Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Better than expected

Well I admit it… I was wrong… Yep I missed my mark on the prediction that the AIA show last week would be a disaster. Amazingly it went a ton better than I thought. Now attendance was not great and I heard from many exhibitors that the floor was not kind to them (the show floor was perhaps the most stupid yet- which is saying something), but the big reason I mark this as a success is the fact that the tone of the attendee changed. The average architect in the past was usually detached and arrogant at these gatherings, now they had a focus. They were more friendly and engaging. Maybe being slow and seeing their careers and livelihoods in danger changed them. Who knows maybe this was an aberration and next year in Miami the snooty, distant designers will return. But for 3 days in crazy San Francisco it was not evident.


-- The AIA floor was a mess- 3 halls and in 2 buildings… I wonder how many exhibitors were like me and felt the bait and switch with that goofy layout?
-- USGNN did a tremendous job, as always, of covering the event. Props to Megan, Ellen and Drew for a job well done. By the way, Drew was the guy holding the camera… most people (guys especially) probably paid him no mind with Megan and Ellen (talented as always!) around but Drew does a tremendous job and deserves props too.

-- Big part of the show? The push of the BIPV products- and full disclosure… I had one in our booth that was well received (people can and do abuse me for being a “self promoter” but in this case, the BIPV was a big item at the show and there’s no way I can ignore it or the involvement by the company I work for when it was a big part of the show) and I am sure that the others that showed this product probably had some solid interest too. No doubt that this is a line that has the interest of the design community.

-- Bummer of the show? No Starship Enterprise. Damn.

-- Seen on the floor… I stopped by Sage and saw the gang there… had to give them congrats on a tremendous new ad that they have out. They were able to explain “value” in an ad better than anyone had done it previous. Good work!

-- Speaking of ads I did get to meet the brains behind Glassopolis. You may remember them for their fantastic ad from a few months ago… anyway they promised a new and even better ad is coming. Can’t wait. Seriously the Sage ad should win an award for 09, same as the Glassopolis one should’ve gotten for 08.

-- Of course the Walker Texture guys were there and once again dressed to kill. These guys never disappoint and this year at the show they did take on a charity case- see the results below. As always old faves Pilkington (with the fine folks from W&W and TGP) Zeledyne, Guardian and Viracon were in place and always nice to see the folks from all of those places. I know many others were there but unfortunately because of the crappy layout of the show and the traffic at my booth, I never got around the last 2 days. But I did see Jim Benney and Tom Herron from NFRC…. Many people would not expect me to do that… (they actually stopped by my booth first- then I went to there’s) but while I disagree with the actions, I like and respect Jim (just met Tom for the first time.) So no fireworks there sorry…

Other stories…
-- Last week’s lead on “selling your way” out of a crisis really hit some nerves… I got a ton of e-mail on that… most good but a few telling me that I am calling the kettle black… and I responded to those accordingly. Bottom line is that strategy will not work for the long term.. and as someone noted on the comments that in the Office episode, Michael ended up OK, in a way he did not… and that was surely not reality…

-- Get ready… did you notice over the last few days gas prices are on the rise… and Oil is starting to go up too… somehow I have this sick, sick feeling that gas will be heading towards the $4.00 mark again this summer… seriously depressing folks… and by the way I noticed Natural Gas is on the up too… yeesh.

-- Did you see the IRS delayed the implementation of the bogus 30/30 rule to June 1? The thing should be completely abolished but at least I enjoyed the rebuke of the idiots that pushed this through. Still I want explained how this benefits homeowners in Phoenix or Miami? It doesn’t because it’s bogus.

-- LAST but least… April set another traffic record for this site… and for that I must say THANK YOU! I truly appreciate you joining on my weekly therapy sessions!

-- The link chick is back, but I am going to stockpile them for next week…

Instead of a video this week… leftovers from AIA… with pictures… the craziness of San Francisco! I swear that city was surely a new experience for this sheltered country boy. Major thanks to the Cajun Legend JD for the pics!

This guy was NOT an architect… but read that sign- isn’t that what we all deal with everyday?
Amazing what the police force was doing… a bum who did his “business” in the corner and he gets a ticket! Yep I am sure he has the funds to pay for that.

A Dog, with a Cat and a Rat… yep. Amazing eh? And people were giving this guy money... what I am missing here?

And thanks to the guys at Walker Glass, I got an extreme makeover… I wish!! Great suit… sadly if I tried to pull that outfit off in real life it would not be pretty... but I can dream right?


Anonymous said...

It's interesting that NFRC toots itself as the penultimate source on fenestration but recent, routine enquiries about window types and market share are responded to by advising the enquirer that NFRC has no marketing data. Thankfully they at least refer them to AAMA and the Ducker Study.

We all know that NFRC pays Potomac a whole bunch of money from member and certification revenues. So the questions that beg to be asked are:

1. It’s unfortunate that NFRC influences so much in the way of thermal performance when they seemingly don’t have a finger on the pulse of the market.
2. Question how they spend their member funds and what benefit is there to the membership and program participants.

Thank goodness for the trade associations which can actually speak with authority on the marketplace!

Anonymous said...


Where's your Oompa Loompa?

Max Perilstein said...

Anon 1- thanks for the post... great stuff and you wish that the members WOULD question more but so many members benefit from everything the NFRC does for them (Like Keystone Cert as an example) why in the world would they question it? What makes no sense is why they pay Potomac 6 figures and Bipin Shah 6 figures... those are mysteries...

Anon 2... love the comment! It may look Willy Wonka-ish but they guy who actually wore that suit is the only one who can pull that look off!

Anonymous said...

Good evening fellow readers (and Max),
I am working with a young fabricator / temperer in the Bronx NY, Bronx, Westchester Tempering, who picked a very interesting time to get into the game. To the point, building relationships and good old fashioned salesmanship is the name of the game right now - of course the product has to stand up to the hype - anyway, I have been strongly "encouraging" my employers to hold tight with prices and service and build a loyal clientel. So....today I received a call from one of our very contented customers telling me a rep offered him 30cents a square foot less than anything he was paying us. the rep was turned down.
Again to the point, as Max says Strategy is needed, however if all you have to offer is $, there will always be some-one coming alone that is 5 cents a square cheaper and take your "loyal" customers. Salesmanship is the name of the game ( and good product ) at least for the forseeable future. Don't write off strategy, it is important, but watch your priorities carefully.

good hunting

Jim F.
PS please excuse the spelling, I am watching the Yankees as i write. Priotities.

Anonymous said...

did you lose weight, max?

William said...

Max, bottom line how is Greg doing? I wish him the very best and a speedy recovery!
We at Safti agree it was a good show! Sorry you missed our party.