Astute readersthat is to say, readers of this magazineunderstand those of us involved in planning conventions always refer to them as being the "biggest and best ever." Guilty as charged.
Having that out of the way, the 2014 International Roofing Expo® (IRE) held earlier this year in Las Vegas was indeed the biggest everwith 9,568 in attendanceand I'll leave it to you to determine whether it was the best. However, there are a few things worth noting.
For one, nearly 10 percent of attendees came from outside the U.S (from 49 different countries). That is almost double the number from 2013. The event truly has become international, and it's now pretty clear NRCA has made its mark on the worldwide roofing community. This can only be a good thing.
The exhibit floor itself was not, in fact, the biggest ever, but it was the biggest since the Great Recession of 2008-09, and it signals a rebound for the industry. Most important, every major roofing material manufacturer exhibited—something we haven't been able to say for a few years. That's a great show of industry solidarity, and I'm happy to report all those manufacturers will be back for the 2015 IRE.