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More Qualified Buyers Attended the 21st Annual METALCON

   Author: Marge O'Connor
Location: Newton, MA

November 4, 2011, Newton, MA – With an attendance of 5,525 the 2011 METALCON International finished slightly ahead of the 2010 event. This annual conference and exhibition, held October 11-13 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, continues to hold its place as the industry’s leading venue for construction professionals to find new products and to learn all about the growing market for metal. Whether new to the industry or seasoned pros, the construction professionals visiting METALCON found a winning combination of products, education and demonstrations that showed them the latest techniques and applications for metal in all types of structures.

METALCON remains the only annual trade show and conference focused on the applications of metal in industrial, institutional, light commercial and residential building projects. The 2011 event drew designers, builders, developers, contractors, fabricators, and suppliers from more than 52 countries. Experts from 300 companies exhibited the latest products and technology and shared their knowledge with attendees, while industry specialists presented key topics in the 41-session education program.

This year’s show had 94% of its 2010 exhibiting companies returning. The 2011 show also attracted 33 new exhibiting companies whose products span roof and wall systems, framing, solar technology, accessories, support services, software, specialty tools and more. This variety is in line with METALCON’s comprehensive offering of products for the built environment.

“With an amazing blend of products and components being offered, visitors were able to find everything for the entire building. Since sustainable products and concepts are an integral part of our event’s mix, the construction professionals who came to METALCON can be more competitive in both new and retrofit markets by offering sustainable metal products that help improve buildings,” notes Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON Show Director.

METALCON is produced by Newton, MA-based PSMJ Resources Inc., a widely recognized information resource for the A/E design industry, and sponsored by the Metal Construction Association, an organization of leading manufacturers and suppliers headquartered in Glenview, IL. In addition, 100 associations and publications representing various industry segments support METALCON through their ongoing promotional efforts.

The growing importance of high-performance buildings and metal’s role in them was also the topic of the Keynote Presentation by Kevin Kampschroer, Director, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, U.S. Government Services Administration. More than 500 people attended the session in which Kampschroer emphasized the importance for vendors in the supply chain to incorporate sustainable practices in their businesses and their products. He also advocated shifting the emphasis from evaluating design techniques for energy efficiency to requiring certain levels of building performance, or moving from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), to LEEP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Performance).

The value of metal in sustainable design and green building was highlighted in the exhibits, educational sessions and demos. For the third year, the value of pairing metal and solar systems was reflected in Solar Bay, which demonstrated these benefits through an interactive education program and full-scale mockups of different types of solar systems. Green Island, an area of exhibits dedicated to metal products used in building energy-saving structures, also helped educate visitors about metal’s role in sustainability.

Sustainability and efficiency were on the minds of many visitors. “The interest in green products is always good at METALCON. Usually about 50% of our inquiries are related to green; this time we also had a lot of interest in our onsite rollforming machines. Traffic was steady and we sold about half a dozen at the show. That’s nearly twice as much as usual,” said Mitch Graber. Marketing Director for Englert Inc., Perth Amboy, NJ.

METALCON also was rewarding for the 33 companies who were exhibiting for the first time, such as American Weatherstar, Mobile, AL. “This is our first time in METALCON and we had a great turnout. We’re a coatings manufacturer so our audience is contractors and building owners. That’s who we met here. We’re already working on a project with a customer we met the second day of the show. In fact, we were so busy we ran out of brochures and pens we give away. At other shows we usually have some left,” said Scott Gayle, Sales and Marketing Manager.

International companies who exhibited for the first time at METALCON were particularly pleased. “We are a new exhibitor and had a great show with high quality leads. We offer cold-formed steel products so METALCON was a good opportunity for us to introduce our company and products to a wider audience from both South and North America. We saw visitors from a variety of countries such as Honduras, Venezuela and Mexico,” said Griselle Gemao, Communications Manager, Acero Estrella, Santiago, Dominican Republic.

Liz Scott, Executive Assistant to Jack Steenhof of Steenhof Building Services Group, Orillia, Ontario, Canada, agrees. “We made some very good contacts at this show. We’re consulting engineers and are able to help manufacturers get their products certified for the Canadian market. Because that market is busier than the U.S. market many U.S.-based companies want to get their products certified for the Canadian market. We will work with them to do that.”

Experienced METALCON exhibitors were also very positive with the 2011 event.

Bill Griffin of MRS Metal Rollforming Systems, Spokane, WA, said: “METALCON is a good show for us. We’ve been an exhibitor for 10-to-12 years. This year, as usual, the quality was good. Although there was less traffic, there were more serious buyers. We introduced a new line of inplant equipment that is more affordable and more efficient and it was very well received here.”

Bob Burquist, North American Sales for The Bradbury Co., Inc., Moundridge, KS added: “We had good traffic with high quality visitors from a wide variety of countries. We talked with people from South Africa, Canada, Peru and the United States. We’re introducing a new inplant product – a discontinuous foot press for insulated panels. It’s usually used for foam core panels and allows large manufacturers to offer shorter and more custom runs for panels in 2-inch to 6-inch thicknesses.”

Like several other exhibitors, Bradbury offered direct access to its Web site and complete product information through a barcode that could be scanned with a Q-reader application available on iPhones and smart phones.

Visitors were also able to learn about product applications in the MCA Demo area where daily demos provided insight on the latest roof and wall technologies and trends. In addition, each of three areas dedicated to residential roofing, commercial roofing, and wall panels were open for attendees to walk through and have one-on-one discussions with experts who presented the demos. Hands-on tool demos were part of each demo and visitors were able to test commercial grade tools for drilling, sawing, cutting, bending, and fastening.

One lucky visitor, Kathy Bishop of Superior Structures, Carrollton, Georgia walked away with Classic Metal Roofing System’s Passport package, which includes domestic travel and full admission to METALCON 2012’s conference program and exhibits.

Other activities and comments from METALCON exhibitors and visitors were captured on a show highlights video, which can be viewed

The 2012 METALCON International takes place October 9-11, 2012 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, IL.

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