As I was saying …

NRCA's annual convention and IRE

It's now been three years since NRCA made the strategic decision to sell its trade show and related educational conferences to Washington, D.C.-based Hanley Wood LLC, so it's fair to reflect for a moment and ask whether the deal has been a good one.

When NRCA's leadership made its decision, it did so with cautious optimism, expecting the show to improve and NRCA to devote more resources to core member services.

Here's what has happened: During the first three Hanley Wood years, attendance at the International Roofing Expo (IRE), as it now is called, has grown almost 50 percent. Exhibit space sales have grown more than 25 percent. Educational programs at the event have increased from about 20 to 50, with substantially higher attendance. Attendee evaluations indicate improvements not only in quantity but quality.

To be sure, we at NRCA confess to having moments of seller's remorse. Because Hanley Wood approaches the event differently from the way we did, we like to think we could do some things better or that some growth would have happened anyway. The reality, of course, is that's not likely. Hanley Wood has done a great job and deserves credit—and our thanks.