The first-ever International Roofing Expo (IRE) Virtual Edition kicked off with a note of optimism, and promises plenty of information for roofing contractors to use to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic better than ever.
The Virtual Edition, taking place March 2-4, complements the IRE’s in-person event taking place Aug. 10-12 in Las Vegas, and is a way to keep the industry connected while remaining safe. Ray Giovine, group director for the IRE & Informa Markets, said the virtual event provides the networking opportunities, educational seminars and product showcases people expect to find at its in-person shows.
“We’re excited to bring the roofing industry together for our first-ever virtual event and have lots of interesting and exciting things planned,” said Giovine.
National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) CEO Reid Ribble helped kick off IRE with a live presentation about the state of the industry in a post-pandemic world. He noted that, around this time last year, the industry was in Dallas at what was the largest IRE to date, followed closely by the whole world seeming to shut down due to the pandemic.
“All we knew was that going into the pandemic, the roofing industry had just come off of one of its most successful years ever,” he said.
Now, a year later, he emphasized that the majority of the roofing industry pulled through thanks to being deemed essential. He said residential and institutional roofing actually saw increases, though he expects commercial roofing will continue to see “softness” as small businesses like restaurants and retail continue to struggle. He warned pricing may become an issue for the industry as the country deals with inflation caused by the various stimulation efforts.
Despite this, Ribble remained optimistic, noting the simple truth that everyone needs a roof, and those who strive to better themselves — such as through the NRCA’s training programs or with IRE — are building up the industry.
“We don’t just build roofs, and as building company owners, you don’t just sell the roof and provide the services, you are a dream builder,” Ribble said. “This is really what you do as roofing company owners, as roofing workers, as industry experts, you are dream builders and you are helping the next generation of roofing company owners and roofing workers to find, realize and capture their own version of the American dream.”
Below is a schedule for Day Two of the IRE virtual event, which includes an evening of fun with a virtual poker night sponsored by National Women in Roofing. For those who missed Day One or can’t attend these sessions, the IRE is making presentations available on demand until April 2.
NOTE: All event times are EST. Schedule and events are subject to change.
Ask the Experts Live Day Two: Technical Q & A with a Panel of Experts
10 a.m. – 11 a.m. (LIVE SESSION)
Speakers: Mark Graham, Helene Hardy Pierce, Stephen Teal, Dane Bradford
Some of the industry’s top technical experts, including NRCA Vice President of Technical Services Mark Graham, GAF Vice President of Technical Services, Codes and Industry Relations Helene Hardy Pierce, Flynn Group of Companies Manager Stephen Teal, and Bradford Roof Management President Dane Bradford, will discuss current roofing industry technical issues raised by audience participants in a live session.
Jumpstarting a Virtual Training System
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Speaker: Anna Chapman Anderson
Anna Chapman Anderson, CEO of Art Unlimited, will share what roofing professionals can learn from others who have made strides in virtual training. The presentation will share info from real-life case studies and share how to train your staff, even when they’re working in different locations.
How to Boost Revenue & Streamline Sales Workflows with Innovative Lead Generation Technologies
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Speaker: Josey Parks
Those companies that adapt and embrace technology are those that will forge ahead. Josey Parks of J Wales Enterprises and Cognitive Contractor will teach participants how to boost their revenue and optimize their sales efforts through the use of data and artificial intelligence-driven technology.
Growing Your Business with Another Product Line
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Speaker: Scott Siegal
Expanding your business can be exciting, but also scary and stressful, as the strategies used to grow a roofing business don’t always translate to expanding by adding product lines. Join Scott Siegal of Certified Contractors Network for an “insiders only” session where three owners reveal the secrets to their sustained success that you can use to achieve sustained growth, reduce stress, and enjoy taking your business to the next level.
Empowerment in the Face of Uncertainty: Empowerment Through Belief of Self
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Presented by: National Women in Roofing (NWiR)
Speaker: Jill Keuth
Women are being called to rise and to lead now more than ever, and the roofing industry is no different. Jill Kleuth, a life coach, will share how women can choose to pivot toward hope and possibility in a time where negativity seems rampant. She will encourage attendees to accept what they can’t change, and to see themselves as co-creators of their lives.
Selling Roof Maintenance To Secure Re-roofs In the Future
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Speaker: Joel Johnson
Joel Johnson of P.I. Roofing addresses the common issue of addressing "warranty leaks" a few years after an install, and how these problems end up being something as simple as debris or other non-warranty issue. By selling roof maintenance, roofing contractors can open up pathways for new or recurring business.
Virtual Poker Night Sponsored by NWiR
5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Sponsored By: National Women in Roofing (NWiR)
The virtual poker night features an interactive session with a private poker platform and a live dealer through Zoom, where players can see and interact with everyone at their table. Not only does the event provide a fun way to socialize and network, the winner will receive a $75 NWIR e-store gift card and a $100 Amazon gift card. Registration for the event is required. After you register for the IRE Virtual Edition, you can register for the poker event on the virtual platform.
The International Roofing Expo is sponsored by NRCA, and Roofing Contractor is the official show publication. GAF is the title sponsor of the IRE Virtual Edition. Click here to register.