Bringing Metalcon back to Las Vegas wasn’t a gamble for organizers as an estimated 5,000 came to the city for the 2017 sheet metal forming and fabricating event.

The Las Vegas Convention Center became a fabrication facility Oct. 18-20, 2017, as sheet metal contractors and metal roofing contractors and builders turned out for the show and its educational programs.

The crowds did not disappoint exhibitors.

“This is one of the unique venues in the world where we have access to our entire value chain,” said Mark MacDonald of metal coatings maker Valspar. “We see everyone from coil coaters all the way down to building product suppliers, regional roll formers and even roofing contractors. It gives us an opportunity to network with our current customers, talk about new business opportunities, as well as meet our future customers. There really isn’t another venue quite like this.”

MetalCon Las Vegas 2017

An estimated 5,000 attended Metalcon 2017 in Las Vegas, organizers say.

Officials with roll forming equipment company Samco Machinery, a longtime attendee, said the crowds surprised them.

“It’s been an incredible attendee show,” said Scott Cosens of Samco. “We have never seen this type of volume of people. We were running out of paper on our leads. All I can tell you is, if you are not coming to Metalcon, you are missing out, and what’s even more amazing, I am finding that still again, all of these suppliers and providers are coming from all over the world, not just the U.S. and Canada. We are never not going to be here. We have been here for well over two decades, and we are already back for next year.”

Among the international exhibitors was Stubai, an Austrian manufacturer of roofing and sheet metal works tools. They said they were glad they came to Las Vegas.

“We decided to come to Metalcon because we can meet our final customers who actually work with our tools,” said Lukas Braun of Stubai. “It is interesting for us to get to know how they use the products, but we can also get in touch with decision makers, new retailers, and existing retailers. For us, the U.S. is a very big country so it is more convenient for us to meet all of our customers here.”

Another longtime attendee was Geoff Stone with MetalForming Inc., a sheet metal machinery maker. Stone has attended Metalcon 27 times.

“This was an absolutely terrific show,” Stone said. “The market place is in great condition. There’s lots of folks spending money. I think we probably did somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 (million) or $4 million dollars’ worth of business as a result. As usual, Metalcon is our most important show, and we’ve really enjoyed being here.”

Officials with metal panel maker Atas International Inc. agreed.

“This year, especially, seems to be a very busy show for us,” said Lee Ann Slattery, a sales support manager with Atas. “We’ve had a lot of attendees come by our booth, a lot of questions being asked and a lot of different types of people attending. We have talked to contractors, building owners, international folks and facility mangers, so it really has drawn a wide variety of people, and that’s one of the reasons we like doing this show.”

Next year’s Metalcon is scheduled for Oct. 10-12 in Charlotte, North Carolina.