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June 25, 2020
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A Year Without GlassBuild America

By Emily Thompson, Window + Door

I joined the NGA and Window + Door staff in September of 2014. My second day at my new job entailed watching GlassBuild America in Las Vegas come to life. I was coming in with more than a decade of trade shows under my belt, which gave me the experience to confidently step on the show floor, even as a fenestration rookie. It also gave me the perspective to realize how different this show was from all the others I attended, and not just in terms of the products, content and exhibitors. There was a distinct energy.  

Everyone was into it. Excited to be there. Eager to get on the floor and see what was new. Exhibitors were tenured and generous with their time and knowledge—and not just with editors. I knew I made the right decision to join this industry and the organization that created an event that stirred such an energy.
GlassBuild has since set a pace and rhythm to my years and my work at Window + Door. It is the most important event I attend every year. It is my ultimate source of insight into the trends that frame our market. The event embodies the collaboration and innovation characteristic of the industry.  

Everything about this year has felt strange and it will feel even more foreign as we move into the fall without GlassBuild to mark the time. But everything about this year has also forced us to adapt. We've discovered new ways to do the things we love to do and the things that we must do.
I will miss seeing your faces, hearing your stories and seeing firsthand what you've been working on to make the industry better, more efficient and more productive. But I'm also excited to be part of the team that is creating a month-long fenestration event to bridge the time until we can all be under the same roof in Atlanta in September 2021.
GlassBuild Connect will present 30 days of fenestration industry innovations, education and product introductions throughout this September. While COVID has derailed so much for our industry, it hasn't stopped innovation, research and development, market trends and more. These are the stories GlassBuild exhibitors will be sharing to a global audience throughout September. I hope you'll be a part of it.

Emily Kay Thompson is editor in chief of Window + Door,, and W+Dweekly. Contact her at

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