Western Roofing Expo 2017 Preview
The Roofing Industry Heads Back to Las Vegas for Another Standout Show
The Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) will host its 43rd annual expo June 12-13 at the Paris in Las Vegas, and organizers are expecting another special event to rival and exceed previous years.
Among the highlights this premier regional roofing trade offer are 17 educational seminars presented by leading industry experts across multiple fields; two keynote luncheons; the annual Roofing Games competition; fun recreational programs including golf and clay shooting to benefit academic scholarship programs; and multiple networking opportunities to help build your business.
And that doesn’t even cover the show floor, which is expanded this year to include more exhibitors and to accommodate more attendees with a wide variety of product offerings, new technology and services impacting the industry. Live demonstrations of many of those products are scheduled to start on the show floor every hour on the hour.
Return to Sin City
It’s true that the roofing industry just left its mark on Las Vegas in March with a record-setting International Roofing Expo in terms of attendance and overall participation. However, anyone attending the Western Roofing Expo should expect a different experience, organizers said.
“We call it he ‘Cheers’ effect; where everyone knows your name,” explained Tom Papas, WSRCA’s executive director. “You walk down the aisles and you can’t do it without seeing at least 20 people that you know. That’s the value of this experience. The reason why we do what we do so well is because of the personal touch.”
While conventional wisdom may dictate that the success of a Vegas-based IRE could be a drag on this year’s Expo attendance, Papas said he and his staff are focused solely on producing the best show possible. The organization is building on momentum of its own established at the 2016 Expo, which drew more than 3,500 roofing contractors from throughout the region — an all-time record.
The floor was crowded enough that organizers talked about the need to expand. Despite perceptions of a possible ‘down’ year for the expo, Papas said they indeed added 48 booths this year that were sold months in advance of the show.
“We’re in control of what we provide and how we prepare, and we’re preparing like this is going to be the biggest show we’ve done,” Papas said. “We work hard to make and keep the show relevant to the point that contractors can’t do the quality of work they want to do without attending.”
In addition to hosting a great trade show, the WSRCA staff is really focused on demonstrating the value of membership and being actively involved in the industry.
Roughly 2/3 of show attendees who come are not current WSRCA members. There will definitely be a focus on showing current members a high level of appreciation and encouraging non-members to see the kind of value that lasts all-year long.
“The roofing industry is a great business and with roofing leadership such as Western States Roofing Contractors Association involvement, any goals are attainable for the right person,” said outgoing WSRCA President Brad Baker Baker.
Now’s the Time
There’s also a bit of urgency. Both Papas and Baker, owner of Professional Roofing in Bellevue, Idaho, said the time for roofing contractors to step up their involvement in the association and recommit to the industry is now.
“The industry is very healthy, but before when we talked about workforce issues they were just a problem, and now I think it’s in crisis stage,” Papas said. “It’s to the point where we’re having people turn down work and not complete projects that they would normally do simply because of the labor shortage.”
Another way attendees can help address labor shortage is through continued support of the Davis Memorial Foundation, and its annual academic scholarship program.
The program was established 20 years in memory of Larry and Mary Davis, who died in a plane crash returning from a WSRCA event in 1995. To date, the foundation awarded 300 scholarships and has grown from a $5,000 grant to $50,000, Papas said. This year, the foundation will award additional scholarships to students that demonstrate exceptional academic performance and personal character while seeking careers in the construction industry.
The foundation’s primary fundraising events are the annual golf outing, sporting clays tournament and silent auction planned for Sunday, June 12.
“We’re very proud of the success of the program over the last 20 years,” said Papas, who’s a scholarship foundation trustee as well as its administrator. “The only pain involved is on the trustees because we have to make a decision from 60-plus applications.”
Click here for more information and to register for the Expo.