2020 International Roofing Expo in Dallas, Texas
by Marcus Dodson, publisher
The International Roofing Expo® (IRE) headed to Dallas, Texas, for the first time in 30 years for its annual show in early February at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Attendees got a first-hand look at the newest tools, technologies, and resources available to professionals in the roofing industry. The trade show was buzzing with excitement as over 17,000 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 a great time. It was another record-breaking year, and the booth spaces for the IRE 2021 are already 80% sold out.
This year’s event was another one for the record books, with over 170,000 sq.ft. of exhibit space and more than 541 exhibitors. There was an incredible amount of multi-dimensional products, services, and technologies available for attendees to learn about, from a variety of exhibiting companies. The trade show floor was alive with interactive demonstrations of products, best practices, and educational sessions.
As usual, the Metal Marketplace was a popular spot for attendees to gather and learn about the latest cutting-edge metal products, designs, building concepts, tool, and services from metal roofing manufacturers. The Business and Technology Pavilion returned to the IRE once again and was as energetic as years prior. New tools and resources that help business owners run their companies better, faster, and safer were featured. These included mobile, wireless, and web-based programs for insurance, finance, credit, estimating, labor, weather, and more.
National Women in Roofing celebrated the Third Annual National Women in Roofing 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. Sessions covered topics including business development, communications, career development, mentoring, recruitment, roofing technology advancements, hands-on product demonstrations, a safety wear fashion show, and networking.
The IRE, in conjunction with Rebuilding Together®, hosted the 11th Annual Community Service Day, in which 65 volunteers from across the country came together to repair two homes and make improvements to a local elementary school. Those who were attending the IRE for the first time had the opportunity to gather together and connect at the First-Time Attendee Reception. At the expo, popular sessions returned once again, including fall protection training and leadership classes.
This year, the IRE made history by hosting the expo’s first female speaker, Charlotte Jones, executive vice president and chief brand officer of the Dallas Cowboys. In her dynamic and invigorating presentation, Jones praised the roofing industry for its efforts to champion women professionals and women-owned companies. She also spoke about the importance of diversity in the workplace and the power of partnerships when it comes to ongoing business success. With the ongoing labor shortage that plagues the roofing industry, Jones’ message about recruiting and retaining women was not lost on the audience of contractors, business owners, and manufacturers. After a full day of networking and learning, IRE attendees joined together at the Welcome Party at the Bomb Factory in Deep Ellum, Texas, 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 Dallas with the tips, tricks, and tools needed to bring continued success to the roofing industry in 2020. Next year, join us as IRE heads to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 24-26, 2021.