METALCON International, held Oct. 1-3, drew nearly 7,000 high-level metal construction professionals from more than 50 different countries to the Baltimore Convention Center.

NEWTON, Mass. - METALCON International, held Oct. 1-3, drew nearly 7,000 high-level metal construction professionals from more than 50 different countries to the Baltimore Convention Center. The event is the only annual conference and exhibition that features the latest products, education programs and demonstrations of field techniques for the use of metal in construction. Industry experts from 350 companies shared their knowledge with the crowds of attendees.

“This was a great show with more qualified leads than ever before,” said Patric Wright of Denver-based New Tech Machinery, Corp., which introduced its SSQ MultiPro, a quick-change commercial roof panel machine, at the show. “The people who came were here to purchase equipment. From the companies they saw here they made comparisons and then made their decisions. We sold all that we brought and generated sales beyond that.”

Gearoid Hogan, vice president of Sales and Marketing Northeast for COMBILIFT USA, agreed. “This was a fantastic show with a lot of well qualified attendees,” he said. “It’s our fourth year in METALCON and we put this event in the top three of the 20 shows we exhibit in each year. COMBILIFT is a multi-directional forklift and it’s great to see the contractors’ and suppliers’ eyes light up when they realize how much easier it makes handling products at a warehouse or a jobsite.”

This was the first time the show was held in Baltimore. “From our first show in 1991 in Washington, D.C., METALCON has consistently proven its value to the construction industry,” said Claire Kilcoyne, Show Director for METALCON. “We’ve been successful through some difficult times, including hurricanes, the 2001 terrorist attacks and this year’s financial crisis. It shows the strength of our industry, which also reflects the strength of the metal products produced by METALCON exhibitors. We’re a strong, steadily growing industry because of the innovative products and applications of the companies who support this major event. With over 82 percent of booth space rebooked for next year, METALCON has maintained one of the highest levels in the trade show industry of companies returning each year. Plus we have an average 15 percent increase in new companies joining us each year. It also shows how important trade shows continue to be in building business relationships.”

New additions at the year’s event included the Gutter Pavilion, where traffic was steady, and the New Product Harbor, which grouped the most recent developments in technology and new products launches in one area.

Other show highlights included the dedication of a new steel home to U.S. Army Sgt. David Battle and his family at an opening day ceremony led by Capt. Darren Turner, Chaplain of the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment out of Fort Stewart, Ga., in which David has served. Capt. Turner also presented Sgt. Battle with a Bronze Star and announced that he had been promoted from U.S. Army Specialist to Sergeant.

Another person leaving METALCON with a special gift was Ryan Rantucci from Thermo Design Insulation, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He won a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle in a grand-prize drawing held at METALCON.

The 19th annual METALCON will take place at the Tampa (Florida) Convention Center October 6-8, 2009. For more details or information about exhibiting in the 2009 event, call 800-537-7765 or visit www.metalcon.com.