So how was convention?

I'd be lying if I said NRCA's leadership and staff were not a little nervous before going to Orlando, Fla., for the 2005 International Roofing Expo and NRCA's 118th Annual Convention. Just as others in the industry, NRCA's board of directors, Executive Committee and staff members wondered how the trade show, now handled by Hanley Wood, LLC, Washington, D.C., would go. NRCA's leadership and staff asked themselves: How would it be different? Would it be better or worse? Would attendance increase?

I'd also be lying if I said planning NRCA's 118th Annual Convention was easy now that the exhibit and educational portions no longer are NRCA's responsibility. NRCA tried reformatting its annual breakfast and dinner—all while trying to stay within the time constraints imposed by trade-show hours and educational sessions. Although the association didn't want to lose all sense of tradition, changes needed to be made. But which ones?

However, the doubts and worries soon subsided.

Hanley Wood staged a professional, well-attended convention—the trade-show floor had good traffic, and most of the educational sessions were packed. In addition, attendees and exhibitors reported positive convention experiences. Hanley Wood reported attendance numbers increased nearly 30 percent from 2004 and exhibitor numbers posted about a 20 percent increase.