According to show management, the 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE) was the largest show in its 62-year history, with a record crowd on hand to tour the sold-out show floor. The event took place March 1-3 in Las Vegas, and the annual trade show and conference drew a total attendance of 11,273 roofing construction professionals.
“This was an amazing show to find leading-edge products, high-level education and numerous networking opportunities,” said 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 largest, most attended show in the 62-year history.”
In attendance were representatives from roofing and construction companies including 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 the heavy representation from Texas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania and Indiana. The largest number of international attendees came from Canada, Mexico, Japan, Belgium, South Korea and Australia.
“This is my second trip to the IRE and it gets better each time,” said Torben Begines of Cobra BEC Inc. “The opportunity to network and see new products firsthand and be able to ask questions regarding them is invaluable.”
Exhibitors were pleased with the number of leads and inquiries generated during the show, according to show management. “The IRE 2017 was incredible,” said Jonathan L. Rider, CSI, of D.I. Roof Seamers. “I have not witnessed quality leads and such high attendance at the show since before 2008.”
“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,” said 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, just to name a few.
“We are a new company and this was our first time to participate in IRE,” said Ivona Mollberg of Green Link, Inc. “We were pleasantly surprised by the traffic at our booth and came away with more leads than we anticipated.”
“The International Roofing Expo was an excellent event,” said Holly Anderson of Wood’s Powr-Grip. “The attendance surpassed expectations and gave us the opportunity to present our products to a broad but relevant audience.”
“The show was a phenomenal 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. Great investment exhibiting at this expo, and relationship building opportunities are endless,” said 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 tremendous energy this year,” said 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 an unbelievable amount of roofing professionals, and all were extremely positive not only about the success of this year’s show, but about the overall future of the roofing industry.”
Educational Conference and Special Events
In addition to the show floor’s buying and selling activity, the show’s educational conference offered 44 educational sessions addressing a multitude of industry issues. Conference attendance increased 39 percent over last year.
“The seminars and demonstrations blew me away, and I came away with new information and ideas that I have already started to implement in my day to day routine,” said Mike Mitchell of Pioneer Roofing Co. “This new information will be invaluable to my performance going forward.”
“Attending the IRE is extremely motivating even for a small contractor in Canada,” said Kevin McArthur of McKay Sheet Metal & Roofing. “What I learn covers the cost of my trip every year.”
On the show floor, attendees found new 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 new products and meet new 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.
The event also allowed attendees to give back to the Las Vegas community. A pre-show Community Service Day took place on Feb. 28, and 45 attendees and exhibitors enthusiastically volunteered to help renovate the homes of two families in need.
Other special events included an emotional 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 IRE will be held February 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.
The International Roofing Expo is part of Informa’s Global Exhibitions Division. For information about the IRE, please visit www.TheRoofingExpo.com or call (972) 536-6415 or (800) 684-5761.