Next week the highly anticipated 2016 FIT Show will open it’s doors at the Telford International Centre for what is set to be the biggest fenestration exhibition in the UK for years. With more exhibitors than ever before, and expected visitors set to top 10,000, this is a show that is going to have a profound effect on the window and door sector.
I would argue, that at the end of it all, the industry will have changed forever.
Industry landscape to change
Sounds like a big statement doesn’t it, “changed forever”. But take a minute to consider how much our industry has evolved over the past few years since the end of the Great Recession. The industry has diversified massively with the aim to find new revenue streams and create new niches within a packed sector.
But could all of this activity be building to an industry defining moment? I feel like there is serious momentum growing and that it will all come to a head during next’s weeks FIT Show.
So many companies have been busy in their R&D departments developing new products and innovations that are going to be unveiled at the show, and for many visitors it will be the first time they have seen or heard of these new products.
Some are being marketed as game changing. I am always highly skeptical of any product that is described as that. So many are, across all sectors, yet so many fail to deliver on the hype. But, lets not judge until we have seen these new products for ourselves.
In terms of companies announcing new products, this is the most recent list that has been quoted in the latest FIT Show email newsletter:
Profile 22 + REHAU + Residence9 + Caldwell + VEKA + Roseview + MasterFrame + IG Doors + Sage Glass + Reddiseal + Supalite + Chase Taylor + IKON Aluminium + GQA + Profile Developments + Decora + Millwood Group + Insight Data + Vita + Titon + Solaris Solar + GT Windows + Carl F GroupCo + Purplex + Composite Wood Company + Glazerite + Apeer + Granada Glazing + SealCo + Deceuninck + more
As that list hints, there are more companies than mentioned above that are releasing new products. Prefix Systems for one aren’t on that list but I know what they have planned and it could be very, very good.
There are also more than 180 companies exhibiting this year, more than ever before, and two years after the last show. I would say that it’s a safe bet that at least half of those companies will have something brand new to show off. That’s a lot of new products and even more choice for installers to pick and choose from.
Consider the scale of what is happening at this exhibition. Has there ever been a time where so many manufacturers have brought out so many new ranges of products all at the same time? From my own experience and the feedback from those who have been in this industry longer than myself, no.
The sheer amount of new things happening in the industry right now is going to change the way we see our sector.
Evolution in the extreme
What has caused this sudden rush in the race to the top? Well, as I eluded to earlier in the post, the Great Recession was a catalyst for change. A wake up call for the industry to say that unless it changed it’s ways, things would only get worse.
So the industry got to work, creating new products and carving new niches fit for a 21st century fenestration sector. Then began the race to the top. No manufacturer wants to be seen as falling behind the others. The rate at which new products were being announced has only got quicker since, and certainly shows no signs of slowing down.
I believe next week’s show will be a culmination of an industry that has been hard at work crafting a new dynamic. Once the dust has settled at the end of next week, our sector may not look the same ever again. I could be wrong of course, time will tell!