The roofing industry’s biggest trade show, the International Roofing Expo (IRE) 2023, is heading back to Texas – where everything just is, or feels bigger. Following record attendance the last time roofers and all the industry professionals that support them converged on Dallas for IRE 2020, one might think organizers might be cautious with their predictions on turnout.
“That was a record show,” said Show Director Rich Russo, of Informa Markets, regarding the more than 17,000 attendees to fill the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. “This show is going to be bigger!”
Russo, who is relatively new to the roofing world, said he heard stories about a name badge shortage and other crowd-related issues that year. Yet he told RC Publisher Jill Bloom that all key indicators show the 2020 crowd record is in jeopardy. First, the health and safety concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic that may have kept people at bay are largely gone.
Also, with supply-chain concerns easing a bit, exhibitors are eager to get back to showcasing their full array of product lines, launching new ones, or looking forward to engaging with contractors face-to-face.
“The best way that we have to connect with the industry is face-to-face, in-person interactions,” he said while describing the various networking opportunities built into the show schedule. “There are so many different ways we can connect through happy hours, welcome receptions, and certainly the educational and conference sessions. There’s so much going on.”