The 2011 International Roofing Expo held in Las Vegas hit all the right numbers, including a significant rise in attendance. The show also received rave reviews for its new features, including the Technology Pavilion and Product Showcase.

Attendance at IRE held on Feb. 16-18 at the Las Vegas Convention Center was up 18 percent compared to last year’s show in New Orleans. “We are thrilled with the number of attendees and the enthusiasm they brought to the buying and selling activity on the show floor,” said Lindsay Roberts, Director of the Expo.

Officials from Hanley Wood Exhibitions, the IRE show presenter, said the attendance was 8,139. Participants came from all segments of the roofing industry, including commercial and residential contractors, builders, remodelers, building owners, facility managers, manufacturers, architects, engineers and other ancillary industry professionals.

With 879 booths and 394 exhibiting companies, the trade show floor featured products, new value-added services and innovative ideas in roofing materials and related products.

The IRE’s educational conference also featured 41 educational sessions. Conference attendance increased 25 percent and totaled an impressive 4,163 sessions sold, Hanley Wood officials said.

Attendees represented all 50 states, with the largest number from California, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, Minnesota, Arizona, New York, Michigan, and Missouri. The largest number of international attendees came from Canada, Mexico, Japan, Sweden, Brazil and Germany.

Joe Theismann Presents Keynote

Former Super Bowl quarterback Joe Theismann did not come to Las Vegas to tell roofing contractors how to be successful; instead he reminded the industry that learning from one another is still in vogue.

“Everyone here is successful in their own right,” said Theismann, who provided the keynote address, “Game Plan for Success” at the opening day of the IRE. “It’s the opportunity to learn from one another.”

In his address, Theismann was engaging, funny, serious, and had audience members on their feet after presenting lessons he learned on the football field and how they helped him succeed in the business world. He received two standing ovations from the audience of more than 1,000 — the largest crowd in the show’s history.

For starters, Theismann, a current ESPN broadcaster and former NFL Most Valuable Player for the Washington Redskins, told contractors about his last pro game, in which when he broke his leg on Monday Night Football. He explained how he had a premonition that the 1985 nationally televised game versus the New York Giants was “going to change my life.”

“I heard a ‘Pow, Pow!’” Theismann, 61, said of the hit by Lawrence Taylor that resulted in a compound fracture of his lower right leg and consequently the end of his playing career. “My career ended, but it wasn’t a tragedy; it was a blessing.”

Theismann’s life changed dramatically after professional football. “The first thing I talked about was goals,” he said. “Take a pen in hand; write down the things you want. You’d be surprised how your life goes in that direction.”

Theismann said people accused him of being cocky and egotistical. “There’s a difference in telling people you’re good and believing it,” he said. “It’s attitudes. Unbelievable! Attitude precedes everything we do in our life.”

Theismann’s mother passed away six months ago and he knows his mother was right in the things she told him “You have to like who you are as a person,” he said. “Do it with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm sends us. Enthusiasm carries us.”

Theismann told contractors to make a point to be successful in life, “You have to have it.”

“Anticipate your role,” he continued. “Educate. Be an excited student whether it’s solar panels or something else. How can I make my job more efficient? (And) hard work; the result is preparation. Are you ready for the moment when it gets to you?”

Theismann told contractors “don’t be afraid to take a chance.”

“Don’t be afraid to jump outside the box,” said Theismann, who offered a story on the one time he was called on to punt the ball that resulted in a 16-yard punt. “I’m own the record for shortest net yard punt.”

Theismann said his cup is always half full, not half empty. “The only reason we are in business is to take care of our customers,” he said.

While reminding contractors to “appreciate every award, every compliment,” Theismann said as he gets older, his quest is to gain more knowledge,

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity (to speak),” he said. “It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

That’s Joe Theismann’s “Game Plan for Success.”

Product Showcase

With 879 booths and 394 exhibiting companies, the trade show floor featured an array of products, new value-added services and innovative ideas in roofing materials and related products. The event’s new Product Showcase offered the hottest industry trends and the latest new, cool and green products in one spot. From a selection of 27 products, a panel of industry experts awarded products in two categories: Best New Product and Best Green Product.

EverCo, LLC, with the Best New Product award for its skylight guard. Duo-Fast Construction’s Duo-Fast DFCR175C gas-powered cordless roofing nailer took second place, and the Saiz Tool Company came in third with its Saiz Shingle Cutting Tool.

The panelists awarded Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance with the Best Green Product award for its biotray vegetative roof delivery system. Other winners included Polyglass USA, Inc., for its Polykool® membrane and tape, which took second place, and Maxiflo’s Maxiflo vent, which came in third.                                      
Combining the former New Product Pavilion and Green Pavilion into one showcase area, the rebranded Product Showcase allowed attendees to see, try and compare the latest and unique new, cool and green products. It was sponsored by PHP Systems/Design.

Other companies displaying green products included: Ideal Roofing Company Ltd., Dow Building Systems, Heat Barrier Systems Inc., Permafelt, HotEdge Inc. and SofSurfaces Inc.

Other companies displaying new products included: Ideal Roofing Company Ltd., High Tide Escape Hatch, Gerard/Allmet Roofing, Permafelt; Xact Link, Geocel,, HotEdge Inc., D I Roof Seamers, and Simpson Strong-Tie.

More Expo Happenings

Jan Bagnall of Roof Slope by Pli-Dek Systems shows off his product at the 2011 IRE.
• Debuting this year was the Renewable Energy Pavilion, a designated area on the show floor that provided education and resources to attendees about this innovative and cutting-edge segment. Featuring exhibits and a product showcase area, this new pavilion also provided a two-day series of 45-minute educational demonstrations.

• The Live Demonstrations taught attendees how to use, sell and install the latest roofing equipment, materials and techniques through a series of demonstrations from Dow Building Solutions, Duo-Fast Construction, Carlisle Construction Materials, Roof Hugger, Gerard/Allmet Roofing, Kingspan Insulated Panels and Roofers’ Success International.

• Through the Exhibitor Product Clinics, OMG, Soprema, and Equipter educated attendees about their products. A Tech Know How clinic was the site of multiple demonstrations that taught attendees tricks, tips and detailed instructions of their high-tech products and services. The companies presenting at the Tech Know How pavilion included EagleView Technologies, AccuLynx, Allied Building Products, AppliCad, Estimators on Call, HailWatch, Roofing Contractor Magazine and Roofing Contractor Marketing.

• Attendees focused on metal roofing found a multitude of resources in the Metal Marketplace, featuring 44 companies displaying creative and innovative designs, building concepts, tools and services.

• Giving back to the Las Vegas community, a pre-show Community Service Day took place on Feb. 15 where 40 attendees and exhibitors enthusiastically volunteered to perform renovations on two homes of elderly veterans. (For more on Community Service Day, see page 34)

• The opening night Welcome Party was held at TAO at the Venetian Hotel. This event attracted over 900 show participants who enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and beverages while mixing and mingling with friends and networking with industry leaders.

IRE 2012 in Orlando

A consortium of ABC Supply representatives provide the “thumbs up” during IRE along with Indy Car driver Vitor Meira (front row, far right).
The 2012 International Roofing Expo will move to Orlando, Fla. Next year’s show is scheduled for Feb. 22-24 at the Orange County Convention Center.

“We are very excited to be returning to Orlando for the first time since 2005 and we feel our attendees and exhibitors will respond well,” said Lindsay Roberts, IRE Director.

When selecting a host city, Hanley Wood Exhibitions — the presenter of IRE — takes into consideration the feedback they receive from attendees and exhibitors.

“We try very hard to meet their needs,” Roberts said. “Post-show survey results indicate a strong desire for a show in the east or southeast and Orlando was the top-rated city.”

The next four International Roofing Expo shows are in different cities — Orlando in 2012, San Antonio in 2013, Las Vegas in 2014 and New Orleans in 2015.