From amazing food and entertainment to historical attractions and nightlife, Nashville is the place to be — and that’s even truer for the roofing industry converging on Music City for the 2019 International Roofing Expo® .

The reason is simple: IRE is the industry’s must-attend event, roofing’s show of shows that affords commercial and residential roofing professionals myriad ways to keep up with what shapes the industry: innovative equipment; suppliers; resources; information; and technologies.

More than 10,000 roofing professionals representing more than 60 countries are attending IRE. Nearly 500 companies are set up in the exhibitor hall. More than 40 educational sessions are being held throughout the three-day event.

The shear scope of the show means plenty of interaction with other contractors, suppliers, builders, remodelers, building owners, facility managers, estimators, specifiers, architects and engineers.

With IRE having so much to offer, managing your time effectively will be the only way to truly get the most out of the show experience.

And that’s exactly where we come in with our list of five “can’t miss” aspects of IRE, where you can socialize, meet celebrities, give back, learn, and take in Music City.

Explore Nashville

We’ve put together two lists to help you make the most of your trip to Nashville (when not busy participating in roofing-related activities, of course).

Places to Eat highlights more than 20 restaurants in the area, ranging from popular jaunts like the Loveless Café and Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack to higher end steakhouses.

Similarly, our Things to Do list offers more than a dozen attractions that are popular with those visiting Nashville. The list offers something for just about everyone, but especially history buffs and country music fans. 


One of the more popular IRE social events surely will be the 2019 Welcome Party, set for Monday, Feb. 11, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at the Nashville Underground. Sponsored by Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance, the party promises a chance to relax, unwind and get to know your industry colleagues at the Nashville Underground on Broadway. Enjoy complimentary beer, wine, sodas, and hors d’oeurves while listening to live music or dance while the DJ spins tunes at this unique facility featuring the highest and largest multi-level rooftop on Broadway.

2019 SRS Extreme Tailgate allows you to take a break from the busy show floor to enjoy a beverage and cigar and meet the SRS Distribution senior management team. The SRS Extreme Tailgate centers on the company’s customized tailgating RV that will be set up in the parking lot at the corner of 8th Ave. and Demonbreun St. It’s set to be open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday and until 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

The NRCA Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception is set to be another opportunity to socialize and witness NRCA formally recognize the roofing industry’s most prestigious awards, including the J.A. Piper award, the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ Most Valuable Player, and more. There is no charge for members or nonmembers. A cash bar will be available. The event is set for Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Music City Center.

The Polyglass Rockstar event returns in 2019. The event will be held at Blake Shelton’s Ole Red, 300 Broadway, on Tuesday, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. VIP passes are required so be sure to stop by the Polyglass booths for more details on how to get in.

Meet Celebrities

Jesse Itzler will deliver a keynote speech called “Ignoring the Tap on the Shoulder” today, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:50 a.m. Itzler is an entrepreneur, author, and a creative mind. He co-founded the largest private jet card company, Marquis Jet, and engineered the coconut-water craze by partnering with Zico, which then sold to Coca-Cola. He is also the part-owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. He taps into each of his experiences to propel himself forward to new levels of “normal” and encourage those around him to do the same.

Defensive powerhouse J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans will be at the GAF Booth #1401 on Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Watt is a three-time winner of the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award and was named the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year. He’s the first player in NFL history to record two 20-plus sack seasons in a career and has made the NFL Top 100 Players list each of the last six years, including being selected No. 1 overall on the list before the 2015 season.

Mike Holmes, professional contractor and TV host on HGTV and DIY Network, will be at the Atlas Roofing booth (1454) on Monday. He will be sharing his experience in the construction industry, interacting with fans and doing interviews. His daughter, Sherry Holmes, set to star in the upcoming series "Holmes: Next Generation", will be the keynote speaker at the second annual National Women in Roofing Day to be held Saturday, Feb. 9.

Give Back

The SRS Raise the Roof Foundation will shine the spotlight on country music at this year’s IRE. Country star Lee Brice will headline the annual fundraiser concert Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the Wildhorse Salon, located just minutes from the IRE convention site. The event will also feature the Turnpike Troubadours, and special guest speaker Jacob Schick, CEO of 22Kill, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping U.S. military veterans recovering from physical and mental challenges stemming from their service. Tickets are $25 and doors open at 6 p.m.

The NRCA/ROOFPAC silent auction offers a chance to bid on a wide selection of great items, such as vacation packages, jewelry, electronics and more. All proceeds benefit ROOFPAC, the NRCA’s political action committee and the only PAC dedicated to supporting the roofing industry’s interests in Washington, D.C.

Through its Community Service Day (set for Sunday, Feb. 10), NRCA partners with Rebuilding Together to bring volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income, elderly and disabled families. Those who aren't participating but still want to contribute can donate at the IRE registration counter at the Music City Center or online at

Make Time to Learn

For 2019, IRE offers 122 education hours and 44 sessions covering topics such as workplace safety, leadership, green building, legal, money matters, sales service, general business and more. Sessions are specifically targeted to commercial/residential/metal contractors, owners/CEOs/general managers, superintendents/foremen, architects/designers/consultants, salesmen/estimators, manufacturers/ suppliers and building owners/facility managers. Held Tuesday through Thursday, classes are 90 minutes in length and do not overlap the exhibit hall hours, allowing you ample time on the show floor.

In the Business & Technology Pavilion you will find the latest business and technology products and services that will help your business run more efficiently and effectively and provide you the opportunity to meet with the suppliers who are changing the face of this segment of the industry and can assist you in selecting the right products to help you manage your business.

Exhibitor product clinics and education make it easy to learn tricks, tips, and detailed instructions from key exhibitors as they present demonstrations of their products, equipment, and materials. You will meet with exhibitors in a small group setting and get an up-close look at the products and services they offer. This year’s Exhibitor Product Clinics and Education include: MBCI, OMG Roofing Products, and Soprema.

Stop by Metal Marketplace pavilion on the show floor to find leading manufacturers supplying creative and innovative metal products, designs, building concepts, tools, and services. If metal is your specialty, you will find what you need there.

At the GAF Education Center, you can find exhibitor-presented seminars provide outstanding opportunities to get exciting new information and in-depth analysis presented by our exhibitor community. These 45-minute sessions will provide practical, innovative ideas, and solutions to invigorate your business. Topics include:

  • Eclipse Roof System – Save Time and Money with the Eclipse Roof System™
  • UL LLC – Safety Certification of Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) Products – Now and the Future
  • Sherwin Williams – Metal Roofing Solutions for the Life of Your Building
  • Sofdesk (Roofgraf) – Residential Roofing – How to Measure & Quote Better Using Any Device While Accelerating Your Sales
  • Kemper – Reinforced Cold Liquid-Applied Waterproofing Membrane: Hands-On Demonstration

The Roofing Institute, sponsored by Johns Manville, returns in 2019 with executives from the roofing industry delivering essential content to help participants deliver profits and streamline processes. The Roofing Institute aims to help improve technical skills, learn top marketing and sales strategies to improve your bottom line, and sharpen your leadership skills to lead your team to success. Topics set to be covered range from managing customer reviews to coaching people to peak performance.