The results are in! This year’s International Roofing Expo (or IRE for short) was a record breaker!

As North America’s largest and most influential event for the roofing construction and maintenance industry, IRE 2019 premiered in Nashville, TN bringing in over 500 exhibitors, over 10,000 attendees, and occupying over 151,800+ square feet of show space – the largest show floor in the event’s history.

The massive attendance and sheer size of IRE 2019 was felt by everyone at the show. From our booth in the Business & Tech Pavilion, the Renoworks and Geomni team were blown away by the amount of traffic, excitement and buzz. There was a true sense of innovation and desire to learn and adopt new ideas – an environment that was cultivated by IRE’s dedicated focus on professional development and education.

Here are five things we really liked about IRE 2019:

All Roads Lead to Interactive Booth Displays

Atlas Roofing IRE 2019

Atlas Roofing booth display (back portion) at the International Roofing Expo 2019 in Nashville, TN

Every year the booth displays at The International Roofing Expo get more and more innovative and interactive (kudos to the marketers who dream these up!).

The Atlas Roofing booth was no exception. Featuring its iconic red Chevy truck, a choose-your-own adventure visual journey through its products and a social media board that the whole family could participate in, Atlas Roofing created a booth display that was information candy for the eyes.

Home remodeling legend Mike Holmes also stopped by the Atlas booth to talk with contractors, making the display educational as well as enjoyable and informative.

Let’s Get Educated

There’s no doubt that IRE is focused on education and professional development within the roofing industry. With a program consisting of 122 education hours, 44 sessions, special events and show floor education opportunities, the International Roofing Expo 2019 was an informative learning environment as well as an opportunity to network and scope out new products and technology.

We were impressed by the number of show floor education booths at the Expo. It was hard to walk more than 50 feet without seeing a group of industry professionals listening intently to an educational speaker.

On the second day of the show we had a spike in traffic to our booth to check out Geomni’s selection of DJI drones on display. We learned from one contractor that an educational speaker had urged listener’s that “they needed to get a drone”, which prompted the crowd to hungrily seek out any information about drones from exhibitors.

Speaking of drones…

Game of Drones

Renoworks Geomni Drones IRE 2019 International Roofing Expo

Renoworks, Geomni and a DJI-series drone at booth #1061 at the International Roofing Expo 2019

Drones and aerial measurements were big topics on the minds of attendees at this year’s International Roofing Expo. Anecdotally, one gentleman we spoke with commented that there were less drones on display this year compared to IRE 2018. However, it’s clear that the interest in drones hasn’t decreased, even if there were less of them on the show floor this year.

Many of the industry professionals we spoke with already used a drone in their workflow or were getting ready to purchase one. The DJI series of drones, including the Mavic and Phantom, seemed to be the most popular choices.

The large DJI drone on display at the Geomni booth sparked heavy conversations and it quickly became apparent that there are A LOT of drone lovers at IRE.

When we explained how aerial pictometry services now provide roofing measurements without the need for a drone or even a home-visit, contractors were impressed. But it wasn’t uncommon to hear drone-lovers express disappointment that they might not need to use their drone as often any more (tongue in cheek, one contractor yelled “don’t take my drone away from me!”).

JJ Watt?

JJ Watt GAFF Building products International Roofing Expo 2019 IRE 2019

JJ Watt at the GAF booth at the International Roofing Expo 2019

JJ Watt of the Houston Texans visited the GAF display to speak a few words and meet with fans, including a few lucky kids who got their picture taken with the 6’ 5” defensive end. We liked how exhibitors are bringing in influencers, industry leaders and celebrities from other disciplines to speak at IRE. It’s educational, informative, entertaining and most importantly, it draws the crowds and sparks commonality of interest among attendees.

It’s a Family Affair

This year we saw lots of families at the International Roofing Expo.

There were burly contractors pushing strollers, couples discussing the newest building products and multi-generational family-owned companies walking the show floor and talking shop as well as spending quality family time.

We really like the focus on family and relationships in the roofing industry and hope it’s a trend that continues for many International Roofing Expo’s to come.

As NRCA CEO Reid Ribble said at IRE 2019:

“You protect the most important things you value in their lives. You’re on the front line in protecting the entire country from the elements outside.”

Roofing is all about protecting the home and family, so why not bring yours down to IRE 2019 next year in Dallas from February 4-6?

We’ll see you there!

Want to read about some of the deeper industry insights we learned at International Roofing Expo 2019? Click here to read about our top 4 takeaways from the show. 

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