2019 International Roofing Expo in Nashville, Tennessee
by Marcus Dodson, editor
The International Roofing Expo® (IRE) headed down south to Nashville, Tennessee, for this year’s annual show in February. Those who attended were able to get a first-hand look at the latest trends, the newest products, and the most recent innovations in the roofing industry. This year’s record-breaking event had over 150,000 sq.ft. of exhibit space and over 500 companies, making it the IRE’s biggest event to date. The trade show floor was buzzing with excitement as over 14,000 roofing contractors, superintendents, foremen, architects, designers, estimators, building owners, facility managers, specifiers, CEOs, and general managers came together to learn about new tools, connect with each other, and have fun.
Many of the industries hottest products were on display, including: bitumen/asphalt, BUR, coatings, sealants, adhesives, fasteners, flashing, gutters, ladders and scaffolding, metal panels and shingles, modified bitumen, roof decks, roof hatches and doors, roof pavers, fall protection, siding and insulation, single-ply roofing, solar, spray polyurethane foam, software, tile, underlayment, vapor retarders, ventilation, waterproofing, and much more. Hundreds of companies and manufacturers provided hours of exhibit time, showcasing thousands of innovative and profit-driving products, services, technologies, and equipment.
As always, the Metal Marketplace was one of IRE’s biggest draws. It was in this pavilion that leading manufacturers supplied creative and innovative metal products, designs, building concepts, tools, and services. Attendees were able to get an up-close look at the products, services, and equipment from manufacturers such as MBCI®, Raytec Manufacturing, Roof Hugger®, S-5!®, and many more. Contractors that specialize in metal benefited greatly from seeing first-hand the most recent innovations in their area of the roofing industry.
Those looking to educate themselves on the products and services that benefit roofing companies found great information in the Business and Technology Pavilion. Not only were products and services on display, but professionals were able to meet face-to-face with the suppliers who are revolutionizing this segment of the industry and receive guidance on selecting the right products to manage their businesses. Further educational opportunities were available with the offering of 44 knowledge-building sessions in eight tracks where attendees were able to learn the best practices and latest technologies designed to improve skills and grow businesses. The tracks were: general business, technical, workplace safety, leadership/management, green building, money matters, sales/service, and legal/HR. Sessions were specifically targeted to commercial, residential, and metal contractors; owners, CEOs, and general managers; superintendents and foremen; architects, designers, and consultants; salesmen and estimators; manufacturers and suppliers; and building owners and facility managers.
National Women in Roofing celebrated the Second Annual National Women in Roofing Education Day with a diverse set of activities for those involved in the association. Professional, like-minded, good-spirited women from all facets of the roofing industry came together to experience insight, inspiration, and fun. The day included a keynote address, as well as education and mentoring sessions.
Entrepreneur, author, and creative mentor Jesse Itzler was this year’s keynote speaker. During his address, Itzler tapped into his amazing experiences as a businessman and innovator and taught the audience how to get comfortable being uncomfortable, fight off complacency, and go further than ever thought possible. After a full day of networking and learning, IRE attendees joined together at the Welcome Party at the Nashville Underground to enjoy complimentary beer, wine, sodas, and hors d’oeuvres while listening to live music and dancing.
It was another fantastic year for the must-attend roofing industry event. Attendees left Nashville with the tips, tricks, and tools needed to bring continued success to the roofing industry in 2019. Next year, join us as IRE heads to Dallas, Texas, February 4-6, 2020.