A new vibe

By all counts, the 2019 IRE and NRCA's 132nd Annual Convention were a success

The 2019 International Roofing Expo® and NRCA's 132nd Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn., in February were among the most interesting and exciting roofing events I have attended.

As I walked the sold-out trade show floor and met with exhibitors large and small, I was struck by one issue that was at the forefront of almost all the offerings: technology. Exhibitors were showcasing their efforts to make contractors' jobs easier whether it was an app to track material shipments to job sites, snazzy software to make selling a breeze via tablets or sophisticated aerial imagery.

The buzz on the floor was more about what exhibitors can do to help contractors succeed than what roofing materials can do on rooftops.

And contractors were there in droves. The preregistration line on the show's first day snaked throughout the convention center, and there was undeniable excitement among all attendees. The event set a record with about 14,000 participants.

NRCA's booth was jam-packed as we officially introduced NRCA ProCertification™ to the industry; witnessed 44 new members joining the organization during the show; and registered dozens of people for Roofing Day in D.C. 2019. NRCA also hosted the most unique (and most successful) ROOFPAC event ever at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

And for the first time, the industry's highest honor, the J.A. Piper Award, was bestowed upon a woman, Helene Hardy Pierce, vice president of technical services, codes and industry relations at GAF, Parsippany, N.J. Hardy Pierce is the 72nd roofing professional to earn the honor.

Dallas, the site of next year's events, will have a lot to live up to, but if the trend continues, it is sure to be an opportunity you will not want to miss. I'm already looking forward to it.

Ambika Puniani Reid is editor of Professional Roofing and NRCA's vice president of communications and production.


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