Hanley Wood Exhibitions has announced that the 2014 International Roofing Expo (IRE) welcomed a record-setting audience to Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Feb. 26-28, reinforcing its position as the industry’s largest and most innovative roofing construction and maintenance trade show.
As the IRE returned to the glitz and glamour of its longtime host city, Las Vegas, the annual trade show and conference drew a total attendance of 9,568, a 13 percent increase over the 2013 show in San Antonio, and a staggering 20 percent increase in verified attendees over 2013.
“With a fresh sense of optimism and excitement, the 2014 International Roofing Expo drew the largest attendance in the show’s history,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE show director. “In addition, the trade-show floor was the largest since 2008.”
Participants came from all segments of the roofing industry, including commercial and residential contractors, builders, remodelers, building owners, facility managers, manufacturers, architects, engineers and other related industry professionals.
In attendance were representatives from the industry’s leading roofing and construction companies, including CentiMark, Tecta America, Baker Roofing, Best Contracting Services, Nations Roof, Kalkreuth Roofing & Sheet Metal, Douglass Colony Group, United States Roofing, Interstate Roofing, Insulated Roofing Contractors, Collis Roofing, Lon Smith Roofing & Construction, KPost and Target Corp.
Attendees represented all 50 states with the bulk of attendees hailing from California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Ohio, Georgia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Michigan. The largest number of international attendees came from Canada, Mexico, Japan, Denmark, Australia, Columbia, China, United Kingdom, Belgium, Ecuador, France and Trinidad and Tobago.
First-time registrants made up 35 percent of all attendees. “I thought the overall quality of the show and the courses offered were very good, while the exhibitors were very helpful and informative,” says Phillip M. Conroy, project manager at Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal. “This was my first year attending the show and the trip was definitely worth my while.”
The trade-show floor was comprised of 1,045 booths, a 6 percent increase over the 2013 show. New, value-added services and innovative ideas in roofing materials and related products were displayed on the show floor, including shingles, gutters, insulation, coatings/adhesives, fasteners, and much more.
Exhibitors were pleased with the number of leads and inquiries generated during the show. “The 2014 IRE offered the perfect venue for us to reconnect with existing customers and engage with new ones,” says Karen Edwards, marketing director at EagleView Technologies. “Our booth was busy from show open to close and the attendees were the decision-makers that we wanted to reach.”
“This was an outstanding show,” adds Nicholas Bryditzki of Sentinel Solar Roof Pumps. “For a small manufacturing company it gave us great exposure and we were able to make some significant contacts.”
“We were very happy to be a part of the 2014 IRE,” notes Karyn Slifka, marketing coordinator at Novagard Solutions. “The number of attendees surpassed our expectations and we made some great contacts.”
Of the 426 exhibiting companies, 84 companies were first-time exhibitors, including Certex USA, CUPA USA, Epilay, Kemper System America, National Gypsum Company and VELUX America, just to name a few.
“This was our first year exhibiting at the IRE and it exceeded our expectations,” says Brett D. Steinberg, national sales manager, Kemper System America. “The foot traffic and the attendees were the right people we wanted to connect with.”
“The 2014 IRE was the busiest and most successful show in recent history,” adds Bill Good, executive vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association, the show’s official sponsor, who had an 800-square-foot booth at the event. “The roofing industry continues on its path of economic recovery with a positive buzz in the air like hasn’t been felt in several years.”
In addition to the show floor’s buying and selling activity, the show’s educational conference offered 42 educational sessions addressing a variety of industry issues. A total of 5,807 sessions were sold over the three-day conference, a 45% increase over the 2013 show.
Educational tracks included technical and workplace safety classes, as well as business-related sessions including leadership/management, green building, legal/HR, money matters, sales/service and general business.
“I thought this year’s event was outstanding and especially found the educational offerings to be strong in content,” notes Chad Collins, president at Bone Dry Roofing Company. “The attendance alone in the educational sessions spoke volumes towards the overall participation at this years’ show.”
“All of the classes I attended were very informative and we have already started implementing some of the information that we learned in class,” adds Brian Moore, residential project manager at Roofmasters Roofing and Sheet Metal. “In my opinion this show surpassed my expectation.”
Show-floor Highlights and Special Events
On the show floor, attendees found new products and ideas at the Metal Marketplace that featured 83 booths, the Technology & Business Services Pavilion with 44 booths, the Live Demonstrations with five sessions from FCS Control, Kemper System America and NRCA, and Exhibitor Product Clinics from OMG and Equipter.
At the Product Showcase, attendees were able to see, try and compare the latest products in the following categories: new, sustainable, safety and Made in the USA. Based on innovation, productivity and cost-effectiveness, a panel of industry experts awarded Carlisle SynTec Systems “Best New Product” for its Sure-Flex KEE HP PVC Membrane, while ERSystems & Elastek were awarded “Best Sustainable Product” for its ER OneStep.
“The 2014 IRE was successful,” says Ryan Blad, technical service and support for ERSystems and Elastek. “The biggest highlight would be OneStep winning the Best Sustainable Product award.”
New in 2014, attendees had the opportunity to find new products and meet new exhibitors by participating in the Treasure Quest game. Participants followed a treasure map to each of the participating treasured exhibitors to collect a stamp or a code to plug in the mobile app. Dora Fong of Honolulu Roofing Co., was the winner of $3,500 cash for visiting all seven exhibitors.
Giving back to the Las Vegas community, a pre-show Community Service Day took place on Tuesday, February 25, where 65 attendees and exhibitors enthusiastically volunteered to help renovate the homes of three families in need.
The show’s opening day featured an inspirational Keynote Address by Frank Abagnale, subject of the blockbuster book and movie, “Catch Me if You Can,” to a standing-room only audience of more than 1,300. After recounting tales from his incredible youth as a master forger and imposter, Abagnale said becoming a father and husband is what really changed his life. While he now works with the FBI, he maintains that family is the driving force behind his success.
Attendees and exhibitors networked while enjoying complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks at the opening night Welcome Party on Wednesday, February 26, at LIGHT Nightclub at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino.
Save the Date for 2015
The 2015 International Roofing Expo will be held Feb. 24-26, at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Online housing reservations can be made immediately and online registration will open in September.