METALCON 2017 was held in Las Vegas Oct. 18-20, and according to show management, exhibitors at the largest international event for the metal construction industry networked with more than 5,000 attendees, including designers, builders, developers, contractors, fabricators and suppliers from more than 50 countries.
“This is one of the unique venues in the world where we have access to our entire value chain,” said Mark MacDonald of Valspar. “We see everyone from coil coaters all the way down to building product suppliers, regional roll formers and even roofing contractors. It gives us an opportunity to network with our current customers, talk about new business opportunities, as well as meet our future customers. There really isn’t another venue quite like this, and we are happy to be here.”
“It’s been an incredible attendee show,” said Scott Cosens of Samco Machinery, manufacturers of custom metal roll-forming equipment. “We have never seen this type of volume of people. We were running out of paper on our leads. All I can tell you is, if you are not coming to METALCON, you are missing out, and what’s even more amazing, I am finding that still again, all of these suppliers and providers are coming from all over the world, not just the U.S. and Canada. We are never not going to be here. We have been here for well over two decades, and we are already back for next year.”
A newcomer to METALCON this year was DuPont Tyvek Protec, a synthetic roofing underlayment product. “We couldn’t be more excited to be here,” said Roofing Segment Leader Susan Homan. “Honestly, after the first day, our expectations have been exceeded. The quality of the crowd here is really great. We have had really great engagement with contractors and other professionals alike, so we are really glad to be at METALCON.”
Another new exhibitor was Stubai, an Austrian manufacturer of roofing and metalworking tools. “We decided to come to METALCON because we can meet our final customers who actually work with our tools,” said Sites Manager Lukas Braun. “It is interesting for us to get to know how they use the products, but we can also get in touch with decision makers, new retailers, and existing retailers. For us, the U.S. is a very big country so it is more convenient for us to meet all of our customers here.”
Geoff Stone with MetalForming Inc., a provider of high-tech sheet metal component manufacturing machines, has attended all 27 METALCON shows. “This was an absolutely terrific show,” said Stone. “The marketplace is in great condition. There’s lots of folks spending money. I think we probably did somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 or $4 million dollars’ worth of business as a result. As usual, METALCON is our most important show, and we’ve really enjoyed being here.”
Lee Ann Slattery, sales support manager for ATAS International Inc., manufacturers of metal panels, has also attended METALCON for many years. “This year, especially, seems to be a very busy show for us,” said Slattery. “We’ve had a lot of attendees come by our booth, a lot of questions being asked and a lot of different types of people attending. We have talked to contractors, building owners, international folks and facility mangers, so it really has drawn a wide variety of people, and that’s one of the reasons we like doing this show.”
Ken Buchinger of MBCI, manufacturers of metal roofing and wall panels, has been in the industry for more than 40 years and has attended every METALCON. “I have seen this industry grow over the years,” said Buchinger. “I have also seen it become much more complex from the standpoint of product offerings, product installation and the details on roofs, so installers need good information and training. The Metal Construction Association (MCA) and METALCON provide quite a few training programs to help contractors, both with installation and how to run their businesses.”
“The show itself is great because you have the opportunity to meet different manufacturers and contractors, learn from each other and learn about ancillary products available to integrate into your offerings,” said Buchinger. “Its’s a great opportunity for contractors, whether you have been one for just a few years or for many years; there is always something to learn at METALCON.”
“2017 has been an incredible year for METALCON,” said Jonathan Rider, an MCA Board Member and Chief Administrative Officer with D. I. Roof Seamers, manufacturers of roof seaming tools. “This year we broke all kinds of records with attendance and pre-registration, with booth sales and even with on-site sales. It also offered a whole new take on our education track with incredible success and amazing new topics such as drone services for roof inspections, marijuana laws and new litigation affecting the work force. We are going to continue developing the education track in conjunction with the AIA to adapt to the industry’s needs and the way our needs are changing in the field.”
“This year’s attendees were from all over the world,” said Rider. “We are really branching out as METALCON is becoming truly an international show, and we had a lot of incredible feedback from our exhibitors on how great the international attendance was. In addition, local attendance was fantastic. So many local erectors and builders left their job sites and came out on to the show floor to join us. They were elated with the technology and new innovations offered on the show floor by exhibitors.”
“2018 promises to be the biggest year in recent history for METALCON,” said Rider. “Charlotte is an amazing city. You can expect a bigger show, more attendees and the newest technology available.”
This year’s metal roofing games, another sold-out event, awarded a total of $8,500 to its winners. Six teams of two competed in five “competitions,” inspired by this year’s theme “Aces of Las Vegas.” Each competition paid $500 to the winning team. Top awards each day included a Daily Points Award of $750. The winner on Wednesday was Joe Arnold and Paul Kulb of Thomas Phoenix International. On Thursday, Matt Cox and Justin Hopta, also of Thomas Phoenix International, were the winners. On Friday, both teams came together in a face-off where Cox and Hopta were victorious in taking home the MCA METALCON National Metal Roofing Championship and $2,000. Next year’s teams will be able to pre-register for the Charlotte games beginning in February 2018.
“Las Vegas was the best show for us in years,” said Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON Show Director. “Business is back! The aisles were packed, and exhibitors were thrilled with the traffic, leads and sales. We saw an increase in international attendance, successfully raised $4,000 for the America’s Fund and once again, enjoyed a full house for the MCA Triumph Awards. We are already gearing up for Charlotte, which promises to be another great show.”
METALCON is produced by PSMJ Resources Inc. and sponsored by The Metal Construction Association. For more information, visit www.metalcon.com.