Last week Roofing Contractor participated in the Global Green Expo, a virtual trade show.

Last week Roofing Contractor participated in the Global Green Expo, a virtual trade show. Attendees could access, via their computers, an exhibit floor with sales reps from exhibiting companies, attend educational webinars to earn AIA and USGBC credits, and chat live with other participants online.

Exhibitors included GAF Materials Corp., Duro-Last Roofing, Firestone Building Products, BASF, Lean Logistics, E-Mon and Redi Controls. I was on hand for live chats about the roofing-related educational sessions titled “High-Performance Vinyl Roofing,” presented by Duro-Last’s Drew Ballensky and “Saving Energy and Money on Your Commercial Roof,” presented by Firestone Building Products’ John Geary.

Coincidentally, the trade show took place the day after I saw the Bruce Willis movie “Surrogates,” a send-up of the virtual world in which people spent all day in their apartments controlling android duplicates who did their jobs. I couldn’t help thinking of the movie and chuckling as I toured my first trade show floor without sore feet.

Will the virtual trade show someday replace the real McCoy? I doubt it; as the movie “Surrogates” shows, in the end there’s no substitute for the personal touch. But there’s no doubt that online interaction like this will become a more and more powerful part of the buying, selling, collaborative and educational processes that drive the construction industry.

If you’re interested, the event is archived online until No. 5. Put your feet up and check it out by clicking on this link: www.virtualglobalgreenexpo.com