For 2010, Metalcon International is returning to one of its favorite cities - Las Vegas.

The desert gambling and entertainment destination boasts ideal October weather and perhaps most important to convention attendees, plenty of metal roofing and buildings.

Metalcon’s Oct. 20-22 meeting at the Las Vegas Convention Center will be the 20th for the event. The theme is “Forward focused,” and organizers are expecting to fill more than 800 trade show booths with new products, as well as themed areas such as the New Product Harbor; the Solar Bay, with its emphasis on solar energy, metal walls and roofing; and the Green   Island, an area where exhibited products are certified to meet recycled content, durability and energy-efficiency standards.

Apart from the trade show, organizers have booked numerous educational seminars and sessions, including a keynote address by Alberto Gonzales, the U.S. attorney general under Republican President George W. Bush.

His speech, titled “The American Dream: Reach It, Build It, Share It,” will cover his rise from a childhood in Houston to law school and eventually the White House.

Keynote

Show officials say his 10:15 a.m. Oct. 20 address will speak to many attendees’ lives.

“We’re thrilled to have such a notable person talk about something all Americans have a chance to be part of,” said Claire Kilcoyne, the show’s director. “Most Metalcon exhibitors and attendees have realized their dream or have been touched by someone else who has. It’s inspiring to have someone such as Mr. Gonzales, who achieved so much, yet is so humble and talks from the heart about how goals can be reached and shared.”

Gonzales’ life is one many Metalcon attendees can relate to, show officials said.

“We live in the greatest country in the world,” Gonzales said. “Business owners and employees have big dreams and want what’s good for their families and communities, and the public and private sector need to support those efforts.”

As a child in Houston, the former attorney general said he was encouraged to strive for excellence.

“Succeed in business as you do in life through hard work, with respect, courtesy and integrity,” he said. “I saw what that meant growing up. My father was a contractor and every day he put it all on the line. He worked hard, had hope and was able to succeed. I want to encourage others to keep that in mind.”

In 2005, Gonzales was named by Time magazine as one of the most influential Hispanics in the United States. Today, he works with the U.S. Hispanic Contractors Association to promote entrepreneurship and worksite safety. He currently works as a visiting professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Brian Partyka, the president of Drexel Metals LLC in Pennsylvania and a Metal Construction Association board member, said he wanted to bring the attorney general to Metalcon after hearing him speak to contractors in Texas.

“Listening to Al Gonzales speak, you realize what is meant about overcoming adversity and creating opportunity through hard work, passion and dedication. Al has never forgotten his roots, the importance of family and to enjoy the challenges, good or bad, that life throws your way that ultimately builds character.” Partyka said.

Sessions

Besides the former attorney general, Metalcon organizers have lined up a long list of educational sessions and seminars. Here are some that may be of greatest interest to sheet metal contractors.

At 8:30 a.m. Oct. 20 will be:

• “Metal Roofing: The Devil is in the Details.” Mike Bennett, manager of technical services at MBCI NCI Building Systems, will explain how to think long-term when installing metal roofing. Proper techniques for installing flashing, trim and other accessories and help ensure a long-lasting roof, Bennett says.

• “Metal Over Sloped: Reroofing Systems and Benefits.” Roof Hugger Inc. Vice President Mark James will explain the advantages of installing a new metal roof over existing sloped roof for both consumers and business owners.

• “Sustainable Design Using Metal Roofing.” Partyka of Drexel Metals will lead this talk on how metal roofing can meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design green building credits, as well as state and federal energy tax credits.

At 8:30 a.m. Oct. 21, these are scheduled:

• “Understanding Metal Roofing (Part I).” Rob Haddock, president of the Metal Roof Advisory Group, will present his popular course on the basics of metal roofing. Nicknamed “Metal Roofing 101,” it includes historical information as well as the latest industry trends. Part II is scheduled for 10:15 a.m.

• “Lifecycle Costing: What You Should Know.” Licensed professional engineer and president of Metal Roof Consultants Chuck Howard will explain why a metal roof is often the least expensive option and how salespeople can explain that to prospective customers.

• “Building Green With Metal.” Scott Kriner will explore how metal roofs can help reduce U.S. energy use and comply with building codes. Studies and findings on the role of “cool” metal roofs will also be explored.

•    “How to Design Solar Systems for Metal Roofs.” This session will explore how metal can work well with photovoltaic systems. Tim Polega, a vice president at Metanna, will lead the discussion.

• “Taking Advantage of a Bad Economy: How to Grow Your Residential Metal Roofing Business While Others Retreat” is a timely session to be hosted by Frank Farmer of American Metal Roofs. Hear how Farmer grew his Michigan-based business despite the state suffering through one of its longest and deepest recessions in decades.

At 10:15 a.m., these sessions will take place:

• “Retrofit Metal Roofing: The Time has Come.” Roof Hugger’s Mark James will explain why retrofit roofing is the right technology at the right time for contractors and companies.

• “Residential Re-Roofing: Applying Metal Roofing Over Existing Roof Materials.” Jerry Iselin, president of Metal Roof Specialties Inc. in Tacoma, Wash., will explain how metal can be applied over existing roofs and whether a tear-off is required.

At 8:30 a.m. Oct. 22, sessions include:

• “The Business Nuts and Bolts of Metal Retrofit Roofing.” Chuck Howard will explain his secrets for running a successful retrofit business for more than 20 years.

• “Retrofitting With Metal Roof and Wall Systems.” Scott Kriner will showcase applications and energy savings from metal products.

•    “Creating a Social Media Campaign to Grow Your Business.” Drexel CEO Rob Waite will explain how his company has succeeded in the fast-moving world of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube. Tips on creating online “buzz” will be featured.

For more information on Metalcon, visitwww.metalcon.comor call (800) 537-7765.