One of my duties as editorial director for Roofing Contractor is to serve on an advisory board for the International Roofing Expo (IRE). The board recently met at the host hotel for the 2013 IRE, the Marriott Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio, Texas. Adjacent to the San Antonio Convention Center, the hotel is situated on the picturesque San Antonio Riverwalk. The Marriott will be the headquarters hotel for the IRE trade show and seminars as well as the NRCA annual convention will be held Feb. 5-7, 2013.

 It had been years since my last visit to San Antonio and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Riverwalk experience is even better than before. That was nearly 10 years ago. The great restaurants and the ambiance of the patio cafes and boats just put you in a peaceful and relaxed state of mind. Maybe it is the fact that it lies beneath the busy city streets, or maybe it is the buzz from all the folks there enjoying good food, drink, and entertainment. Whatever it is, I found it to be a charming venue and I already look forward to returning.

In addition to the river walk, San Antonio offers up a plethora of historical venues, including the Alamo, Hemisfair Park, and Sunset Station at St Paul’s Square, to name but a few. Check here for a more complete listing.

But the IRE is all about networking with other industry professionals, attending great seminars to learn new ways of improving your business, touring the trade show to see all the latest innovations and meet with the top executives of your key trading partners. It is, however, always nice to travel to a place that is enjoyable in the after-hours time when you can relax and unwind over dinner with colleagues or customers. There may even be time for adult beverages and dancing.

The IRE advisory board is always open to suggestions from attendees. A part of each seminar presentation includes a survey of the attendees on the speaker and their content. Other surveys regarding hotel and convention center accommodations as well as hospitality and keynote events are conducted to further consider ways of improving the IRE experience. These were all taken into consideration as preparations for the 2013 IRE continue.

Have any ideas or special requests? What would you like to see at then next International Roofing Expo? Drop me a line – rickdamato@yahoo.comand let me know. You will always find a link to the IRE right here at Roofing Contractor is the official publication of the International Roofing Expo.