Planning ahead for a challenging year was the central theme among contractors at the 2009 International Roofing Expo, which was held Feb. 3-5 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.
The nearly 400 companies who showed off their wares at the IRE were in no mood to look back, choosing instead to forge ahead with the perseverance that is the hallmark of the roofing industry. Total attendance was 7,472, with verified attendees just 367 less than the 2008 show.
“We’re very pleased the International Roofing Expo was a tremendous success for both exhibitors and attendees,” said Donna Bellantone, Director of the IRE. “With solid attendance during a tough economy, the show continues to deliver a valuable service as the leading industry event for products, education and networking in the roofing industry.”
In a panel discussion that kicked off the event, Bob Tafaro, President and CEO of GAF Materials Corporation, advised contractors to “plan for a challenging year” and reminded them it was a good market to recruit people and focus on infrastructure needs.
“The outlook long term is very strong,” said Fred Stephan, Vice President and General manager of Roofing Systems for Johns Manville.
IRE presents the best seminars in the industry, and this year was no different. Topics ran the gamut from business management to succession planning to garden roofing to legal concerns. IRE also featured a live demonstration area, a Green Products Pavilion, and a New Products Pavilion.
Innovative products are a key ingredient that helps make the IRE the premier show in the industry, and this year several groundbreaking products shared the spotlight.
• GAF featured its TruSlate system that features natural slate roofing that can be installed by roofers without the classical training of regular slate roofing systems. The system is said to be much lighter and less expensive than the conventional systems as well.
• Tremco has developed and is marketing its WHITE modified-bitumen adhesive. This will work well with the company’s highly reflective membrane systems.
• Firestone featured its new 120 PSI IsoGard HD cover board. The unique facers and iso core has the look and feel of a winner and is expected to compete with fiberglass-faced gypsum coverboards in some applications.
• GenFlex featured new packaging for its line of EPDM roofing products. Realizing there is value in smaller roofing jobs the firm has put together a package that will allow roofing wholesalers to furnish even the smallest jobs without waste.
Next year’s International Roofing Expo will be held Feb. 22-24 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. For more information, visitwww.theroofingexpo.com.