NEW ORLEANS — One of the home improvement industry’s largest annual gatherings, the International Roofing Expo (IRE), is set to take place ‘in-person’ in New Orleans Feb 1 – 3 as trade shows and events continue their comeback from the pandemic.
With the industry booming in all regions of the country, IRE organizers hope to exceed attendance expectations despite ongoing health and safety factors that have complicated travel and face-to-face meetings for two years. Coming the week before the return of an in-person Design & Construction Week, IRE will provide an early indication of contractors’ appetite for the return of trade shows, which have been key to new-product launches and association gatherings for more than a century.
Suppliers and exhibitors to IRE have already given their stamp of approval to the coming show, booking more than 150,000 square feet of exhibit space in New Orleans, said Rick Strachan a senior vice president with Informa, the show’s owner.
The event, which traditionally draws 17,000-plus attendees and more than 500 exhibitors, will not approach peak levels. But a strong showing of 9,000 attendees last summer when IRE was held in Las Vegas has Informa hoping to build on that success.
What to expect in New Orleans
Show manager Shelby Snelson said over 400 companies will be exhibiting at the show. In addition, IRE will host 60-plus educational sessions and various networking events. IRE highlights include:
- Exhibitor-presented seminars taught on the show floor
- A windows and siding pavilion
- Product clinics featuring live demonstrations
- Outdoor exhibits and special events
- IRE Welcome Party and First-Time Attendee Reception
- National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) training classes
- NRCA Awards Ceremony & Cocktail Reception
- A construction management student competition
- 5th Annual National Women in Roofing’s (NWiR) Day
To kick off the event, a keynote address — “Lessons: An Insider’s Look at 40 Years of Learning, Falling, Failing, and Succeeding” — will feature Reid Ribble, CEO of the NRCA.
Before becoming CEO, Ribble served six years in the U.S. House of Representatives. During his tenure, he served on the Agriculture, Transportation and Infrastructure, Budget and Finance, and Foreign Affairs Committees, where he served as vice chairman of the Committee on Emerging Threats. Prior to serving in congress, Ribble was the president of his own roofing company for more than 30 years in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. As a contractor, he volunteered countless hours serving on numerous NRCA committees and on NRCA’s board of directors.
“Every person and every business has an absolute need for shelter,” said Ribble. “As roofing professionals, it’s our honor to provide them with the roofs over their heads. The IRE will be a fantastic way to bring the industry together, to talk about goals, and create a basis for having a great year in 2022.”
Home Improvement Summit Co-Located with IRE
QR columnist Dave Yoho is bringing his Home Improvement Profitability Summit, to New Orleans during IRE. Seminar sessions will be led by some of the the top sales, marketing and business trainers in the industry. The HIP Summit will be hosted at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel. In addition, Yoho will be a featured speaker on the show floor. To learn more about the summit and inquire about tickets to its sessions, go to www.hipsummit.com. QR