GBA Day Three, Year 30

Don Johnson riding off into retirement

Well it’s over. Day three was extremely slooooow. I realized yesterday that this actually was my 30th consecutive GBA. (I say GBA though the show has actually had a number of different names over the years.) Let me just throw in here that I was just out of school and that I graduated college at an unusually young age when I worked my first GBA. As far as I can tell, only Dan Degorter of Degorter Inc. has me beat in terms of consecutive years’ attendance. He started coming when he was a teenager as hasn’t missed one since either.

 Anyway, I mentioned this fact to a few of the newer people on our staff today and I could not really tell if the look on their faces was one of admiration or disbelief-bordering-on-pity. So in an effort to explain how much the show has changed, I started talking about things like “The Ole’ Buddy Breakfast”, at which point I could definitely figure out what the look on their faces was, so I shut up.

 Anyway, no major complaints about the event, with the possible exception of a few about the Hilton, namely it was adding separate charges for things like using the safe, a $14 a day internet use charge and a $3 fee to print our your boarding pass. My own opinion was that it may have looked a little tired, but you sure can’t beat it for convenience and the staff was very helpful.

 Elsewhere on the floor:

Got chance to catch up with Eric Dean of the Ironworkers’ International. He mentioned that the Ironworkers’ and the Sheet Metal Unions are in discussions about a joint effort—whether it will be an alliance or merger is yet to be determined but watch for an announcement in the beginning of the year. Eric also said that some of the informal indicators they use to predict demand for workers in the future has started to show an ever-so-slight upturn. We can all only hope … Glasweld debuted a new anti-graffiti kit that was awesome, as it combines graffiti removal with anti-graffiti film. “We are selling a lot into schools and other institutions and it saving them tons,” said Lori Patch …  Some of the newest generation of hurricane-resistant glasses looked interesting—and very clear, literally. We plan to profile them in a future issue … our new Solar Glazing magazine  got a nice reception, for which I was grateful.

 And the Winner is:

A few winners today in Deb’s informal awards. Best Giveaway Lauren International for the nicest pens I’ve ever seen at a trade show ….In the category of Best Booth Attire, the nod goes to Alfie and Wim from The Extractor who wore their matching Vegas shirts. The Extractor guys are past winners in the competition as wellBest Booth Best Booth of the Show was Quanex.  The booth was clean and classy yet nicely integrated all its holdings into a cohesive theme … Honorable mention to Cristacurva. The company managed to convey the grand breadth of its product offerings in a relatively small space. …  Best Line of the Day goes out to Don Johnson, retiring ad rep for a number of industry magazines over the year ….  and someone against whom I have competed for 30 of his 43 years in business. All the best in your retirement, Don. Almost no one could have done it as long as you did, and even fewer could have done it as well!

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