This year’s International Roofing Expo (IRE) is the first time the roofing industry will gather in person as a whole since the pandemic, and as a result, safety precautions have been put in place to protect attendees.

Informa, the company that coordinates the IRE, is using its AllSecure protocols to ensure the health and safety of its guests. As part of this, Informa is adhering to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local government guidance, which means all attendees are required to wear masks while indoors. Masks will be available onsite for any guest who does not have one.

Due to the prevalence of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the CDC updated its health and safety recommendations on July 27 to say that people, regardless of whether they’re vaccinated, should wear a mask in indoor settings to prevent the spread.

The recommendation applies to regions that have substantial or high rates of transmission of COVID-19. At the time of publication, Clark County — where Las Vegas is located — was considered to have a high transmission rate. Counties reporting 100 cases or more per 100,000 residents, or have a positivity rate of at least 10%, are labeled as “high transmission.”

Due to health concerns, some companies have opted out of attending the in-person event. Among them are Carlisle Construction Materials and Polyglass U.S.A.

"This was not an easy conclusion for us to reach, but when considering the current environment, the erratic impact of the COVID pandemic, and our primary priority to the health and safety of our entire community, it was the appropriate decision to make at this time," Polyglass stated in an email.

Aside from masks, Informa is implementing no-contact registration, is following a 1.5 foot radial distance/3-foot physical distance per person, and is discouraging handing out swag or other items, all in an effort to reduce contact points. Informa AllSecure is also implementing enhanced cleaning and sanitation and increased air circulation within the convention center.

Even with new safety standards in place, there is a wide variety of ways to interact at IRE. Just by walking around the expo floor, attendees connect directly with manufacturers, distributors and suppliers. Exhibitors offer an opportunity for others to learn about the latest innovations and newest products to hit the industry. Educational sessions and speakers can broaden horizons by teaching new techniques and skills. These include live demonstrations and offers to purchase products and services that could give businesses an advantage back home.

“We couldn’t be more excited to open our doors and welcome roofing professionals,” said Ray Giovine, group director of the International Roofing Expo. “We have a number of new companies attending and such a high quality of attendees, we anticipate a large amount of business to be done on our show floor. We’re bringing together the community, and we can’t wait to see the impact.”

Having run multiple in-person trade shows in Las Vegas in 2021, Informa is confident that its focus on safety and health for all parties will allow it to provide exhibitors and attendees with the experience that they’ve come to expect from IRE.

“There is an energy to the in-person experience that we have been missing,” said Nancy Walsh, president, North America at Informa Markets. “Our platforms play a really important role in rich relationship building and revenue-driving for the communities they serve, and that is rarely a one-click experience.