October 8, 2007, Newton, MA - The recently held METALCON International was the biggest and most well-attended in the event’s 17-year history, with 8,147 registrants from more than 40 countries participating. They came to see the thousands of products and services offered by 323 exhibiting companies in 84,000 square feet of space at the Las Vegas Convention Center October 3 through 5.
METALCON International is the only annual trade show and conference focused on the application of metal in industrial, institutional, light commercial and residential construction. Each year it brings together builders, designers, specifiers, developers, building owners, government officials and manufacturers from all over the world.
This year the event held true to its reputation of always offering something new and innovative. It featured 59 new exhibiting companies, 29 new educational offerings in its 42-session conference, a new two-day Gutter Boot Camp, an interactive Tool Day, live-action impact testing on metal wall systems, an interactive roofing demo, and a Solar Lounge in the exhibit hall.
“We’re opening up to new market segments. It’s a move that reflects what’s happening in the marketplace. Metal is being used in many different applications and continues to expand into new areas, especially in green building. Plus, the members of our industry are so innovative, they’re always open to new ideas and help drive all that happens at this show -- it’s their major industry event,” says Claire Kilcoyne, Show Director and Vice President of Trade Shows for Newton, MA-based PSMJ Resources, Inc., which produces METALCON.
Enthusiasm among new and returning exhibitors was at an all time high. Returning exhibitor Blaine Bancks, of Ames, IA-based High-R, Inc. had little chance for a break during the show, and that made him very happy. “The crowds were great. I met with CEOs, company owners, building owners, and GCs. I’ve seen people from all over the world here --Costa Rica, Canada, Columbia, Mexico and Panama -- to name a few. We couldn’t make this many contacts anywhere else. We exhibit at a lot of shows during the year and this is the best one in Las Vegas this year.” His company offers a ceiling and wall solution for insulating metal buildings.
Mako Steel, Inc., Carlsbad, CA, exhibited at METALCON to expand its market. “This show put us in touch with the mainstream market and gave us qualified leads that more than met our expectations,” said Jeannie Lamarsh, Marketing Director. Mako designs, supplies and installs steel buildings for the storage industry.
New exhibitor David Bell, Vice President of Quality Metalcrafts LLC of Ramsey, MN also was impressed with the quality and consistency of attendee traffic. “The response was great and the leads are well qualified. We’re definitely coming back next year,” he said. The company provides custom metal fabrication to the architectural glass and industrial community.
Things were buzzing at the Whirlwind Buildings Systems booth, where the company was promoting its Cool White metal roofing. Carrie Miller, who manages advertising and marketing for the Houston-based company, said: “This has to have been our best show. We’ve had constant traffic and really great leads and we’ve made a lot of new customers here. It’s very impressive.”
For first time exhibitor Candy Yocum, of Middletown, OH-based estimetal, the show also was a huge success. ”We had a steady stream of qualified prospects and we’re very pleased with the results,” she said. Her company provides estimating software for metal roofing that includes material and labor estimates, shop drawings and panel cut lists.
Exhibitors weren’t the only ones on a winning streak at METALCON. Ana Lilia Garcia, administrative assistant at HMC Architects in Calexico, CA, won a new Ford Ranger Sport pick-up truck in METALCON’s Win-A-Truck contest. Garcia attended the show as a guest of Duggins Construction Co., a general contractor in Imperial Valley, CA.
"I'm shocked. I never win anything and today I won a truck and an iPhone. Being at the show itself was a great experience. I’m eager to share what I learned about products here with the architects. I really love to research products. It's important in my job," she said. Garcia won an iPhone through a giveaway program offered by exhibitor MBCI, Houston, TX.
Gary Young of Bilodeau Siding and Insulation, Franconia, NH, also came out ahead when he won a trip to METALCON 2008 offered by Classic Metal Roofing Systems, Piqua, OH, that includes airfare, hotel, exhibit hall admission and a conference package. Three other lucky persons each won $1,000 in a daily drawing by Joplin, MO-based TAMKO Building Products. They are: Duane Lidman, Charden, AL; Michael Johnson, Brighton City, UT; and Robert Christopher Soli, Dayton, MN.
The most important winner at METALCON was a very special person, 23-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Evan Morgan. He is recipient of the 2007 METALCON International steel-framed home and was honored at a ceremony dedicating the steel structure to him and his family.
Cpl. Morgan was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and seriously injured in January 2005 while with a U.S. Army Special Forces unit that was hit by an IED (improvised explosive device). As a result he lost his left leg below the knee, his right leg above the knee, and the sight in his right eye. He spent more than a year in physical rehabilitation and in February 2006 moved home to Bakersfield, CA where he now lives with his wife, Jillian, and 3-month-old daughter, Sophie.
Morgan’s injuries have not stopped his determination to stay active and productive. After being fitted with a Rheo-Knee prosthesis, he re-learned how to walk and then turned to swimming and biking with a hand cycle. Last year he swam and biked in his first triathlon. This year he participated in several triathlons through Challenged Athletes Foundation, challengedathletes.org.
“It’s fun to do this kind of thing and be part of a team. It keeps you going,” he says. Morgan also has special “running” legs with a spring-action that allow him to run, an activity he hopes to tackle more fully in the future. Now he and his family are focused on what lies ahead with their new one-story 1,800-square-foot, 3-bedroom handicap accessible home.
This process continues an initiative METALCON began in 1994 to donate each structure built for the show to a non-profit organization or worthy cause. It’s the second consecutive year a METALCON home is being received by a seriously injured veteran.
“We’re happy to be able to continue this concept of donating the steel structure to one of our wonderful service men and women who’ve done so much. It’s just an amazing, incredible process that lets us gives back to those who’ve given so much,” said Claire Kilcoyne, Show Director and Vice President of Trade Shows of PSMJ Resources, Inc., which produces the event.
To have the home finished for Cpl. Morgan, METALCON is again working with Taunton, MA-based Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), homesforourtroops.org. This non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization raises donations of money, materials and professional labor and coordinates building a new home or adapting an existing one for injured veterans at no cost to the veterans.
This year Bruce Ward, head of construction for Worthington Integrated Building Systems, Northwest Division, Seattle, WA, and his assistant Kimberly Ward led the process of designing and building the structure inside the METALCON exhibit hall. Columbus, OH-based Worthington Integrated Building Systems donated all framing and truss materials for the structure.
Others donors included: AEGIS Metal Framing, truss material; CEMCO, Sureboard sheer panel; DCI Engineering (Seattle) structural design; Dietrich Metal Framing, steel framing materials for the wall panels; DeWalt Power Tools, hand tools; Grabber Construction Products, fasteners; Simpson Strong-Tie Co., hold down hardware; T.E.A.M. Panels, design, fabrication, and shipment of trusses; and WAVE Armstrong, Las Vegas pre-fabrication facility.
Volunteers working on the structure included experienced steel framers: Angelo Puccini, Adolpho Taracena, Bennett Taracena, Oscar Taracena and Victor Taracena. Following their lead were student volunteers from Arizona State University’s Del E. Webb School of Construction, including: Zach Barns, Mike Broughton, Jim Bullard, Pat Heffernan, Christopher Kisling, Jason Madison, Jeffrey Ocampo, Dustin Petty, Dan Riggs, Mike Schweska and Susanne Yatkowski. All volunteers and contributors were present at the ceremony to meet with the Morgans.
METALCON is sponsored by the Glenview, IL-based Metal Construction Association and produced by Newton, MA-based PSMJ Resources, Inc. The 2008 METALCON will be Oct. 1-3 at the Baltimore Convention Center. For more information, visit metalcon.com or call 800-537-7765.
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