TAMPA, Fla. - The 19th annual METALCON International took place Oct. 6-8, and the conference and exhibition drew more than 5,600 architects, building owners, contractors, engineers, and municipal decision makers from 50 different countries to the Tampa Convention Center. They came to see and buy the latest products and technology for the use of metal in construction showcased by more than 270 exhibiting companies.
“In the 19 years we’ve been doing this show, our exhibitors have never failed to come up with some of the most innovative products every time,” said Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON Show Director. “Each year we add a new feature to the show, but nothing, nothing can top what they do. They come up with ideas and products that literally have revolutionized this industry. This year we saw new forming equipment, coatings, roofing products, software and a host of new products for the solar market.”
This year’s show featured 32 new exhibiting companies, 25 new topics in a 33-session education program, three days of new live-action demos, and a lineup of new tools and safety equipment presented in the second annual Tool Day.
Some of the biggest attractions were the booths with fabricating equipment, metal roofing and wall system, and the new Solar Bay - a special section dedicated to the integration of solar technology and metal roof and wall panels. It included actual setups of working systems and an education forum of daily presentations and demonstrations. An impressive lineup of 32 companies and organizations displayed products and made presentations in Solar Bay.
Special guest U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Paul Russell “Russ” Marek cut the ribbon to open the show. For Marek, who lives in Melbourne, Fla., this was much different than his first METALCON in 2006. At that time he was newly released from the hospital after a year of treatment for severe wounds he suffered in 2005 in Iraq that left him a triple amputee with acute head injuries. In 2006 he was presented materials for a new home and more than $25,000 in financial contributions from METALCON. At that event, he was wheelchair-bound and could not understand what was happening around him. This time Marek walked in the hall, cut the ribbon, and gave a short speech to thank all those who helped build the structure into the accessible house he now calls home.
The 20th annual METALCON is scheduled for Oct. 20-22, 2010, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information, visit www.metalcon.com.