METALCON Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

True to its 25-year record of being a great place to introduce new products, METALCON drew eager buyers to see all the new offerings from more than 260 exhibiting companies.

“Celebrating METALCON’s 25th anniversary in Tampa gave us a great setting to celebrate the accomplishments within our industry. Best of all, the exhibiting companies had great responses from attendees. These companies expressed their satisfaction with this year’s show by signing up for next year. We already have 55,000 square feet of space committed for 2016 in Baltimore. This has been a great location for us so we’re looking forward to a repeat of our very successful 2008 event held at the Baltimore Convention Center,” notes METALCON Show Director Claire Kilcoyne.

METALCON is the metal construction industry’s largest international tradeshow and conference for metal construction products, technologies and solutions. The 25th annual event took place Oct. 14-16 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla.

Quality and consistency of attendees were bywords for many exhibitors at the 2015 show, such as Bo Newman, business development manager for D.I. Roof Seamers, Corinth, Miss., who says: “METALCON has always been a top trade show for us and this year was no exception. Our booth was filled with visitors throughout the show. The contacts we made were not only record breaking in number, but they were clearly buyers. The vast majority of them are all about business—seriously intent on putting our products and services to work for them.”

He adds: “In addition to our own marketing efforts, we took full advantage of METALCON’s great marketing tools. We participated in the MCA Roofing Championship Games, as well as the “Association at Work for You” area. This added exposure was key in the overwhelming response to our new products—particularly the new D.I. Curver 1000 and Cap Bender. These machines are used to field form a radius on common snap-lock panels with narrow batten caps. We look forward to next year’s METALCON where we will once again present the latest innovations in panel seaming technology.”

Larger equipment suppliers, such as AXYZ Automation, also drew crowds. “There was a lot of interest in our PANELBUILDER CNC Router featuring our new software and print head. We saw very strong prospects and generated a lot of business here. METALCON has always been successful for us because many of our suppliers are here and our customers, installers of wall cladding (ACM), are also in abundance at METALCON. Every year this is a good source of business for us. The new PANELBUILDER 16 is the latest combined router and software solution in our company’s CNC router systems for panel fabrication,” says Greg Jenkins, vice president of sales, AXYZ Automation Inc., Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

New metal panel systems were also a big hit. Ken Gieseke, vice president, marketing, McElroy Metal, Bossier City, La., notes that: “Traffic to our booth was consistently good. Our new product, the 138T Shingle Recover System, was a real draw. Our target is the retrofit arena and our product was developed based on studies of the ASV concept. We did a lot of electronic promotion through METALCON’s offerings, as well as industry publications.”

Lee Ann M. Slattery, sales support manager, ATAS International Inc., Allentown, Pa., echoes his comments. “ATAS International had many visitors who were interested in our new Isoleren insulated metal panels. It was a good event at which to announce this new product offering. Participating in the Learning Zones helped ATAS educate contractors on installation details related to flashing. ATAS has participated as an exhibitor at METALCON for the past 25 years. It is where we establish new relationships and meet with customers and suppliers that we have worked with for many years, and we look forward to future shows,” she says.

For some companies, such as software supplier AppliCad, METALCON is primarily an educational opportunity. “Our customer base has access to all kinds of information so their perception is that they don’t need trade shows to make a decision. The U.S. market is critical for us and we feel our role is to educate roofers through these shows. This is the only way to do it and this show was better than I expected. So we’ll be back next year,” says Ray Smith, managing director of AppliCad, headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. AppliCad has developed software for simplified roof modeling in 3-D for roofing and cladding estimating throughout the Americas, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Bill Zayas, senior account executive, SnoGem, McHenry, Ill., also had a rewarding experience in educating prospects and showing them new products. “We previewed our Universal Composite Panel System. There’s no better venue than METALCON to introduce this product. Plus, being right by the MCA Roofing Games helped draw the right people to our booth. In an area like Tampa, we were promoting the benefit of our products in solar installations. In fact we had a visitor from Sri Lanka who was interested in standing seam roofing and wanted to know about our clips.” The design of the Universal Composite Panel System (UCPS) 1000 Series incorporates a concealed drainage system and a concealed fastener design.

Kristin Peregoy, marketing manager, New Tech Machinery, Denver, says her company celebrated industry accomplishments this year and is looking forward to doing so next year. “To help mark METALCON’s 25th anniversary, New Tech Machinery and S-5! co-hosted a kick-off party that had a great turn out. Everyone involved in the show had a part in growing the industry in the last 25 years and by partnering together who knows how big it could get. New Tech Machinery has been attending METALCON for many years and it has consistently been our biggest show. Next year is also New Tech Machinery’s 25th anniversary so we’re making great plans for our celebration at METALCON.”

Before the exhibits opened on the first day, that distinctive rumble of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle started the keynote presentation as Clyde Fessler, former vice president of business development for Harley-Davidson Motor Co., rode a Harley into the ballroom, drawing a rousing applause from the audience.

As Fessler reflected on the history of Harley-Davidson and its turnaround, he captured the essence of how communication with customers played a major role, stating that “problems are in the office; solutions are in the field.” Other key points from his presentation were for companies to: be direct about any weaknesses; address the competition squarely; go global if possible; create accessories if that works for the product line; and to remember that marketing people bring the passion and that brings success.

METALCON’s success is based on three key methods of education: exhibits, an extensive education program and interactive, live demos. This year’s conference program included 90-minute classroom sessions focused on what CEOs, presidents and managers need to move their companies forward. Learning Zones offered education inside the exhibit hall in 15-minute sessions with presentations on technical applications and solutions. The live-action MCA Metal Roofing Championship Games held in the exhibit hall drew volunteers from the audience to compete in five different types of challenges involving various metal roofing applications and techniques.

This year METALCON committed its Giving Back Program to America’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping U.S. Armed Forces’ veterans and their families. This affiliation allows METALCON to focus its giving back efforts throughout the year on assisting members of the military in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Contributions to America’s Fund can be made any time on the METALCON website. Each year a special fund raising drive will be held at METALCON to help a specific America’s Fund program serving veterans in the show’s location that year.

During this year’s 25th anniversary celebration, show management honored companies that helped pioneer METALCON and have remained exhibitors. METALCON Show Director Claire Kilcoyne also received an award, the first annual MCA Triumph Award. These awards honor individuals and companies in the metal construction industry in nine different categories. Claire received the 2015 Industry Champion of the Year Award for spearheading the METALCON show for 25 successful years.

Other categories in the MCA’s annual Triumph Award are: Young Movers and Shakers; Media Executive/Journalist; Sales Person; Entrepreneur; Business of the Year – Contractor, Manufacturer, and Service Provider; Emerging Business; Corporate Citizen – Business and Individual; and Marketer – Business to Business and Consumer.

The next METALCON takes place at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore from Oct. 26-28, 2016.

METALCON draws designers, builders, developers, contractors, fabricators and suppliers from more than 50 countries each year. Industry experts from nearly 300 companies exhibit the latest products and technology, while sharing their knowledge with attendees. Industry specialists present key topics in the show’s highly-rated education program.

METALCON is produced by PSMJ Resources Inc. and sponsored by the Metal Construction Association.

METALCON Offers Education Sessions to Improve Techniques and Skills

For construction professionals in the field and those in the front office, METALCON 2015 has education sessions to improve their field techniques, management skills and business success. Each year METALCON attracts metal building, residential and roofing contractors, architects, engineers, developers, facility managers, fabricators and building owners from more than 52 countries who want to learn more about metal.

An impressive lineup of experts in metal, construction, leadership and business development will share their knowledge with these attendees at the 25th annual METALCON. This conference and exhibition takes place at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla., from Wednesday, Oct. 14 through Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. It is the only event focused on the application of metal in residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and municipal construction.

Leading the group of experts at the 2015 METALCON is keynoter Clyde Fessler, retired vice president of business development for Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Fessler led the turnaround that brought the company back from the brink of disaster to its place as the leading motorcycle brand in the world. He will take attendees on an exciting journey of how he achieved this feat. He’ll share how the five P’s: People, Passion, Product, Price and Promotion can bring success to anyone in a competitive environment. His fascinating session takes place Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m.

“We’re thrilled to have Clyde Fessler at METALCON. He has an amazing story to tell and his forward thinking philosophies fit perfectly with companies involved in our event. Since METALCON began in 1991, we have seen a continuous stream of product innovation and manufacturing development at this event. And the industry experts in the full conference program will add ideas about business development and field techniques to complete the cycle of knowledge,” notes Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON show manager.

Learning begins early at METALCON with special sessions on Tuesday, Oct. 13. General education programs run Wednesday through Friday mornings. The exhibit hall is open Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 14 and 15, from noon to 6 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The round-up of programs on field techniques starts with the popular STUD University on Tuesday and Wednesday. This combines classroom and hands-on workshops that offer an easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive exploration of framing with cold-formed steel.

Returning popular programs include: Understanding Metal Roofing, the Devil is in the Details, and Successful Flashings for Standing Seam Roofs. New offerings give attendees insight on the newest benefits of retrofit roofing; what chemicals in metal construction products might be dangerous; and how recent research findings prove metal roofing’s long-term value.

This year’s schedule has an extensive offering of business topics, such as dealing with emerging trends, legal issues, leadership techniques, and business succession strategies. Some specific management topics are:

  • Learn How to Think Like Your Clients
  • How to Win More Customers and Contracts
  • How to Compete on Value in Any Marketplace for Greater Profitability
  • Change Your Business Strategy to include Retrofit Metal Roofing
  • Get Your Business to Work for You! 7 Steps to Earning More, Work Less & Living the Life You Want
  • Developing Today’s Managers and Tomorrow’s Senior Executives.

A unique group of specialists come together in the comprehensive, two-part A/E/C Emerging Leaders Workshop: Developing the Best Project Managers into the Best Principals.

Residential roofing contractors will learn new strategies in the two-part program on the 12 Easy Steps to Closing More Sales of Residential Metal Roofing.

More specialty programs highlight the newest practices and equipment in roll forming for the metal construction industry; copper installation techniques and procedures; IAS accreditation and an AC478 workshop. For steel industry insiders the Focus on Steel Conference on Tuesday evening provides market intelligence and vital, targeted information that attendees can use in making thoughtful business decisions.

The education continues in the exhibit hall where attendees can learn about the latest products from the companies who make them. Attendees can also delve into a wide spectrum of topics at Learning Zones, mini-theaters located throughout the exhibit hall. These free 15-minute sessions focus on subjects such as roof details, field techniques and product applications.

Contractors can also apply their skills in the popular MCA Metal Roofing Championship Games. In this Battle by the Bay feature, contractors sign up each day to compete for $100 prizes in a number of different challenges. This year’s games will allow three individuals or teams of two people to compete in each of five games. The games will be held each of the three show days during exhibit hall hours. This year’s expanded game line up is:

  • Triangle Fastener’s Screw Gun Challenge (three individual competitors)
  • Roof Hugger’s Retrofit Challenge (three competing teams)
  • New Tech Machinery’s Standing Seam Install with DI Metal Works’ Panel Seaming Challenge (three competing teams)
  • The S-5 Snow Retention System Install Challenge (three competing teams)
  • Triangle Fastener’s “JJ’s Give it a Boot” Challenge (three individual competitors)

These games are great to watch and even better to participate in and win. Judges for the competition will be members of the local Florida chapter of the Metal Building Contractors and Erectors Association (MBCEA).

METALCON is sponsored by the Metal Construction Association and produced by PSMJ Resources Inc. It is supported by 60 participating associations and 20 media partners.

METALCON Achieves Success in Denver

Early this month, the halls of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver were abuzz as visitors captured ideas for expanding their businesses in the line-up of new products and education sessions at the 2014 METALCON.

“All of us are surrounded by electronic communication in our business and personal lives. But that is really a supplement to the personal, face-to-face interaction that can only be achieved at a trade show. We’re seeing the trend away from electronics in some areas and this year’s METALCON showed how important a show like this is for building relationships with prospects and clients,” said Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON Show Director.

Exhibitors agreed. “The emphasis on electronics may work well for marketing, but when it comes to our products, the contractors have to see them and understand how they can use them. It has to be face-to-face, and that’s why we’re at METALCON – to meet and talk with contractors,” said Dale Nelson, president of Roof Hugger Inc., Odessa, Fla.

Ed Karper, North American Marketing Manager -Coil Coatings for Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc., Columbus, Ohio, added another perspective. “People judge trade shows by different factors. Some qualify a show by numbers of visitors or leads. But the real judge of quality in a show is how it helps you build relationships. By rotating location every year, METALCON keeps drawing a fresh audience and that expands our opportunities to establish new relationships each time.”

Trilogy Machinery Inc., Belcamp, Md., combined electronics with personal attention to attract people to its booth. It used an interactive touch screen display similar to a game board where visitors could push symbols and draw lines between points while learning about the company, its products and their applications. Trilogy provides metal fabricating equipment for in-house, factory applications. “This is kind of electronic eye candy for visitors and it works. Traffic to our booth has been really good. We’ve had lots of great leads and one sale. So we’re very pleased,” said Matt Weeks, who handle sales for the company.

For exhibitors with something new to offer, METALCON provided a great forum for introducing visitors to their company and products. Nelson Hershberger, Hershey’s Metal Meister LLC, Variobend USA, Claremont, Ill., had been to METALCON before, but this was the first show where his company exhibited. ”We had quite a number of visitors and were very busy throughout the show. We designed the Variobend equipment with the help of a gentleman who repaired most European-made machines. He heard all of the customer complaints about other equipment so we designed ours to eliminate those issues,” he said.

For Jane Van Bergen, Marketing Manager of Silvercote Lamination, Greer, S.C., it was a great time to talk business. “METALCON was our ‘coming out’ event as a brand. The response [to corporate changes] was overwhelming from customers and potential customers. We’ve walked METALCON before and this is our first time exhibiting. We had a lot of customers and were able to partner with the metal building industry, which is what we wanted,” she said. The company manufactures and laminates fiberglass insulation for metal buildings.

METALCON was held in Denver for the first time so it was an opportunity for local companies to bring visitors to their facilities. Denver-based New Tech Machinery hosted an open house before the show and promoted it to local and regional groups. Kristin Peregoy, Marketing Manager noted: “We had lots of positive feedback at our open house and many visitors at our booth. Traffic was excellent. It was a great show for us and the leads we received were high quality. It was also a chance to show more people our products up close and personal. METALCON is the best way to see and sell,” she added.

Visitors from more than 52 countries came to the 2014 METALCON, held October 1-3, to learn about the top trends in metal from industry experts. A new series of daily programs were held in Learning Zones located in the exhibit hall. The 15-minute sessions focused on technical applications and solutions and offered more intimate question and answer opportunities between visitors and industry experts.

Another lively, new feature was the Metal Construction Association’s Metal Roofing Championship Games that involved a variety of competitions between volunteers from the audience. They competed for prizes of cash and products and had a chance to show their skills in fastening screws into purlins, seaming standing seam panels, installing rubber roof jacks and placing PV clamps on a metal roof. The games demonstrated that with the right techniques, tools and products, metal roofing can be easily and accurately installed.

More action took place in Solar Bay Live, an area dedicated to products and demos related to using metal roofing with solar installations.

These educational forums supplemented the METALCON conference program that included 90-minute classroom sessions focused on what CEOs, presidents and managers need to know to move their companies forward. Topping the list was keynote speaker Steven S. Little, a sought after expert on the subject of long-term business growth, whose opening-day session drew a full house and the complete attention of the audience.

Experts from the 275 exhibiting companies shared their knowledge of products and field applications with attendees. This included 53 businesses that have not exhibited in METALCON before or are returning after a multi-year absence.

METALCON is produced by Newton, Mass.-based PSMJ Resources Inc., a leading authority on the effective management of architecture, engineering and construction firms; and sponsored by the Metal Construction Association, an organization of manufacturers and suppliers headquartered in Chicago.

The 2015 METALCON will be held at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 14-16 and will celebrate the event’s 25th year of promoting and increasing the use of metal products, technologies and solutions in construction.