The roofing industry is nothing if not resilient. Coming off a
terrible year—consensus seems to be the industry volume was
down 30 percent in 2009—NRCA members still made the 2010
International Roofing Expo® (IRE) a huge success by any
standard of measurement. Total attendance is estimated to be 7,000,
down about 4 percent from the 2009 show. But educational conference
attendance was up and there were more exhibiting companies, albeit
in somewhat smaller spaces.
Not surprisingly, the most popular educational offerings were
those addressing sales and marketing and new technologies. Sessions
with the word "solar" in them were practically guaranteed to sell
out, and NRCA's luncheon speaker,
solar expert Steven Strong, met with a long line of interested
contractors following his presentation. The trade show floor
included a number of solar manufacturers, suggesting the industry
is on the verge of much greater involvement with that
New Orleans, of course, is a draw by itself, and we heard
clearly from attendees who had experienced Las Vegas fatigue. Plans
are for IRE to move more frequently; future sites, in addition to
Las Vegas in 2011, include Orlando, Fla., in 2012 and San Antonio
Community Service Day, held in partnership with Rebuilding
Together® New Orleans, exceeded all expectations as 77
volunteers worked on five homes that were damaged by Hurricane
Katrina. Some volunteers reported chipping mortar from bricks was
more fulfilling than chipping golf balls...
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