Hang around roofing contractors long enough and eventually you will come to understand the value in education. Education never really goes out of fashion in the roofing business. Today’s roofing contractors are faced with a mountain of educational needs. To begin with, many continue to struggle to learn new ways of attracting business. Many commercial roofing contractors tell us they want to learn how to establish a sound and competitive service program separate from their installed roofing programs.
Everyone in the industry is hungry to learn how to execute on green initiatives and take advantage of incentives offered to home and building owners who improve the energy efficiency of their spaces. I struggle to find a roofing contractor who is not at least curious about installing new and emerging solar systems including electric, water and even daylighting.
To answer the call for knowledge, Roofing Contractor recently gathered with a few hundred of our closest friends for the 5th Best of Success conference. In what most would consider a down economy, the number of roofing contractors attending this event far exceeded any we have seen in the past.
It was interesting to observe how this event has matured over the years. One speaker shared in his presentation that implementing practices he learned at a Best of Success conference several years ago had made a profound difference in his business. Several contractors told stories of how they had mentored or been helped out by other contractors whom they met at one of the earlier conferences.
I think the greatest value in the peer-to-peer educational setting is the unique opportunity to hear “how to” firsthand, and even ask questions (all the presenters fielded questions, adding some spice to the soup). You can read more about the Best of Success conference beginning on page 44 of this issue and online at www.roofingcontractor.com. Our home page also features a video with reactions from some of this year's attendees.
There is another fabulous learning opportunity for roofing contractors coming soon by way of the International Roofing Expo (IRE). The event is held in conjunction with the National Roofing Contractors Association’s annual convention in New Orleans Feb. 20-24, 2010. In addition to the most comprehensive trade show staged for the roofing industry, the IRE offers more learning opportunities in one venue over four days than you could amass in a year through normal channels.
Just so there is full disclosure, Roofing Contractor is the official publication of the IRE, which may make this seem like something of a commercial message. But we have more than a business interest in this event. Our job here at Roofing Contractor is to help roofing contractors succeed in their business. We believe that participating in and promoting really great learning opportunities for roofing contractors is part of that job, and we believe the IRE will deliver like never before. You will find a link to learn more about the International Roofing Expo on the Roofing Contractor Web site, www.roofingcontractor.com.