Exhibitors at the international event for the metal construction industry networked with more than 5,000 attendees at METALCON 2017 in Las Vegas from Oct. 18-20, including designers, builders, developers, contractors, fabricators and suppliers from more than 50 countries.
“This is one of the venues where we have access to our entire value chain,” says Mark MacDonald of Valspar. “We see everyone from coil coaters all the way down to building product suppliers, regional roll formers and even roofing contractors. It gives us an opportunity to network with our current customers, talk about new business opportunities, as well as meet our future customers. There really isn’t another venue quite like this, and we are happy to be here.”
“It’s been an incredible attendee show,” says Scott Cosens of Samco Machinery. “We haven’t seen this type of volume of people. We were running out of paper on our leads. All I can tell you is, if you are not coming to METALCON, you are missing out; and what’s even more amazing, I am finding that still again, all of these suppliers and providers are coming from all over the world, not just the U.S. and Canada. We are never not going to be here. We have been here for well over two decades, and we are already back for next year.”
Newcomer to METALCON this year is DuPont Tyvek Protec, a synthetic roofing underlayment product providing roof walkability. “We couldn’t be more excited to be here,” says Roofing Segment Leader, Susan Homan. “Honestly, after the first day, our expectations have been exceeded. The crowd here is great. We have had great engagement with contractors and other professionals alike, so we are really glad to be at METALCON.”
Also new to the show this year is Stubai, an Austrian manufacturer of roofing and metal working tools. “We decided to come to METALCON because we can meet our final customers who actually work with our tools,” says Sites Manager, Lukas Braun. “It is interesting for us to get to know how they use the products, but we can also get in touch with decision makers, new retailers, and existing retailers. For us, the U.S. is a big country so it is more convenient for us to meet all of our customers here.”
Geoff Stone with MetalForming Inc., a provider of high-tech sheet metal component manufacturing machines, has attended all 27 METALCON shows. “This was terrific show,” says Stone. “The market place is in good condition. There’s lots of folks spending money. I think we probably did somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 or $4 million dollars worth of business as a result. As usual, we’ve really enjoyed being here.”
In addition, Lee Ann Slattery, sales support manager for ATAS International Inc. has attended METALCON for many years. “This year seems to be a busy show for us,” says Slattery. “We’ve had a lot of attendees come by our booth, a lot of questions being asked and a lot of different types of people attending. We have talked to contractors, building owners, international folks and facility mangers, so it really has drawn a variety of people, and that’s one of the reasons we like doing this show.”
Ken Buchinger of MBCI has been in the industry for more than 40 years and has attended every METALCON. “I have seen this industry grow over the years,” says Buchinger. “I have also seen it become more complex from the standpoint of product offerings, product installation and the details on roofs, so installers need information and training. The Metal Construction Association (MCA) and METALCON provide training programs to help contractors, both with installation and how to run their businesses.”
“The show itself is great because you have the opportunity to meet different manufacturers and contractors, learn from each other and learn about ancillary products available to integrate into your offerings,” says Buchinger. “Its’s an opportunity for contractors, whether you have been one for just a few years or for many years; there is always something to learn at METALCON.”
MCA Board Member and Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Rider with D. I. Roof Seamers says, “2017 has been an incredible year for METALCON.” “This year we broke records with attendance and pre-registration, with booth sales and even with on-site sales. It also offered a take on our education track with success and new topics such as drone services for roof inspections, marijuana laws and new litigation affecting the work force. We are going to continue developing the education track in conjunction with the AIA to adapt to industry needs and the way our needs are changing in the field.”
“The attendees were from all over the world,” says Rider. “We are branching out as METALCON is becoming an international show, and we had a lot of feedback from our exhibitors on how great the international attendance was. In addition, local attendance was fantastic. So many local erectors and builders left their job sites and came out on to the show floor to join us. They were happy with the technology and innovations offered on the show floor by exhibitors.”
“2018 promises to be the biggest year in recent history for METALCON,” says Rider. “Charlotte is an amazing city. You can expect a big show, more attendees and the upcoming technology available.”
The metal roofing games, another sold-out event, awarded a total of $8,500 to its winners. Six teams of two competed in five competitions, inspired by this year’s theme Aces of Las Vegas. Each competition paid $500 to the winning team. Top awards each day included a Daily Points Award of $750. The winner on Wednesday was Joe Arnold and Paul Kulb of Thomas Phoenix International and on Thursday, Matt Cox and Justin Hopta, also of Thomas Phoenix International. On Friday, both teams came together in a face-off where Cox and Hopta were victorious in taking home the MCA METALCON National Metal Roofing Championship and $2,000. Teams for next year will be able to pre-register for the Charlotte games beginning in February 2018.
Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON show director states, “Business is back! The aisles were packed, and exhibitors were thrilled with the traffic, leads and sales. We saw an increase in international attendance, raised $4,000 for the America’s Fund and, once again, enjoyed a full house for the MCA Triumph Awards. We are already gearing up for Charlotte, which promises to be another great show.”