Roofing pros, the annual trade show season is here!
The International Roofing Expo (IRE) is just about to start (see you there!), and the NERCA Convention & Trade Show and Western Roofing Expo (WRE) will follow later this year. These roofing trade shows and many others are the bustling epicenters of innovation, networking, and industry trends.
As a seasoned expert in the roofing trade, you’re likely no stranger to these roofing events. However, to truly make the most out of your time, it’s essential to plan ahead and approach them with the right attitude.
In this article, Castagra shares handy tips for upcoming events, ensuring that your visit becomes a valuable experience for you and your business. You’ve already made your plans — what else can you do for the best experience?
Let’s dive into our roofing trade show tips.
Find the Gems: Evaluating Roofing Innovations
Roofing trade shows are a treasure trove of innovative products and technologies. Instead of being overwhelmed by the sheer volume, use your expertise to critically evaluate products based on their practical applications, long-term performance, and compatibility with your specific projects.
While a product may appear promising in a controlled trade show environment, your expertise allows you to assess its potential for long-term performance and durability. Inquire about the product’s testing procedures, including any independent certifications or industry standards it meets. You should also seek testimonials from other roofers who have implemented the product in real-world settings.
In other words, use your knowledge to see past all the bells and whistles. Is this product really something that could deliver its promise? Or is it just another one of those past gimmicks repackaged into something new? Your ability to foresee potential longevity issues, system incompatibilities, or maintenance concerns is a valuable asset in determining the product’s suitability for your projects.
Don’t Disregard Trends as Fads
We understand that sticking to what’s tried and tested is safe and keeps you in business. Many of us have a tendency to follow tradition and scoff at the trends that we have watched rise and fall.
However, keep in mind that some of the established processes and products we use for roofing might have been trends before. Attending these trade shows gives you the opportunity to judge for yourself and see which trends are fads and which ones could be here to stick around. Always be looking for ways to integrate new ideas into your current processes.
Here's a valuable tidbit: 2024 is all about sustainability. Expect booths showcasing energy-efficient roofing design, eco-friendly practices, and sustainable roof products like our VOC-free roof coatings.
Get Familiar With Digital Tools and Features
Roofing trade shows have been embracing more digital tools for their events in the past few years, and keeping up with them will help you get the most out of your show experience. Danielle Griffin, Marketing Manager of the IRE, says “I’d like to recommend that you download the mobile app ‘Roofing Expo’ to plan ahead and customize your schedule via the show planner. There’s so much going on for 2024 and more content than last year, it’s also a great show to divide and conquer with your crews.”
We get it — not many veterans of the roofing industry want to go fully digital. But you have to adapt to our increasingly digital society to stay ahead — even if it means learning something outside of your comfort zone.
Familiarize yourself with mobile apps and other digital platforms used during the roofing trade show. These tools can streamline your navigation, provide instant access to additional resources, and facilitate efficient information exchange. You’d also be more eco-friendly too — less paper waste since everything is digital.
Pay Attention to Start-Ups
When walking the roofing trade show floor, it’s easy to gravitate toward familiar names in commercial roofing. They’re well-known for a reason. However, paying attention to start-ups can be a strategic move that opens doors to innovation and fresh perspectives.
Start-ups often emerge with a mission to disrupt existing norms and solve industry challenges in new, radical ways. Your experience provides a valuable lens that helps you assess the practicality and feasibility of these fresh solutions. So engage in conversations with start-ups to understand their unique approach to common roofing problems. Share your insights and experiences. This will create a collaborative dialogue that can lead to innovative solutions grounded in both theory and practical application.
Your engagement can extend beyond just observing their offerings. Don’t be shy to spark discussions about potential collaboration. Consider becoming their partner or advisor, leveraging your expertise to contribute to the growth and success of a promising new venture. Who knows? You might get early access to innovations that can give you a competitive edge. Cheers to being the next trendsetter in the industry!
Final Thoughts on Roofing Trade Shows
Roofing trade shows are not just events — they are opportunities for experienced professionals like you to deepen your knowledge, expand your network, and contribute to the advancement of the roofing industry. By approaching these events with a strategic mindset, you can ensure that your participation goes beyond the surface, leaving you inspired and equipped to elevate your roofing projects to new heights.
Safe travels and see you at the upcoming trade shows!
Who Are We?
Castagra is a roof coating manufacturer dedicated to providing sustainable and high-performance coating solutions. Learn more about our products here, or contact our team today to learn more about what we do and how we can help you!