Together Again, Alleluia
In the end, the best part was just being back together.
It sounds corny, I know, but Glass TEXpo, held last week in San Antonio was a landmark event in many ways. It was the first live event in the glass industry since the pandemic hit. It offered just under 1,000 attendees a chance to visit with more than 100 vendors and choose from 10 power-packed seminars. It also showcases its sponsors, the Texas Glass Association and USGlass magazine. But mostly, it was about just being back together.
“I really don’t know what to expect,” said Mark Imbrock, president of EDTM, while he was setting up for the show. “I’m just happy to be out and doing something.” By the close of the event on Friday, Imbrock was pleased. “There was a lot of business out there.”
The Texas glass community is a particularly tight one and you could see the joy in people’s eyes as they greeted each other after the many months apart. “Great to be here, great to see everyone and great show,” said Jon Linhart of Tristar Glass.
In the final weeks before TEXpo, I received a fair number of inquiries about how I thought it was going to be. Our pre-registration numbers were only down by 28 people when compared to the last show in 2018, but still, this was uncharted territory with no basis for comparison to any similar previous year. I could only respond by saying that I didn’t know exactly what to expect because this particular event was so unprecedented.
In the end, the show was a resounding success. Visitors came not only from Texas but from 15 other states and three countries as well. Here’s a look back:
A number of health and safety protocols were in place, such as temperature scans upon arrival using a high-tech eye scan that made me feel like I was in a Dr. Who episode. I personally liked the socially distanced exhibit hall layout as it gave you the feeling of entering different “stores” as you passed from one booth to another. Though you saw a lot more elbow pops than handshakes but the results were still the same; we were connected.
So thank you. Thanks to the glass industry for responding in force. Thanks to the exhibitors for their patience and understanding throughout the whole year since Glass TEXpo ‘20 was supposed to happen. Thanks to all the great speakers who shared their knowledge with us. Thanks to everyone who came. And thanks to our amazing staff that built and re-built this event numerous times as safety protocols and conditions changed. Thanks to everyone.
The best part was just being back together again.