The construction industry is finally shaking off its recession-related hangover, and organizers are expecting big things at this year’s Metalcon. 

The annual metal construction show is coming to Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress Center Oct. 1-3. Georgia’s largest city is one of the most popular locations for Metalcon. 

The show last visited the city in 2011.

As in past years, the show will feature numerous educational sessions and a large trade show. More than 300 exhibitors and attendees from 50-plus countries are expected. This year, they’ll encounter a few changes. For its 23rd annual event, organizers have combined the separate solar bay, roofing installation and tool demonstrations into a new area called Metal in Action. 

“We formed Metal in Action by capturing input from presenters and attendees and acting on it,” said show director Claire Kilcoyne. “This new setup allows all presenters to show more detailed techniques. For the MCA (Metal Construction Association) demos, it leaves in place the full-size mock-ups of roof applications so attendees can view them up close any time during show hours.”

New and improved

The redesigned area allows Metalcon to move the former “tool day” from a one-day event to one that runs throughout the show, Kilcoyne said. The popular solar bay show floor has also been expanded. 

“We’re especially excited about the solar part of the mix because it gives attendees more time to absorb all the details of how and why metal and solar are such a good match,” Kilcoyne added.

Another addition to this year’s show is “ME,” described by show organizers as a “cheerful, resilient character” who will act as Metalcon’s mascot. 

“Our ME companion is leading the charge to create awareness of Metalcon International in all phases of electronic and print media — and in person,” she said. “ME has a touch of green as a reminder that metal is a green material. He’s also our social media expert, making his way through Facebook and Twitter. He’s our traveling road scholar for all things metal — showcasing projects of Metalcon exhibitors, and acting as an industry liaison that appears at meetings, events and conferences.”

Lots to see

If they’re not busy looking for ME on the show floor, Metalcon attendees, especially those involved in sheet metal, will have a lot of educational seminars to choose from. Full details are available at

These sessions take place Oct. 1:

Rob Haddock’s popular “Understand Metal Roofing (Parts I-II)” has been a Metalcon mainstay for years. He even gives a similar presentation each year at the International Roofing Expo. His Metalcon session will cover the history of metal roofing, sealants, coatings, seams and panels. 

Haddock is president of the Metal Roof Advisory Group in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Longtime Metalcon speaker Chuck Howard is a licensed professional engineer and metal roofing expert who credits metal roofing for keeping him busy during construction industry downturns. 

During “Make Money in Any Economy With Metal Retrofit Roofing,” Howard will reveal how to sell metal roofing as a high-margin, long-lasting product that is especially attractive to the retrofit market. Standing-seam project profiles, management and the proper company structure will be explained. 

Make me laugh

Whether you work for a large company or small sheet metal firm, communication is one reason a company will succeed or fail. During “Say Hello to Humor and Goodbye to Burnout,” Jody Urquhart will explain why having fun in the workplace is so important. She will also cover how to establish good communication habits and deal with difficult people. 

Urquhart is the author of All Work and No Say and a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers.

From social media marketing to selling the environmental aspects of metal roofing, Scott Kriner and Brian Partyka will cover what contractors need to know about “Metal Roofing and Wall Systems — Selling the Benefits.” 

Attendees will learn about the current market for metal roofing and how contractors can make it grow by stressing the things that make metal “green.”

Partyka is the executive vice president of Pennsylvania-based Drexel Metals Inc. Drexel has grown by 112 percent during the last three years due to a “go to market” strategy. The company was ranked No. 2,260 on the Inc. 5000 list. Partyka also serves on the Metal Construction Association board of directors and is chairman of its codes committee. He is a member of the Cool Metal Roof Coalition and the National Roofing Contractors Association advisory board. 

Kriner is president of Green Metal Consulting Inc. and a principal at RSK Avanti Partners LLC. He is accredited professional under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, and is technical director of the Metal Construction Association. Kriner is founding chairman of the Cool Roof Rating Council. 

In a flash

These sessions are to take place Oct. 2:

“Successful Flashing Details for Residential Standing Seam Roofing” will be explained by Jerry Iselin of Metal Roof Specialties Inc. in Tacoma, Wash. Iselin will explain why flashing is so important and what are the proper techniques for chimneys, furnace vents, skylights and other details. 

Iselin has more than 37 years in the metal roofing industry and has appeared at Metalcon several times. He has owned Metal Roof Specialties for 21 years. 

Mark James of RetroSpec in Dallas and Kriner will explain “Retrofit Roofing From A to Z.” 

This session is aimed at building owners and managers and will explain why metal may be the right material to top your structure. A highly technical presentation, it will include details on installation, anchoring and the sustainable benefits of metal roofing. The many tax incentives and grants available to owners to help pay for metal retrofit work will also be explained. 

James has more than 40 years of construction experience and is a contributor to several trade publications. 

The unusual number of hurricanes in recent years has many building owners wondering what they can do about these “super storms.” LEED-accredited professional and architect Robert Neper will explore the newest technologies to make buildings stronger during “Resilient Buildings: Helping to Prevent Damage From Natural Disasters.” He will explain the role of metal in this process, and how stronger structures can still be “green.”

Neper is a senior project architect at the Chicago offices of Perkins & Will.