With the FIT Show coming up, all those exhibiting, over 175 brands and companies, will be looking to show off something that grabs the attention of the visitors. R&D departments at each exhibiting company I am sure will have been in overdrive during the past few months, developing what many will claim as “game changing” products.

This is where I stick my hand into my big bag of salt and take a great big pinch of it. As well as R&D departments gearing up, PR departments will be doing the same thing too. Each and every company exhibiting will now start to tell you that the product they’re going to announce at the FIT Show is going to be game changing, revolutionary and any other buzz word to make you think that their product is going to turn the world upside down.

Not every product can be game changing. Some will be, without a doubt. There are a certain number of stands I want to see specifically to see certain new products. For many, the reality will need to live up to the hype.

True innovation

The important thing here is that any product being brought to market has to bring true innovation. As with any product, not just windows and doors, purchasers will only buy into a concept and indeed a product if they genuinely believe that this new product is either going to enhance their lives or making something easier and more convenient where it wasn’t previously.

In the world of windows, installers will only look to take on new products that they believe will give them a genuine chance to take a step ahead of their competitors and boost sales. An existing frame suite with a couple of new wood grain finishes or colours isn’t going to knock socks off.

A proper innovative product has to bring value at the end of the day. Features and benefits that are going to bring installers USPs that they did not have previously. It will be important for visitors to the FIT Show in April to see through the marketing and spin and analyse properly how the products they are viewing can really benefit them.

What I’m looking for

There are a few things I will be hoping to see at this year’s FIT Show. From the off I am looking to see how door locking technology is advancing. I am already a fan of Window Ware’s Libra Smart Cylinder and will be looking to get my hands on the product and carry out a proper review. ERA have been in contact to tell me that they have something cool to show me on that front. MACO will be looking to show off their Z-TA range of smart door security options.

I will be hoping to see products which show me that the composite window market is making good steps forward and signs that the product will soon start to challenge the existing materials status quo in the same way that timber alternative PVCu has done over the past decade.

Software will also be in my sights. In areas, specifically in the composite door sector, IT and software capabilities have advanced massively with some great user interfaces based on the cloud. Window software is lagging behind in my opinion and I’ll be looking to see if the digital specialists exhibiting have something to move things along a bit.

There’s going to be plenty of new stuff to see in April, we just need to take a measured view to see what really is going to change the industry.

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