DALLAS –– The 2012 International Roofing Expo® was the gathering place as the roofing construction and maintenance industry met in Orlando recently for the annual tradeshow and conference, exceeding the expectations of attendees and exhibitors.

IRE show floor in body

Photo Credit: 2012 Int'l Roofing Expo

Held Feb. 22-24, in the South Halls at the Orange County Convention Center, the show exceeded the expectations of attendees who found a wide collection of products, services and technologies, while exhibitors were impressed with solid attendance.

Total attendance was 8,382, a 3 percent increase over the 2011 show in Las Vegas, marking the second year in a row the show has experienced an increase in attendance. The 3 percent increase in 2012 coupled with the 18 percent increase in 2011 further solidifies the annual event as the industry’s most trusted source for leading-edge products, education and networking.

“We are very pleased that the show generated an increase in attendance for the second consecutive year,” said Lindsay Roberts, director of the Expo. “The state-of-the-art products, the cutting-edge conference program, the show floor demonstrations and clinics, along with the strong partnership with NRCA, resulted in an all-around compelling event.”

In attendance were representatives from the industry’s leading roofing and construction companies, including CentiMark, Tecta America, Home Depot, KPost, PetersenDean, Nations Roof, Kalkreuth Roofing & Sheet Metal, Douglass Colony Group, Advanced Roofing, Kehrer Brothers Roofing, D. C. Taylor, Commercial Roofers, Crowther Roofing & Sheet Metal, United States Roofing, Silktown Roofing and Target Corp.

Participants came from all segments of the roofing industry, including commercial and residential contractors, builders, remodelers, building owners, facility managers, manufacturers, architects, engineers and other ancillary industry professionals.

Attendees represented all 50 states, with the largest number from Florida, Ohio, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, Michigan, California, New Jersey, Missouri, Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, and Colorado. The largest number of international attendees came from Canada, Mexico, Germany, Korea, Ecuador, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Japan and Brazil.

“This year’s IRE was the best I have been to yet. I received a wealth of knowledge and made valuable contacts that will pay dividends for us this year,” said Dan Cupit of Professional Roofing and Exteriors. “I was happy to see a good mix of new and established exhibitors. I was able to find new suppliers, service providers and sources of information that will provide a direct benefit to our business.”

Exhibit Hall
The tradeshow floor featured 932 booths, a 6 percent increase over 2011, and 415 exhibiting companies, a 5 percent increase over 2011.

New, value-added services and innovative ideas in roofing materials and related products were displayed on the show floor, including gutters, insulation, ladders, coatings/adhesives, built up, fasteners, machinery equipment/tools, metal roofing, modified bitumen, roof/decking materials, roof pavers, renewable energy, walkways/ballast, shingles, skylights, slate, solar, spray polyurethane foam, tile, vapor retarders, ventilation, waterproofing and much more.

Exhibitors were pleased with the number of leads and inquiries that were generated. “The IRE met our expectations and we feel it was a tremendous value,” said Richard Spanton Jr, CEO at AccuLynx.com. “The quality of contractors gets better every year at IRE.”

“This year’s show was very successful for Sealoflex as we were able to showcase our new Enviroflex product with great success,” Mike Gore, national sales manager, Sealoflex. “We were very pleased by the number attendees and the amount of time they spent at our booth.”

“We thought this year’s show was a huge success,” said Chris Fagan, sales manager at DCI Products. “We were able to see some existing customers, meet some prospective new customers and also network with other industry professionals in our market.”

Of the 415 exhibiting companies, 99 were first-time exhibitors or exhibitors who haven’t exhibited in several years, including 3C Network, Classic Metal Roofing Systems, Direct Metals, Global Wrap Interior Protection, HailAppointments, HailStrike, Kyocera Solar, Peak Fall Protection, Solar Energy international, and Storm Leads, just to name a few.

“This was FlashCo’s first year to exhibit at the IRE and I was absolutely blown away by the overwhelming positive response,” said Greg Morrow, president, FlashCo Manufacturing Inc. “The number of attendees that were decision-makers exceeded my expectations. This was the best trade show FlashCo ever did.”

“There was a real energy amongst our attendee and exhibitor members during the show,” said Bill Good, executive vice president of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor, who had an 800 square foot booth at the event. “Reports from exhibitors of solid business, coupled with rave reviews from attendees about the show floor and educational offerings make this show a real success.”

Educational Conference
In addition to the show floor’s buying and selling activity, the Expo’s educational conference featured 43 educational sessions addressing a myriad of industry issues. A total of 3,827 sessions were sold over the three-day conference.

Educational tracks included technical and workplace safety classes, as well as business-related sessions including leadership/management, green building, legal/HR, money matters, sales/service and general business.

“We brought a team of four to the IRE for the seminars,” said first-time attendee, Rayson Sanchez, owner of Millennium Roofing & Construction, LLC. “The things we learned totally changed the way we do business.”

“The seminars presented by Ken Kelly and Rod Menzel were outstanding and very informative,” said Ryan DeSotel, operations manager of Eastern Iowa Construction.

Show Floor Highlights and Special Events
The show’s opening day featured an inspirational Keynote Address by Kyle Petty, who discussed his life as a businessman, philanthropist and as one of NASCAR’s most respected drivers. He explored striving for excellence, living up to your promises, teamwork, helping the community and commitment to family.

Once again the Product Showcase offered the hottest industry trends and the latest new, cool, green and safety products. From a selection of 30 products, a panel of industry experts awarded Metal Plus with the “Best New Product” for its Ultimate Bracket, and SofSurfaces was awarded the “Best Green Product” for its SofTile AP.

Debuting this year was the Technology & Business Services Pavilion, a designated area on the show floor that provided education and resources to attendees about the latest business and technology products and services. Featuring exhibits and a product showcase area, this new pavilion also provided a two-day series of 30-minute vendor presentations and demonstrations.

The Live Demonstrations taught attendees how to use, sell and install the latest roofing equipment, materials and techniques through a series of demonstrations from Carlisle Construction Materials and Duro-Last, with Garlock Equipment Company and Super Anchor Safety providing safety demonstrations exclusively on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Attendees that were focused on metal roofing found a multitude of resources in the Metal Marketplace that features 39 companies and 72 booths of creative and innovative designs, building concepts, tools and services.

Giving back to the Orlando community, a pre-show Community Service Day took place on Tuesday, Feb. 21, where 40 attendees and exhibitors enthusiastically volunteered to help renovate the homes of three families in need.

Another new feature on the show floor was the NASCAR Experience that included a NASCAR simulator where attendees sat inside a genuine NASCAR race car modified for computer simulation. Prizes were awarded each day to the top scorer in the fastest lap contest.

The opening night Welcome Party on Wednesday, Feb. 22, was held at Universal CityWalk®. Right around the time the party started, a storm blew through Orlando with heavy rains and strong winds. The storm only wreaked havoc for about 30 minutes, after which attendees and exhibitors enjoyed delicious hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and soda, while mixing and mingling with old friends, industry leaders and innovators.

Save the Date for 2013
The 2013 International Roofing Expo will be held Feb. 5-7, 2013, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. Housing reservations can be made at http://ow.ly/9mVFJ; online registration will open in late August.

For more information, call 972-536-6415 or 800-684-5761 or visit www.theroofingexpo.com/attendee.  

Click here, to view our 2012 IRE photo gallery.