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METALCON 2012: High Tech. High Touch. Great Business!

By Marge O'Connor, DesignandBuildwithMetal

METALCON showcases the metal construction products and services of more than 250 companies, including the latest solar technologies and the newest tools and techniques for metal roofing and walls.

Technology plays a key role in the 2012 METALCON International, our industry’s major annual event. It begins with the new mobile application that offers attendees and exhibitors a more efficient way to share information before, during and after the show. It continues on the exhibit floor with over 250 exhibitors’ metal products and services and in the live action demos that offer the latest solar technologies and the newest tools and techniques for metal roofing and walls. For attendees this translates to knowledge and increased business.

Complementing the high tech is the high-touch human element provided by METALCON’s customer appreciation and new enhancements in the education program that create a more in depth learning method. “We put a more relevant connection between audience needs and the delivery method. Our attendee research led us to create a different way to present topics for specific disciplines. The new format allows everyone to get more detailed information and time for interaction between the industry experts presenting the topic and those wanting to learn. It’s a better experience for everyone, especially those who want to know more about designing and building with metal,” notes Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON Show Director.

METALCON's ever-popular educational sessions will take on a new look in 2012 with longer sessions tailored to specific disciplines.
Two of METALCON's most popular attractions, Solar Bay (above) and the MCA Demos (below) are expected to draw big crowds in 2012.

The 2012 METALCON International takes place October 9-11, 2012 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL. It remains the only annual trade show and conference focused on the applications of metal in industrial, institutional, light commercial and residential building projects.

The new education format moves from a traditional 1.5-hour multi-track program to longer 3-hour sessions tailored to specific disciplines. It still provides up to 30 hours of education but offers more detailed learning both in the classroom and in activities in the exhibit hall. Sessions run from 8:30 to 11:45 a.m., with a 15-minute break, on Tuesday and Wednesday, October 9 and 10. Topics are designed to meet the needs of Residential Roofing Contractors; Commercial Roofing Contractors; Design Professionals; Architects and Engineers; Owners/Facility Managers, Metal Building Contractors and Erectors, and Metal Product Manufacturers.

Several sessions cover trends in our industry, including the increasing use of insulated metal panels, cold-framing steel framing and metal’s role in retrofit. The growing popularity of cold-formed steel framing is covered in a new two-part program called “Stud U for the Masses." Custom designed for architects, builders and contractors, engineers, building inspectors and building trade instructors, it features classroom and hands-on learning. Modeled after the very successful two-and-a-half-day Stud University that was responsible for the construction of several main-attraction structures built at METALCON International in previous years. The new format makes the topic more accessible to a wider scope of design and construction professionals and includes classroom and hands-on sessions in the exhibit hall.

Sustainability and its technology is also a key topic at METALCON. Green Island is an exhibit area featuring metal-related products that meet green building standards. Solar Bay is a special pavilion in the show featuring educational forums. It includes Solar Bay Live, where world-renowned experts use full-scale mock-ups of a variety of solar technologies to present live-action demos that offer tips and trade secrets about the winning combination of metal roofs and walls, and solar.

More education opportunities are offered by the Metal Construction Association’s daily, live demonstrations of the latest field techniques. These detailed presentations focus on residential roof, commercial roof and commercial grade tools. The MCA demo area offers easy viewing and listening that also allows greater access to presenters for Q&A.

METALCON’s mobile technology connects attendees with show details and exhibitors through the special A2Z application. It’s user friendly and provides seamless interaction between mobile devices and It allows attendees to access the show’s floor plan and exhibitor info to build and store a personal expo plan on an iPhone, iPod touch®, iPad, Android, other smart phones, or laptops and PCs. These selections will then be available via any computer or mobile device before, during and after the show. The A2Z app also provides access to information about local venues, dining and entertainment near the convention center.

METALCON features nearly 700 booths filled with the latest building products and services for those who design and build with metal – or want to learn all about metal. It draws designers, builders, developers, contractors, fabricators, and suppliers from more than 52 countries. Experts from 300 companies exhibit the latest products and technology and share their knowledge with attendees.

The show and the industry are on a clear path forward, notes METALCON’s new national sales manager, Paulo Gomes-da-Costa: “METALCON is the leading event in an industry that is slowly recovering and our goal is to maintain that level of quality.  Both have weathered some of the economic slowdown and there is tremendous upside going forward as the economy begins to strengthen again. One of our challenges is how to bring in other technologies that will impact the metal construction industry so we can continue to provide a top-level program and a quality audience for exhibitors.  Like many other top brands in the world today we realize that it is a bit more difficult being the best than chasing the best in a competitive tradeshow industry,“ he says.

METALCON is produced by Newton, MA-based PSMJ Resources, Inc. and sponsored by the Metal Construction Association. In addition, 100 associations and publications representing various industry segments support METALCON through their ongoing promotional efforts.

For more information, visit, email or call PSMJ Resources at 800-537-7765.

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