By Karen Knapstein

The International Roofing Expo was held February 1-3 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The show featured nearly 400 exhibitors. But no one quite knew what to expect. With Omicron cases surging in the city, New Orleans passed strict mandates. According to the city’s website:

“As of January 12, 2022, the City of New Orleans is under an indoor mask mandate. Masks are required in all indoor spaces outside of your home. The indoor mask mandate will last indefinitely.

“Proof of full vaccination (two doses of a two-dose vaccine series (e.g., Pfizer, Moderna), or one dose of a single-dose vaccine series (J&J) for all eligible individuals five years and older, or a negative COVID-19 PCR, molecular, or antigen test within 72 hours, is required at most indoor venues including dining and entertainment venues, and outdoor events where more than 500 people are in attendance.”

Roofing Expo
Dynamic Fastener is a supplier to the largest metal building manufacturers. Find Dynamic Fastener at the Construction Rollforming Show in October.

Last August, show attendance was way down at IRE in Las Vegas. It was anyone’s guess how significant the impact of the mandates would be at IRE in New Orleans. While quite a few exhibitors said attendance was down from a “normal” year, attendance was much better than it had been in Las Vegas. In fact, according to Informa Markets, which sent out a news announcement on behalf of IRE, the event had “10,002 registered professionals.”

There was an upbeat feeling throughout the convention center. The vast majority of exhibitors and attendees decided to forgo wearing masks. (In case you’re curious, the few who we asked said they weren’t concerned because they had either already had the virus or had been vaccinated.)

When queried about his IRE 2022 experience, David Quehl, director of sales and marketing, Direct Metals, Inc., commented: “IRE 2022 was a victim of the city of New Orleans instituting mask mandates AND vaccinations/COVID tests for public venues entry before the show.” As a result, attendance was down from previous years, but those in attendance were highly motivated to find new sources of supply to help alleviate long lead times. The DMI booth was steady and had good opportunities to promote residential and commercial roofing fasteners, flashings and accessories for both shingle and metal roofs. Made in the USA products with better availability than overseas factories were in high demand.

David Hirte (left) and Brad Shreve were on hand at the AkzoNobel booth. Find AkzoNobel at the Construction Rollforming Show in October.

Scott Friese, sales leader at Malco Products, SBC, was enthusiastic about the show: “IRE 2022 was a success! This year’s event in New Orleans was well attended, thoughtfully organized, and a great venue to showcase Malco’s line-up of professional tools for roofing contractors. Show highlights include supporting training sessions with Rob Balfanz, director of Workforce Development for the Vinyl Siding Institute, and meeting many enthusiastic Malco fans! We look forward to attending next year’s show, but NOLA will be tough to beat!”

Georgia Pacific’s Mallory Faust was enthusiastic, as well: “As a manufacturer dedicated to customer-focused innovation, IRE was a wonderful opportunity to meet with customers and hear from them what’s happening in their world. Visitors to the booth saw our latest innovation, DensDeck® StormX™ Prime Roof Board, the first gypsum cover board designed to prepare commercial roofs for very severe hail conditions. Everyone we met was also excited to hear a new installment in our ‘Four Dimensions of Protection’ series will be releasing soon. We’re looking forward to another great year!”

Thomas Schwarzer, ASC Machine Tools, summed it up when he said, “Thankfully the attendance of trade shows is getting back to normal or better ‘pre-pandemic’ status.” MR

AceClamp exhibited its new Solar Snap™ heavy-duty racking system, in addition to the company’s other mounting solutions. Elmer Cruz demonstrates. Find AceClamp at the Construction Rollforming Show in October. 
Sales representative Alex Ramos was on hand to answer questions about Aztec Washer’s Master Flash and other products. Photos by Metal Roofing Staff unless otherwise indicated.
Union Corrugating Company manufactures metal roofing that’s durable, efficient, and sustainable.. Photo courtesy of Union Corrugating
Andrew Mullen (far left) and David Quehl (second from right) address attendee questions in the Direct Metals, Inc. (DMI) booth. Find DMI at the Construction Rollforming Show in October.
CIDAN Machinery had steady traffic at its expansive booth. Find CIDAN at the Construction Rollforming Show in October.
Innovative Insulation exhibited its Super R Deck Barrier, which they said would be less expensive, more tacky, and safer. Find Innovative Insulation at the Construction Rollforming Show in October.
MetalForming Inc. offers equipment from Schechtl, Jorns, Schlebach, Krasser, Schroeder Group, and other manufacturers. Among the equipment they exhibited was a Schlebach Quadro portable standing-seam roll former. Find MetalForming at the Construction Rollforming Show in October.
There was a lot of interest and heavy foot traffic at the Reed’s Metals exhibit, where they featured the company’s Metals Masters program. Photo courtesy of Reed’s Metals.
MFM Building Products, which supplies roofers with underlayments and waterproofing membranes, celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021.

By Karen Knapstein

Post frame, Roll forming, Metal forming, Sheds, Agricultural construction, Metal panel, Steel Buildings

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