Inside Edition – The BEC Episode

If you’ve never made the trip to the BEC Conference, held annually in Las Vegas, you’re missing out. The event is not only packed with informative sessions but brings hundreds of people together for what’s been deemed the industry’s best networking opportunity. I had the chance to talk with some people during this year’s conference to get the scoop on what many were looking for from the event.

Networking, networking, networking. As one attendee told me, the seminars are good, but it’s the networking that stands out. There is no other event, he said, that brings everyone together—from customers to suppliers—in one room.

Energy, energy, energy. It started when Scott Thomsen fired up the crowd with his call to action over the industry’s fight in the battle for the wall. Sure, it’s something we’ve heard before: there are code groups seeking to reduce the window-to-wall-ratio. But Thomsen’s presentation re-iterated what the industry needs to know and do to keep glass as a significant component of building facades. The products to do it are available and everyone needs to be on board.

Chinese curtainwall tariffs: The presentation from David Spooner on the Chinese curtainwall tariffs was one that generated much interest from attendees. There are those who agree with this and those who do not, and this is certainly a topic of which we can expect to hear more in the future.

Education: A number of contract glaziers mentioned the importance of education for the younger generation and the need for resources to ensure their longevity in the industry. They talked of how we lost many to other jobs and industries as a result of the recession, so now it’s time to find ways to encourage job growth again.

For me personally … well having just finished our annual list of the nation’s top contract glaziers, I was excited to see many of those companies attending the event. Some I knew; others I met for the first time. The event is a great opportunity to meet people and get to know those with whom you primarily correspond via email.

And on a non-related note, I also saw Ice-T and his wife Coco while at the Planet Hollywood … seriously … what trip to Vegas is complete without a celebrity sighting?