By Karen Knapstein

Maybe you don’t use the word “revitalized” (I rarely do), but it is fitting here. After spending two days at the International Roofing Expo in Dallas, I find myself exhausted but inspired. (The show is three days, but deadlines beckoned back home here in Wisconsin so we held our visit to two days.) 

IRE hosted more than 500 exhibitors; it would be impossible to visit all of them over the course of the three-day show. It’s a necessity to be prepared ahead of time. Attending such a large show means you have to prioritize; you have to decide which companies fall into the categories “must-visit,” “should-visit,” “nice-to-visit,” and so on. The IRE app on my smartphone was handy for identifying booth numbers and having all the show information at my fingertips (it really helped me find my way around), but I always like having a printed map. (I don’t like being at the mercy of my cellphone … my power ran very low both days I was at the show. No cellphone power means no info.)

One of my missions was to deliver the remaining Metal Roofing Magazine Metal of Honor plaques to companies that were exhibiting at IRE. It felt wonderful to see so many friends in the industry, at an event that was well attended and with spirits high. It was just as exciting meeting new people, who are involved in sectors of the industry that I’m not so familiar with. It won’t be long and you’ll be learning about some of those new acquaintances. 

Speaking of trade shows, earlier this year Shield Wall Media hosted the second annual Garage, Shed & Carport Builder Show in Greenville, South Carolina. With just over 50 exhibitors, it’s a show that can be covered in two days and you can have meaningful conversations with every exhibitor. Find the GSCB Show coverage beginning on page 42. (Followed by the Frame Building Expo coverage beginning on page 47.)

Talking about shows has me getting excited about the Construction Rollforming Show, which returns to the Duke Energy Center in Cincinnati September 27-28. Save the date! I’d love to meet you there! RF