After months of planning and preparation, the few days that made up World of Concrete (WOC) this past January were gone in a flash. Although I have attended WOC in the past, this was my first WOC as a member of the Concrete Construction editorial team.
Needless to say, I was pulled in a lot of different directions, and met what amounted to hundreds of people who wanted to discuss the latest product, trend, technical topic, or concern regarding the concrete industry. It was a whirlwind tour, one that I must say I enjoyed very much.
During WOC, I also had a chance to visit a number of the specific niche events held during the week, one being the Artistry in Decorative Concrete demonstrations.
I noticed many concrete contractors strolling through the Artistry demos with their eye on decorative concrete. I spoke with a number of them, and many mentioned that they currently did not participate in decorative concrete but they have recognized the trend toward decorative concrete in commercial and residential applications.
According to our records, close to 10,000 attendees visited the Artistry in Decorative Concrete area—many of which frequented the site more than once. Of course, the numbers don't lie—concrete contractors are interested in the decorative concrete market and perhaps diversifying their business in order to stay competitive in the ever-challenging concrete industry.
Speaking of numbers, a near-capacity crowd filled the room for our Top Influencers reception during WOC. Featured in the December 2008 issue of Concrete Construction (see “Guiding Our Industry,” page 26), our Top Influencers represent the professionals who lead the concrete industry. It was an honor to recognize the men and women that help the industry evolve on an almost daily basis and guide it toward a prosperous future.
The future of the industry was one theme behind the new GreenSite exhibit area at WOC. The GreenSite pavilion offered attendees a chance to see the profound impact that concrete has on the green building movement that is now a principal of global construction projects. The few times I visited GreenSite, it was teeming with attendees pouring over the products on display or jockeying for a position to view one of the video presentations. It was a success indeed, and I expect the Green-Site exhibit area to be even stronger next year. Primarily because one of the highlights will be the recognition of the GreenSite Project of the Year award program brought to you by the editors of Concrete Construction and The Concrete Producer. Highlights of the winning projects will examine the contributions of contractors and producers to the sustainability of an entire project, not just the materials used. Naturally, concrete or concrete products must be a significant part of the project. To find out more information about the GreenSite Project of the Year, and how you can enter, click here
As much as WOC embraces the roots that make up the concrete industry, it is evident that both the show and the industry are evolving concurrently. The core foundation of products, services, and technology that comprise this industry are evident, and they always will be a vital component. However, the enthusiasm behind the new generation of ideas and plans that will make up the future of this industry is captivating to say the least.
Editor in Chief