination of dedicated trade show and industry meetings proved to be successful and the show has grown dramatically over the last 14 years. In 2001, it was moved to the Toronto Convention Centre where we typically cover 125,000 square feet with 150 plus exhibitors and more than 3000 visitors.

There were lots of suggestions for a name, but coming from Winnipeg, I always liked the name Dorwin Industries. In one short word, it told you what they do. Not wanting to copy, we went with Win-door. It was changed to Win-door North America in 2005 to reflect our North American coverage and that is where we are today.



As I noted in the last column, I would like to thank Glass Canada for giving the Canadian Window and Door Association (CWDMA) the opportunity to provide the industry an update on the activities of the association.

As president of CWDMA for 2009/10, I am pleased to report that the executive and committees are very active working on key initiatives that benefit our members. Here are a few highlights of some of the key items:

Energy Star Program – New specifications for 2010
For over 16 months, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) conducted a consultation process with participants and key stakeholders to develop a new version of the technical specification for ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors and skylights sold in Canada.  Of the changes to note are the increasingly stringent qualification levels for products and a new separate qualification table for doors. You can visit the CWDMA website to review the complete results of the consultation process.

INDUSTRY PIONEERS – Nominate a candidate
The CWDMA will be recognizing industry leaders from the past during a special ceremony at Win-door 2009 Trade Show.  We want to maintain and nurture the links with those who had a part in building our great industry and Pioneers are those individuals who have demonstrated dedication to the industry and/or the association and who have been recognized leaders in the industry. The Pioneer designation recognizes the nominee’s efforts to promote and to better the objectives of the industry and association nationally. The individual need not be retired.  Nomination forms can be found on the CWDMA website at 

Win-door 09 keynote seminar speaker
Bob Langdon, CPA and author of Managing Your Business for Profit, will be the keynote seminar speaker at Win-Door 2009. Bob has been assisting businesses in identifying and achieving their sales, marketing and financial goals since he began his consulting practice in 1981.  He speaks continuously to corporate and association audiences.  Langdon will deliver two one-hour seminars on Wednesday, November 18, 2009 at Win-door.  His presentations will be Seven Steps to Closing a Profitable Sale, and Managing Your Business in Turbulent Times. 

Economic forecast at Win-door 09
Craig Alexander, vice-president and deputy chief economist for the TD Bank Financial Group and a noted economic forecaster, has been secured as a speaker at the 2009 Win-door show. Alexander, who holds a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Toronto and has more than 10 years experience in economic analysis, has held the position of TD vice-president since November of 2004.  A timely addition to the Win-door seminar series, he travels across Canada speaking on economic trends and prospects, and is frequently quoted in the media on economic issues. 

Register now
The Win-door show offers exceptional value for all.  Over 2500 window and door manufacturers from around the world will attend, bringing together a multitude of industry experts to highlight new ideas and technologies.  A comprehensive and thought provoking seminar series, ranging from business management and economic forecasts to technical seminars regarding the updated Energy Star specifications, will enlighten all who attend.  Seminars are free with your registration badge and registrants who sign up before November 9th, will save 50 per cent on the cost of a badge at the door.  Registration information can be found at

New membership kit
The marketing committee has developed a new membership kit that outlines the value of being a member of the CWDMA. For a limited time, all new members will receive a copy of the Canadian Window and Door Market Survey Study. This comprehensive study was prepared by Fry Consultants Incorporated at the request of the membership and is free to all existing and new members. To receive a CWDMA Membership kit, please send an e-mail to the CWMDA office requesting such at


The trade show season is upon us and the people organizing Win-door couldn’t be more excited.  Ever since the final whistle blew on the 2008 show, members of CWDMA, the Win-door Show Committee and our show management team (Shield & Associates), have been busy preparing for the 2009 show taking place November 17-19. Through conversations with past exhibitors and attendees, we have learned a lot about what makes a successful show for our audience.  For them, as it most likely is for you, it’s all about ‘value’. 

Attendees to Win-door want to know that there will be a quality line-up of exhibitors showcasing their products and services.  Will there be a good cross-section of exhibitors representing the width and breadth of what encompasses the fenestration industry?  Will there be educational opportunities that will keep them up-to-date on the latest business practices and trends to help them succeed during these challenging economic times?  And, will the economies of the show itself make sense for them to attend?

For our exhibitor base, they also want to know if it makes “cents” to exhibit at Win-door, as well as confirming that the show is considering their needs when it comes to attracting the right attendees, keeping these people on the floor throughout the duration of the show, and providing an environment that is both inviting and educational.
To those people we say, “Come to Win-door, we have what you are looking for!”

Unlike other shows that may be suffering, Win-door’s commitment from exhibitors and our pre-registration numbers continue to remain strong.  New exhibitors are continuing to sign-up as well as many of those that have been with us since our start.

From daily product demos and impact testing, to updates on the forecast from a leading economist and even topical seminars hosted by IGMA and CWDMA, visitors to Win-door will have a multitude of educational resources at their fingertips.  And what’s important for our exhibitors is that we keep the audience nearby as these events are held on the show floor so there is less of an opportunity to miss your customers and prospects. 

Win-door also offers free lunches and opening night reception to all attendees, and our exhibitors are constantly amazed to learn that we continue to offer free material handling, free drayage, and free crate storage (within the exhibit hall). If you want to stay connected with your peers and enjoy the networking opportunities that an event like this has to offer, then Win-door is right for you!

Now celebrating our 15th anniversary we invite you to learn more about attending or exhibiting at Win-door, by checking out our website at or by calling 1-800-282-0003.  We have an eager group of exhibitors and an audience filled with serious buyers set to converge once again in Toronto for Win-door – we hope you’ll be there to experience this event with the rest of the industry.
Here’s hoping we see you in Toronto!

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