Held October 3-5, 2006 at the Tampa Convention Center, Metalcon filled 80,000 sf of space and drew more than 7,300 design and construction professionals from 40 different countries.
The three-day event featured 715 booths filled with product exhibits, a comprehensive 38-session conference program and new live-action demonstrations of field techniques.The southeast, particularly Florida, is a very busy area for metal construction products, which are energy efficient, have recycled content and are recyclable. Cool metal roofing predominates on Florida buildings and cold-formed steel framing is the material of choice for rebuilding the Gulf Coast areas damaged by hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.
“There were more attendees, more new exhibitors and a host of new conference programs than at any of our previous shows. We also had a lot of excitement from other activities including the house dedication, canstruction and the cash giveaways. The dedication of the home on the first day and the willingness of so many people to contribute to it set a very positive mood that permeated Metalcon and the whole convention center,” said Claire Kilcoyne, Metalcon Show Director.Exhibiting Success
This event also had the highest number of new exhibitors – with 49 companies in 6700 square feet of space joining the ranks of the many long-time Metalcon exhibitors, 34 of whom have exhibited at the show since it began in 1991. And exhibitor satisfaction remains high with 653 booths, or 91 percent of the exhibit space, already booked for the 2007 show in Las Vegas .
Metalcon Exhibit Sales Manager Paula Parker explains the high rate of return.“In speaking with new and veteran exhibitors, they tell me quite simply there is one Metalcon and one Metal Construction Association – and that’s an incredibly powerful combination. Anything else is an imitation. There will always be other trade shows, some smaller others larger, but when companies want to rub elbows with industry king pins, get insider information on bid lists and sell products, unquestionably they choose Metalcon.”
First-time exhibitor Level Rite Ladder Safety Accessories of Oroville, CA was thrilled with this year’s show and looks forward to next year. “This is the best of all the shows we’ve exhibited in. The first day of the show we only had about 10 minutes of down time. The rest of the six hours our booth was filled with prospects. The interest in our products and licensing opportunities was tremendous. We had more orders dollar-wise from this show than our total sales all of last year, so we’re looking forward to the next Metalcon,” said Berle Blehm, CEO and founder. The business is four years old and has six ladder safety accessory products, which are all lightweight, constructed of 6061 T6 aluminum, and store on a ladder until needed. (www.levelrite.net )
Crowds also gathered at the booth of Steel Panel Foundations, another first-time exhibitor. Sal Scuderi, president, said: “We had great responses. We acquired the technology a year ago for this patented below ground panel configuration and this is our first show for it. This show reaches our end users and helps us set up our distributor network. It’s also a great opportunity to find other products, accessories and suppliers that go with ours.” The product is a complete, end-to-end panel structure foundation system. (www.steelpanelfoundations.com )
Another busy first-timer was Brian Smith, founder and CEO of Ecolite Concrete USA, Inc., Carlsbad , CA. “This is our first Metalcon and it’s been great. The people we saw here are very qualified. Our product is ICC approved and provides a way to close up a steel-framed building in a cost effective way.” The product is an adjunct to light gage steel framing, forming a thin-shell exterior that’s cheaper than wood, stucco or block. (www.ecoliteconcrete.com )
Doug Porter, national sales manager of NBT Industries, Venice , FL also benefited from exhibiting at Metalcon for the first time. “We’ve come to Metalcon as attendees many times, but this is our first time exhibiting. We had more leads than we expected and were also surprised at the number of international attendees who visited our booth.” The two-year-old company makes and distributes metal studs and accessories. (www.nbtindustries.com )
For many veterans of the industry Metalcon has always been a successful event. Companies such as Coated Steel Corporation, Itasca , IL , whose pres ident and CFO, Al Walker, has been a part of the industry for 30 years, know the value of Metalcon and make the most of the opportunity to meet existing clients and draw new ones into the fold. “ Metalcon is our only show and this has been a great one for us. The whole Southeast market is great for our company and we had qualified, steady traffic flow for the entire first two days,” commented Richard Walker, the company’s director of purchasing and sales. (www.coatedsteelcorp.com )
Ternium is another exhibiting company that represents several successful years experience at Metalcon but now has a new name. “The show was very successful for us. It gave us a good opportunity to talk with existing customers and meet new ones and to explain the consolidation of our operations,” said Becky Zavala, Ternium’s marketing communications director. Ternium manufactures steel and provides value-added products. A February 2006 consolidation joined steel companies Hylsa ( Mexico ), Siderar ( Argentina ) and Sidor ( Venezuela ) into Ternium. (www.ternium.com )
For 16-year Metalcon exhibitor Dale Nelson, president of Roof Hugger, Odessa , FL , the 2006 show was a winner. “We had a fantastic show – with more leads than ever before. We’ve gone through one and a half rolls of paper on the lead retrieval machine and that’s never happened before.” Nelson, who coordinates the commercial demos for the Metal Construction Association, also noted that the demonstrations were very well attended. (www.roofhugger.com )
Peter Croft, VP of sales and marketing, Metro Roof Products, Oceanside , CA , whose company has been exhibiting at Metalcon for eight years had a very busy show. “About a year and a half ago we launched the Roman Panel that looks like a two-piece clay tile and is extremely popular. It’s a huge success in Florida -- a market where we’ve grown leaps and bounds. Metalcon is a place where we get to meet and greet and do a lot of awareness building and this was a particularly busy show for us because of the new product.” Metro Roof Products produces lightweight stone-coated steel roof systems. (www.metroroofproducts.com )
Education and Dedication
Metalcon’s 38-session conference program also enjoyed great success. In addition to the popular basics, 20 of the programs were new and focused on methods for creating buildings that are energy efficient and can withstand extreme weather conditions.
Stud University, an intensive three-day steel-framing program held each year at Metalcon and produced by the Washington, DC-based Steel Framing Alliance, had a record
36 students. Organizers of Metalcon donated the three-bedroom, handicap accessible structure built inside Metalcon’s exhibit hall by instructors and students to Satellite Beach, FL, native U.S. Army SSG Paul Russell “Russ” Marek, who was severely injured in Iraq in 2005 and is still recuperating from his injuries.
Metalcon Show Director Claire Kilcoyne presented the home and more than $25,000 in financial contributions from the show’s exhibitors, suppliers and staff to Marek and representatives of Taunton, MA-based Homes for Our Troops. The non-profit, non-partisan organization helps injured service men and women and their families with accessible housing needs. It will manage construction of the new home for SSG Marek in Melbourne, FL.