The roofing industry was booming with energy and excitement as a record number of attendees filled the sold-out show floor at the 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE). Taking place in Las Vegas, the annual tradeshow and conference drew a total attendance of 11,273 roofing construction professionals.
“This was good show to find leading products, education and numerous networking opportunities,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE show director. “The show floor square footage was up 9 percent over last year, exhibiting companies were up 3 percent, and total attendance was up 19 percent, making this our most attended show in the 62-year history.”
In attendance were representatives from 8 of the industry’s top 10 roofing and construction companies, CentiMark; Tecta America; Baker Roofing Co.; Nations Roof; Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal; Best Contracting Services; Empire Roofing; and Titan Roofing. First time registrants made up 43 percent of all attendees.
Attendees came from all 50 states, with heavy representation from Texas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Florida Pennsylvania and Indiana. A number of international attendees came from Canada, Mexico, Japan, Belgium, South Korea and Australia.
Michelle Draucker of Commercial Roofers Inc. says, “The sessions were educational, surprising and entertaining. The expo floor was filled with energy.”
“This is my second trip to the IRE and it gets better each time,” says Torben Begines of Cobra BEC Inc. “The opportunity to network and see products first hand and be able to ask questions regarding them is invaluable.”
Exhibitors were pleased with the number of leads and inquiries generated during the show. “I have not witnessed quality leads and such attendance at the show since before 2008,” says Jonathan L. Rider, CSI, of D.I. Roof Seamers.
“This year’s show surpassed our expectations. The number of attendees was high, as was the level of excitement and positivity about the year ahead,” says Rob Heselbarth of Petersen Aluminum. “We enjoyed strengthening relationships with our existing customers, and talking with potential customers about doing business moving forward.”
Of the 476 exhibiting companies, 88 companies were first-time exhibitors, including Freudenberg Performance Materials, F-Wave, HAL Industries, MIFAB RoofGuard, Rhino Linings Corp., RoofSnap and Roser – Stone Coated Steel, to name a few.
“We are a new company and this was our first time to participate in IRE,” says Ivona Mollberg of Green Link Inc. “We were surprised by the traffic at our booth and came away with more leads than we anticipated.”
“The attendance surpassed expectations and gave us the opportunity to present our products to a broad but relevant audience,” says Holly Anderson of Wood’s Powr-Grip.
“The show was a success for us,” said Daron Akins of OmniMax Roofing Inc. “With hundreds visiting our booth, we could not have asked for better!”
“The International Roofing Expo continues to expand our business on an international level. The relationship building opportunities are endless,” says Eric Velliquette of Lakeside Construction Fasteners. “The IRE brings large and small companies together impacting the metal roofing industry around the world.”
“The show flow at the IRE was filled with energy this year,” says Reid Ribble, CEO of NRCA, the shows official sponsor, who had a 2,000-square foot booth at the event, and hosted the NRCA Annual Convention in conjunction with IRE. “NRCA was able to engage with roofing professionals, and all were positive not only about the success of this year’s show, but about the overall future of the roofing industry.”
Educational Conference, Show Floor Highlights and Special Events
In addition to the show floor’s buying and selling activity, the educational conference offered 44 educational sessions addressing a multitude of industry issues. Conference attendance increased 39 percent over last year.
“I came away with new information and ideas that I have already started to implement in my day to day routine,” says Mike Mitchell of Pioneer Roofing Co. “This new information will be invaluable to my performance going forward.”
“Attending the IRE is motivating even for a small contractor in Canada,” says Kevin McArthur of McKay Sheet Metal & Roofing. “What I learn covers the cost of my trip every year!”
On the show floor, attendees found products and ideas at the Business & Technology Pavilion with 40 booths, the Metal Marketplace that featured 49 booths, the Product Showcase with 24 products, and the Exhibitor Product Clinics from Equipter, OMG and Soprema.
Education was available on the show floor through The Roofing Institute, the GAF Education Center and Exhibitor-Presented Seminars.
Attendees had the opportunity to find products and meet exhibitors by participating in the Booth Scavenger Hunt. Jorge Abreu of JNT Developers was the winner of $1,500 after his name was drawn from a pool of attendees who visited each of the five sponsors.
Giving back to the Las Vegas community, a pre-show Community Service Day took place on Tuesday, Feb. 28, where 45 attendees and exhibitors volunteered to help renovate the homes of two families in need.
Other special events included a Keynote Address by Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, the opening night Welcome Party at LIGHT Nightclub, and the National Women in Roofing [NWIR] Reception. Outdoor events included the SRS Extreme Tailgate, a Trailer Crane Demo by Lifting Equipment Solutions and a booth by Roser – Stone Coated Steel.
Save the Date for 2018
The 2018 International Roofing Expo will be held Feb. 6-8, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Housing reservations can be made online beginning in May and online attendee registration will open in September.