Educational Opportunities Everywhere At 2014 METALCON
By Marge O’Connor
Throughout its 24 years, METALCON has offered new features, ideas and products with a consistent quality unmatched by other industry events. This year’s tradeshow and conference offers the excitement of being in Denver for the first time, an innovative education format that combines classroom and interactive exhibit hall sessions, and a fantastic line-up of new exhibitors and products.
The 2014 event takes place October 1-3 at the Colorado Convention Center, a location in the heart of Denver that opens up new business opportunities in the Rocky Mountain States. Metal’s benefits are well known in this area and statistics show this construction market is primed for growth.
“Our first-ever location in Denver allows manufacturers and suppliers with offices in the Rocky Mountains to meet thousands of potential customers. For companies that have never done much business west of the Mississippi METALCON is also a great way to explore all of the great new opportunities in this busy area,” notes METALCON Show Director Claire Kilcoyne.
METALCON is unique in that it is the only annual international event offering education and product exhibits focused on the use of metal in construction. Visitors from more than 52 countries come to METALCON each year to learn about the top trends in metal from industry experts. For many of them this will also be their first time in Denver.
Steven S. Little
The METALCON conference program includes 90-minute classroom sessions focused on developing business opportunities. The lineup offers a team of experts covering what CEOs, presidents and managers need to know to move their companies forward. Topping the list is keynote speaker Steven S. Little, a much-sought-after expert on the subject of long-term business growth and future opportunities. He will inspire METALCON attendees and exhibitors in his opening day session on Wednesday, October 1, from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m.
“We’re excited to have Steve as our keynoter. This year we’re targeting top management in our conference program, so he’s exactly what we want for this audience. He’s lively, experienced and down-to-earth. He’ll fit right in with our exhibitors and be a great inspiration to attendees,” notes Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON Show Director.
Little’s style has been described as real-world and highly credible. His personable approach engages the audience and invigorates them to act on their business goals. He has the experience to back up his discussions. From 1988 thru 1999, he was president of three fast-growth companies. Both FAME, Inc. and Erb Industries, Inc. achieved profitable growth rates of over 500% during his tenure. Visit www.stevenslittle.com to see his unique style and learn more about his business experience.
On Thursday, Gene Marks, a well-known columnist, author and small business owner, highlights the program with two information-packed presentations: “Sales and Marketing Technologies That Will Improve Your Business,” and “Top Trends That Affect Your Business Opportunities and Growth.” Marks writes daily for The New York Times and weekly for Forbes, The Huffington Post, INC Magazine, Fox Business, Entrepreneur.com and Philadelphia Magazine. He also heads the Marks Group PC, a firm that provides technology and consulting services to small and medium-sized businesses.
Many of the conference presenters are from the Denver region including Rob Haddock, President of the Metal Roof Advisory Group, offering “Understanding Metal Roofing Parts I and II”; and Paul Collyer, President of Panelmet Consulting, LLC, sharing his expertise through “Improving Sales by Understanding Body Language.” Several key people from the Denver office of FMI Corporation offer high level business topics including “Developing Business Leadership”; “Using a Strategic Plan to Keep Business on Course”; and “Overcoming the Growing Workforce Shortage.” Returning speakers include Lee and Terry Resnick, Principals of Resnick Associates, who will present “Assuring the Successful Continuation of Your Business,” and Jayme Broudy, Founder of Contractors Business School, offering “Is Your Business Off Course? Try This.”
A series of special programs sponsored by various industry associations are also offered during the three-day event. These include a series on roll forming, a session on how to improve sales of residential metal roofing, a program about installation techniques for copper in architecture, and STUD University, a two-day, hands-on workshop on steel framing.
The 2014 METALCON also offers more interactive opportunities and more face time with industry experts through a new series of daily sessions called Learning Zones featuring topics focused on technical applications and solutions. This lineup of bite-sized instruction was specifically created to help attendees use their time more efficiently and have more learning opportunities in the exhibit hall.
“Our research showed that people can absorb more in shorter amounts of time so the 15-minute Learning Zones are designed to be more conducive to quick learning. Some presentations are repeats so that visitors can review the schedule and decide which sessions to attend. The breaks between sessions in the Learning Zones also give visitors a chance to meet with presenters in their booths after a session. For exhibitors, this is a chance to make a greater impact by sharing expertise in a variety of subject areas and to generate follow up discussions with attendees,” notes Paulo Gomes da Costa, National Sales Director for METALCON, who is managing the Learning Zones.
Learning Zone topics focus on technical challenges such as using protective films on metal roofs, flashing details, snow retention systems, software and systems for steel framing, truss component technology, utility applications on standing seam roofs, and matching tools and applications. Learning Zones are strategically placed in the exhibit hall to allow visitors to capture as many sessions as possible. Learning Zone 1 is located in Booth 2117 and sponsored by MBCI; Learning Zone 2 is in Booth 341. Complete schedules are online at www.metalcon.com
More action in the METALCON exhibit hall includes interactive demos in Solar Bay Live, Booth 846, a special area dedicated to products and techniques related to the benefits of using metal roofing with solar installations and demos of field techniques presented by members of the Metal Construction Association.
A lively, new feature this year is the MCA’s Metal Roofing Championship Games that include four different competitions on Wednesday and Thursday, October 1 and 2 beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Booth 1835. Sponsoring manufacturers are donating products and time to these interactive programs that draws volunteers from the audience to compete against each other as individuals or in teams for prizes of cash or product. The games are designed to show that with the right techniques, tools and products, metal roofing can be easily and accurately installed. They involve fastening screws into purlins, seaming standing seam panels, installing rubber roof jacks and placing PV clamps on a metal roof.
New visitors to the show can experience more learning opportunities by talking with experts from the 275 exhibiting companies willing to share their knowledge of field applications. The line- up of exhibitors includes 53 businesses that have not exhibited in METALCON before or are returning after a multi-year absence. New exhibitors include Butler Manufacturing and established companies offering their products to METALON visitors for the first time.
“Our conversations with companies indicate METALCON holds opportunities for introducing products because it’s a niche show offering a targeted audience. We’re doing some things that are focused on our uniqueness that are attracting companies that have not noticed METALCON before. We’re also offering exhibitors more viable marketing information such as our Webinars that offer detailed trade show promotion tips. The Denver location is also exciting for exhibitors – many companies do business in the Rocky Mountain area and this is a strong potential business area for many of them” adds Paulo.
Two Denver-area companies exhibiting in METALCON are spearheading the Colorado Coalition with construction-related organizations in the Rocky Mountain area. Heading up the Coalition are Kristin Peregoy, Marketing Manager for Denver-based New Tech Machinery, and Keith Lipps, Vice President of Colorado Springs-based S-5! Solutions!
“Our objective is to bring awareness of METALCON being in Colorado, to drive attendance and to welcome the industry to Colorado. We have participation from a lot of local state associations including the Colorado Roofing Association who helped us reach other chapters in Kansas, New Mexico, Montana and surrounding states. COSEIA, the Colorado chapter of SEIA, is also involved as are local AIA, BOMA and IFMA groups. The Coalition has also invited metal roofers from all over the world including the UK, Ireland, India, Australia and South Africa. It’s a great opportunity for roofers who’ve never done metal to come learn from all our industry leaders,” says Keith Lipps. The Coalition has also helped bring in exhibitors from Colorado.
Lipps and Peregoy don’t consider the coalition or its work just a one-time happening. “We’re hoping that having a local coalition becomes a trend for future METALCONs so that wherever the show is located, local exhibiting companies and organizations get involved to promote awareness and attendance of METALCON in their area,” says Lipps.
Peregoy has engaged a team of vendors and suppliers to support the Coalition’s work through an open house at New Tech’s facility and a welcoming party at the Convention Center the evening of METALCON’s opening day. “Since METALCON has never been in Denver, this is a really good opportunity to invite these companies and organizations to support this effort and to engage people who’ve never been able to see all our industry has to offer through METALCON,” she notes.
In addition to New Tech and S-5!, Denver-area sponsors include: DI Seamers, Logan Stamping, Metal Plus, Building Research Systems (BRS), Sheffield Metals, Cidan Machinery, Roofing Magazine, Roof Hugger, Dynamic Fastener, Spectra Metals, Karrs Building Supply (KBS), LM Curbs, Colorado Roofing Association (CRA) and Swenson Shear.
The open house at the New Tech facility takes place on September 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes lunch and equipment demos from the Coalition sponsors and vendors. It’s a chance for visitors to learn more about metal before walking the exhibit hall.
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The Denver Broncos Cheerleaders will add a festive feel to the Colorado Coalition's welcome party, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 1 after the exhibit hall closes. All badged attendees and exhibitors are invited to attend. Tickets are available free of charge through the New Tech Machinery and S-5! websites, or by visiting either company's booth at the show.
During the show the Coalition will offer giveaways each day for area sports events, rafting rides and similar Colorado-based activities, in the New Tech and S-5! Booths, 606 and 810 respectively. Topping off the festivities is the welcoming party on Wednesday, October 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Colorado Convention Center. The party will feature Colorado foods, beers, Denver Broncos cheerleaders and music by “The Fab 4,” a Beatles tribute band. Badged attendees and exhibitors are welcome to attend. Tickets for the free event can be picked up at either New Tech or S-5! booths. Free registration to METALCON is available through both of the companies websites, www.newtechmachinery.com and www.s-5.com.
METALCON is produced by Newton, MA-based PSMJ Resources, Inc., and sponsored by the Metal Construction Association, an organization of manufacturers and suppliers headquartered in Chicago, IL. PSMJ is the world’s leading authority on the effective management of architecture, engineering and construction firms.
Online registration for METALCON continues through the end of the show but early registration discounts end September 5, 2014 at www.metalcon.com. For general information about METALCON, visit www.metalcon.com or call 800-537-7765.
Established in 1991, METALCON is the largest international event in the metal construction industry. Unique in both its service and show management to this growing industry, METALCON is the only annual tradeshow and conference devoted entirely to the application of metal in industrial, institutional, light commercial and residential projects. Its success is based on three key methods of education: exhibits, an extensive conference program and interactive learning. For information, visit www.metalcon.com, or call (800) 537-7765.
METALCON is sponsored by The Metal Construction Association and produced by PSMJ Resources Inc.