The aisles of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center were packed with roofing professionals during the 2013 International Roofing Expo, held Feb. 5-7 in San Antonio. According to Hanley Wood Exhibitions, total attendance at the annual trade show and conference was 8,491 — a 1.3 percent increase over the 2012 show. This marks the third year in a row the show has seen an increase in total attendance.

“There was a noticeable energy on the show floor among the attendees and exhibitors,” said Lindsay Roberts, group director of the expo. “The energy was evident throughout the show, solidifying the IRE as the industry’s most trusted source for leading-edge products, education and networking.”

convention crowds at IRE
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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.

According to Hanley Wood, attendees represented all 50 states, with the largest number coming from Texas, Ohio, Illinois, California, Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Minnesota and Michigan. The largest number of international attendees came from Canada, Mexico, China, Germany, Belgium, Japan, Australia, and Brazil.

“I attended the show for both the seminar and the exhibits, which provided information and updates for our metal roofing business in the Philippines,” said Rey S. Batomalaque, president of Colorsteel Systems Corporation. “IRE is indeed a great experience outside Asia.”

“I attended the show for the great sessions as well as gaining better insight into new and existing products,” said Christopher Knott, sales manager for Cherry and Clark Roofing in Mississauga, Ontario. “IRE is a must-attend event for any roofing contractor serious about their business and gaining the competitive edge.”

The Exhibit Hall

The show floor was comprised of 987 booths, a 6 percent increase over the 2012 show. Of the 410 exhibiting companies, 72 were first-time exhibitors, including RAM Commercial Trucks, 1SolTech, AutoMak Assembly, Claymex, EVERROOF Group International, Quality Metals, Price Law Group, Roof Penetration Housing, Solar World and Texsa, just to name a few.

Returning to the show were several key manufacturers who have not exhibited in several years, including TAMKO, Henry Co., All Style Industries, Mammoth Roofing, Enviroshake and Sheffield Metals.

Exhibitors were pleased with the number of leads and inquiries that were generated. “This show had the best turnout in over five years,” said Dave Chapman of Advanced Estimating Systems. “This show paid for itself on the very first day.”

“I found the show to be exactly what I have been looking for,” said first-time exhibitor Dean Logan of Labor Sync. “Attendance was great and the response to our product was phenomenal.”

“The show was great — much more than I expected,” said Al Saiz of Saiz Tool Company. “I had non-stop attendees at my booth and excellent leads.”

“IRE is the best show in the roofing industry in America,” said Michel Goulet of Louiseville Fiberboard in Canada. “We do many of them across the USA and in Canada, and none of the other shows compare to the IRE.”

“The IRE was a great experience,” said first-time exhibitor Kirk Bailey of Cool Angle LLC. “We have made contacts in a few days that would have taken us years.”

“Our members were very pleased with all aspects of the show, as well as the NRCA Annual Convention that took place in conjunction with the IRE,” said Bill Good, executive vice president of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “San Antonio proved to be a perfect host city offering a great facility, a wide variety of walkable options after the show closed, not to mention outstanding weather.”

Educational Conference

In addition to the show floor’s buying and selling activity, the show’s educational conference offered 44 educational sessions addressing a myriad of industry issues. A total of 3,995 sessions were sold over the three-day conference, a 5 percent increase over the 2012 show.

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.

Asphalt shingle testing was the focus of a seminar presented by Helene Hardy Pierce of GAF and Mark S. Graham of NRCA. The session was titled “Evaluating Asphalt Shingles: A Comparison of Test Methods,” and it covered the relevant ASTM test standards, as well as new developments, including AC 438. “In the case of AC 438, it is an acceptance criterion that a manufacturer can use to pursue and evaluation report for asphalt shingles in addition to or in lieu of an Evaluation Report in accordance with the prescriptive requirements of the code,” said Hardy Pierce. “AC438 requires the same performance tests that are found within D3462 — behavior on heating, tear strength, pliability, fastener pull through, etc. And in addition, it requires three additional performance tests for asphalt shingles: weather resistance (accelerated aging), temperature cycling and wind-driven rain.”

In a session titled “Killer Contract Clauses,” attorney Philip J. Siegel, a partner with Hendrick, Phillips, Salzman & Flatt, focused on common pitfalls in construction contracts including the indemnification provision, the additional insured requirement, and pay if paid provisions. “You have to be educated so you know what you’re looking for and know if something is patently unfair,” Siegel said. “And it starts with knowing that these clauses are in there and what they can do if you’re not paying attention to it. Certainly with enough experience doing these kinds of things, roofing contractors will pick up on it themselves. They should be looking at every contract they sign, certainly — particularly those three provisions.”

Contractors were impressed by the number and quality of the educational sessions. “I was very pleased with the business education programs that I was able to attend,” said Allen Lancaster, President of Metalcrafts. “I received verification that a lot of what we were doing in our business was what was being recommended.”

“You don’t just get one nugget of information at the IRE, you get a bucket of nuggets and the sauce to go with it,” said Brad Beldon, President and CEO of Beldon Roofing Company. “It’s a must for the professional roofing contractor.”

Show Highlights

The show’s opening day featured an inspirational keynote address by Mark Kelly, an astronaut, U.S. Navy Captain, Gulf War naval aviator, best-selling author and prostate cancer survivor. Stressing the importance of teamwork and courage under pressure, he discussed his extensive career, as well the challenges endured by his wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz), who was gravely injured in an assassination attempt. Kelly closed the session with a message from Giffords: “Be passionate, be courageous, be strong and be your best.”

The Product Showcase gathered the latest new, cool, green and safety products in one area, and it was a hot spot to visit on the show floor. From a selection of 43 products, a panel of industry experts awarded Roof Penetration Housing the “Best New Product” for its eponymous product.

“We were very happy with the quality and quantity of people at the show,” said Steve Mechler, Roof Penetration Housing. “We feel very honored to have been chosen the Best New Product and will proudly display the award.”

Capturing second place was Tie Down Engineering, headquartered in Atlanta, for its RoofZone Rake Edge Guardrail, a fall protection product that fits under shingle tabs for quick positioning and removal.

Third place was awarded to Cool Angle LLC, headquartered in Brigham City, Utah, for its Cool Angle Directionally Reflective Shingles, a patented asphalt roofing technology that makes roofs more energy efficient while maintaining their aesthetic beauty.

Now in its second year, the Technology & Business Services Pavilion provided education and resources to attendees about the latest business and technology products and services. Featuring 46 booths and a product showcase area, the pavilion also provided a two-day series of 45-minute vendor presentations and demonstrations.

Attendees that focus on the metal segment of the industry found a multitude of resources in the Metal Marketplace, which featured 76 booths, a 5.5 percent increase over 2012. The opening night welcome party, sponsored by USG, was held at the Sunset Station, a National Historic Landmark.

The day before the show began, 55 attendees and exhibitors enthusiastically volunteered to help renovate the homes of two families in need as part of Community Service Day. (For more details, see page 26.) For those who arrived on Super Bowl Sunday, ROOFPAC hosted a Super Bowl Bash at the Marriott River Center hotel complete with big-screen TVs, a buffet dinner, drinks and opportunities to win cash and prizes courtesy of sponsors Uniflex and Geocel.

The 2014 International Roofing Expo will be held February 26-28, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

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