Hot New Products: What You Missed at Expo 2007

© 2007 Door & Access Systems
Publish Date: Summer 2007
Author: Tom Wadsworth
Pages 42-48

Hot New Products: What You Missed at Expo 2007
Garage Attic Storage Product Grabs Attention

The hottest product at Expo 2007 wasn’t a garage door product.

The new Versa Lift attic storage product collected the most specific mentions in a post-Expo survey by Door & Access Systems. The online survey asked dealers to name “the hottest new products displayed at Expo 2007,” held April 11-14 in Orlando, Fla.

Versa Lift’s popularity was even more remarkable since its exhibit was located in a remote corner of the show floor. The product, introduced by Byers Products Group in 2007, lifts up to 200 lbs. from the garage floor to the garage attic.

The Survey’s Strategy

Invitations to the online survey, conducted immediately after Expo 2007, were sent to almost 800 dealers throughout the United States and Canada. The survey was completed by 82 dealers who attended Expo, and 62 of these responded to our question about Expo’s hottest product.

To avoid leading the respondents to select any product, the survey did not provide a check-box list of specific products. Rather, respondents had to draft their own responses from their memory of all the products at the show’s 184 exhibits. Many respondents cited only one hot product, but some listed two or more products.

Iron Appeal

Another Expo newcomer, Dynasty Iron Doors, attracted the second-highest number of votes as Expo’s hottest new product. Dynasty, based in Tempe, Ariz., makes custom-designed hand-forged iron residential sectional garage doors and entry doors.

“I was very impressed with the iron-style garage doors at Expo,” said one respondent. “I had never seen them before and am interested in selling them to a niche market.”

Popular Booths

Chamberlain’s booth collected more mentions than any other exhibitor, although these survey respondents were divided on which Chamberlain product was “the hottest new product at Expo.” The LiftMaster residential jackshaft opener, last year’s hottest new product, collected four mentions, as did Chamberlain’s new fingerprint-activated entry pad.

Overall, 14 attendees mentioned the Chamberlain booth, representing 23 percent of all survey respondents. Located near the entrance, this booth seemed to be among the busiest at Expo.

The Martin booth also attracted good buzz, collecting comments from seven attendees, or 11 percent of all respondents. The Martin comments were divided among four different Martin products, but their new controlled-descent device and their new opener with no photo-eyes earned the most mentions.

Wind-Resistant Doors

A few respondents mentioned the presence of wind-loaded garage doors at Expo exhibits. Expo’s Orlando location undoubtedly attracted several Florida door dealers who are acutely aware of the need for wind-resistant products.

Even though one respondent said, “I did not see a wind-loaded door from anybody,” another said, “I was pleased to see how many manufacturers have doors that are now approved for use under the Florida Building Code.” He specifically mentioned models from Carriage House Doors, Hörmann, Martin, and Plycraft.

Carriage House Comments

The general category of carriage house garage doors again earned several mentions, although considerably fewer than in our 2005 and 2006 surveys. In 2005, 37 percent of all respondents mentioned carriage doors, either generally or specifically. In 2006, the number dropped to 21 percent.

In 2007, 19 percent (12 respondents) mentioned the product. It appears that the product is still “hot,” but not as “new” as before.

“I was blown away by the carriage house selections,” wrote one Expo attendee. Another was impressed with the uniqueness and the broad range of residential doors available, adding, “There really is a door style for everyone.”

Several specific carriage house models were mentioned. Raynor’s new Rock Creeke overlay door collected three mentions, while eight other manufacturers collected one mention each: Amarr, Ankmar, Carriage House Doors, C.H.I., Clopay, Garaga, Haas, and Ideal.

Too Much Residential?

Residential products clearly dominated the attention of survey responders. Commercial/industrial products, particularly high-speed doors, earned a few mentions. “There were more high-speed door manufacturers than I remember in the past,” said one respondent.

But another attendee offered a strong criticism about the lack of commercial products. He had sent three people from his company looking specifically for new commercial products.

“The entire Expo was residentially oriented,” said the complaint. “Commercial products were few and far between. Most rolling door manufacturers don’t display products anymore. They have TV monitors with continuous loop video.”

This annual survey should not be viewed as comprehensive, but it certainly indicates products that attracted attention at Expo from a broad cross-section of attendees. If you missed the show, this survey gives you an idea of what you missed.

Photo captions:
HOT PRODUCT: Byers’ Versa Lift.
SOMETHING DIFFERENT: Hand-forged iron garage doors.
SWAMPED: The Chamberlain booth, located near the entrance, was swamped with visitors during the first few hours of the show.
ON EVERY DOOR: An anti-drop feature, now included on all Martin doors, is required on all doors in Europe.
ENGLISH OPENER: Bruce Gunton, the managing director of Zap Controls UK, demonstrates the new Zap side-mount residential opener.


The Hottest Products at Expo

Here are the products that received three or more votes in our survey. This list notes the total votes received by each product and the percentage of respondents who named that product.

#1 Byers Versa Lift (7 votes/11 percent).

#2 Dynasty Iron Doors (6 votes/10 percent).

#3 Chamberlain Fingerprint Entry Pad (4 votes/6 percent).

LiftMaster 3800 Residential Jackshaft Opener (4 votes/6 percent).

Zap Operators (4 votes/6 percent).

#6 C.H.I. Stainable Fiberglass Door (3 votes/5 percent).

Martin Residential Opener With No Photo-Eyes (3 votes/5 percent).

Raynor Rock Creeke Overlay Carriage House Door (3 votes/5 percent).

Wayne-Dalton 9800 Fiberglass Doors (3 votes/5 percent).

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