Hundreds of contractors descended on Twickenham Stadium for the inaugural Contractor’s Day, a new regional exhibition from the NFRC and Total Contractor magazine.
Visitors were able to get up close to the latest offerings from manufacturers and suppliers of roofing, cladding and associated materials, including roof tiles and slates, batten, liquid roofing systems, single ply systems, fixings, insulation, tools, safety equipment, and rooflights to name just a few of the many materials and products on show.
Alongside the vast array of materials, systems and products to help them on their next project, visitors could also keep up to date with the latest issues affecting them on site and as businesses in the two SIG Roofing sponsored seminar theatres. The seminar programme brought together an exceptional speaker line-up from both the roofing sector and wider construction industry. At the centre of this was the much-anticipated RoofCERT update and workshop from John Vanstone, which attracted a huge crowd and brought about an interesting debate about what makes a skilled roofer. The many issues raised in the seminar on RoofCERT highlight just important this new accreditation will be and how serious contractors are taking it. Those assembled were receptive to the idea of an accreditation which separates the skilled roofer from the general builder, with one attendee pointing out “we see that on site all the time”.
Elsewhere, visitors enjoyed seminars from NFRC’s Gary Walpole on safety when working at height; SPRA’s Ronan Brunton on damage protection on finished roofs; a joint presentation from IOSH’s Louise King, Kirsty Phillips from Gully Howard Technical Training and Gary Walpole on asbestos: where it is found and what to do; Keoghs’ Connie Cobb on insurance and how not to get caught out with project policies; and BMI’s Alastair Blant looked at pitched roofing standards and workmanship, to name just a few.
Contractor’s Day was also home to the BMI Skills Zone which hosted the very first Spot the Defects competition which tested visitors’ pitched and flat roofing skills by asking them to point out all the mistakes on the flat to pitched roofing rig. Eagle-eyed visitor Darren Laurence from Crest Roofing won the £125 voucher! Elsewhere in the Skills Zone, Contractor’s Day was fortunate to host Kieran Forster and Jay Webster, the BMI Icopal and Redland Apprentices of the Year for 2018, who showcased their roofing skills and interacted with visitors alongside BMI’s Technical Training Manager Mat Woodyatt and Alastair Blant.
It’s important to come and meet the contractor and understand their issues in their day to day jobs and see if we can find a solution to help make their jobs easier
Rebecca Ball, Campaign Manager Roof Systems at Event Supporter and exhibitor Marley, summed up why Contractor’s Day is a great opportunity to connect those on site with suppliers and manufacturers: “It’s important to come and meet the contractor and understand their issues in their day to day jobs and see if we can find a solution to help make their jobs easier.”
Amanda Brackey, Head of Marketing & Communications echoed these sentiments: “The NFRC is dedicated to promoting excellence and safety and is always looking for new ways to reach roofing and cladding contractors. This event provided contractors with a fantastic opportunity to meet directly with the UK’s leading roofing suppliers in one place, but also to benefit from a packed programme of technical and non-technical presentations organised by the NFRC and supported by SIG Roofing.
“We’d like to thank Knowledge Partner SIG Roofing and Skills Partner BMI, alongside Event Supporters Marley, Bauder, Brett Martin and Midland Lead for their support, and of course all the exhibitors and visitors that made the day a success.”
To make things even easier for visitors, we’ll be hosting two Contractor’s Day events in 2019, one in the north and one in the south!
Andy Dunn, Publishing Director at Total Contractor magazine, explained: “The inaugural Contractor’s Day showed there is a real demand for this type of regional event where contractors can get in front of the manufacturers and suppliers of the products and materials which they use on site every day, so they can see what’s new, create new relationships, plus listen to entertaining and informative talks on issues that impact them, all in one quality venue. With this in mind, to make things even easier for visitors, we’ll be hosting two Contractor’s Day events in 2019, one in the north and one in the south! We know time is crucial for roofers and cladders, so this is an even more economical way of keeping up to date with the developments and what’s new in their market.”
Look out for updates on venues and dates for both Contractor’s Day North and South in 2019.