Industry News

2018 International Roofing Expo Opens in New Orleans

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The International Roofing Expo (IRE) takes place this week in New Orleans, Louisiana, representing the preeminent roofing construction and maintenance event where roofing professionals experience face-to-face interaction, product review, education, and networking.

Sponsored by Informa Global Exhibitions, the event takes place from Tuesday, February 6, through Thursday, February 8, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Representatives of CoatingsPro Magazine will be on hand at booth #240.

The show floor and educational program provide opportunities to discover new trends, advances in technology, and best practices for business growth, according to event organizers.

Based on last year’s statistics, the majority of attendees are roofing contractors, while ~20 percent are agents of distributors or manufacturers and ~13 percent are firms involved in architecture, engineering, designing, building, or remodeling.

Show Floor Highlights

Over 1,300 booths are expected at this year’s show, with products serving both commercial and residential markets. The show floor features an array of new, value-added services and innovative ideas in roofing materials and related products including gutters, insulation, ladders, coatings/adhesives, fasteners, machinery equipment/tools, metal roofing, modified bitumen, roof/decking materials, roof pavers, renewable energy, walkways/ballast, shingles, skylights, slate, solar, spray polyurethane foam, tile, vapor retarders, ventilation, waterproofing, and much more.

Exhibitors of note include American WeatherStar, BASF, CertainTeed, Firestone Building Products, IPS Roofing Products, Kemper System, Lapolla Industries, Marco Industries, Lucas Coatings, ICP Adhesives & Sealants, Metacrylics, National Coatings Corp., Progressive Materials, Pro Guard Coatings, Rhino Linings Corp., Royal Adhesives & Sealants, Valspar, Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance, Tropical Roofing Products, and hundreds of other industry leaders.

Mike Rowe, former host of the hit television show “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel, will be the special guest of GAF on the show floor on Wednesday at 4 p.m. local time, according to the IRE’s official publication. On his show, Rowe often profiled roofers performing jobs across the country.

In 2004, Hanley Wood Exhibitions acquired the NRCA show and rebranded it as the IRE. The event is now owned and produced by Informa, which acquired Hanley Wood Exhibitions in December 2014. 

Educational Conference Opportunities

Meanwhile, the event also includes a specialized educational conference program. The conference program consists of 44-knowledge building sessions across eight tracks, where attendees can learn the best practices and latest technologies designed to improve skills and grow businesses. With 66 hours of course selections, the eight tracks are broken down into the categories of general business; technical; workplace safety; leadership/management; green building; money matters; sales/service; and legal/HR.

Sessions are specifically targeted to commercial/residential/metal contractors, owners/CEOs/general managers, superintendents/foremen, architects/designers/consultants, salesmen/estimators, manufacturers/suppliers, and building owners/facility managers. Held Tuesday through Thursday, classes are 90 minutes in length and do not overlap the exhibit hall hours, allowing delegates ample time to visit the show floor as well.

The sessions includes a roundtable discussion on Wednesday for contractors only led by the International Roofers Union on recruiting, training, and retaining roofing technicians and leaders.

Other opportunities relevant to coatings contractors can be found in the education tracks, with sessions focused on the contractor and manufacturer relationship (Tuesday); complying with energy code requirements for commercial roof assemblies (Wednesday); a hands-on demonstration of insulated roof systems with liquid-applied membranes (Wednesday); single-ply systems (Wednesday); using drones in roofing (Thursday); common financial pitfalls and business structure mistakes made by contractors (Thursday); and the impact of the legalization of marijuana on the roofing industry (Thursday).

Continuing education hours (CEUs) will be provided for the majority of courses presented. The entire list of educational sessions and show exhibitors can be accessed at the IRE’s website.

For more information, contact: IRE, (972) 536-6415,