Published On: Wed, Mar 23rd, 2016

Exhibitionists take centre stage

SPRMDFor exhibition-loving readers, 2016 is going to be one hell of a year! Kicking off in China in February at Windoor Expo, the exhibition calendar has a truly global feel with events stretching from as far as Las Vagas to India and then back to Europe. Closer to home, the landscape will be dominated by the highly successful FIT Show, in its last year at Telford before it moves to the NEC in Birmingham. This year, the exhibition is set to be the biggest yet with over 180 exhibitors. Coverage in the lead-up has all ready started and will be ramped up further in March and April, as the opening on the 14th of April draws closer. With Ecobuild, Fensterbau, Glasstec and UK Construction Week all taking place this year, there is a unique opportunity to lay your hands on the latest innovative products. The importance of being able to offer attractive products that grab the imagination of homeowners is fundamental. If the latest market research is to be believed, we are in a golden age of home improvements. Trustmark, the Government-endorsed scheme for finding tradespeople, has recently revealed that it received a 12% increase in the volume of enquiries via its website. Topping this is a recent survey of UK homeowners by Toolstation that found window installations to be top of the list of the most common jobs that homeowners commissioned tradesmen for.

I have long been an advocate of the importance of innovation and linking it to current consumer trends. There is no doubt the smartphone has been the technological success story of this decade. The way apps are woven into our daily routine is extraordinary. Linking these apps to windows and doors has been a constant challenge for product designers, especially when you filter in the cost element. Windoware now has a product available, the Libra electronically operated smart cylinder lock (see page 6), which has vast potential with app-loving consumers. Mention must also go to Era Home Security who have just announced a partnership with UniKey, a leader in the development and execution of smart lock technologies. ERA CEO, Darren Waters told me: “By working with a great partner like UniKey, the ERA TouchKey will transform the lock industry for British homeowners, making home entry easier and more convenient without sacrificing security.” The industry is expanding at such a rapid pace, we all have to make sure homeowners are well versed in the innovative fenestration products available to them, although I think a trip to a trade show would blow their minds!!

John Cowie Editor