WFCT 2023: What I Missed
“Every healthy industry has a healthy trade magazine.”
This sentence has rung in my head ever since I heard Debra Levy, Window Film magazine’s publisher, say it. The same can be said for a trade’s convention.
Many industries are not healthy. How would you like to be in mortgage lending right now? What about working at Bed Bath & Beyond?
Former titans of banking, housing and retail have kicked the bucket these past few years, but the opposite is true of our industry. Window film companies have grown more profitable, nimble and dynamic. New suppliers keep popping up and existing ones are expanding while tinters have upped their marketing tactics and sales volume.
For me, last week’s International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™ had three main highlights.
- Optionality: Seminars & Competitions
Years ago, we worked to ensure seminars touched on all aspects of film throughout the event: architectural, automotive, and PPF. This year, all of those topics were covered across three different seminars at the same time, not only pointing to a healthy industry at large—but three healthy segments within it. The International Window Film Association also had fantastic learning options at IWFA Education Day.
There were also more chances to win cash this year—including a second-ever decorative film competition where the winning team took home $5,000. Not bad!
- Career Day: The Next Tinters
Apart from the trade show and seminars,there were also some young people walking through the halls. They were there for the event’s second-ever Career Day, which gave us the chance to have local and national companies inspire students from Virginia Beach’s technical and career training center to pursue a job in the industry. Sponsored by NGS, which came ready to recruit with generous sign-on agreements, the event was exactly what we needed to keep this industry moving: inspiring the next generation of tinters.
- Increase: More People, More Sales
Lastly, the numbers of a healthy industry are there. Whether it’s a 40 percent increase in registration from last year, tinters I’ve known for years expanding from one location to several, or smaller suppliers who were hesitant to join us years ago doubling their booth space, I only saw signs of a stronger industry today.
That was my takeaway from the 2023 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™. It was a definitive sign of the film industry’s continued gaining strength.
“As a whole we’ve gotten so much farther than lots of other industries because we finally have congruence,” a reflective social media post about the Tint-Off™ read. I couldn’t agree more.