I will attend my seventh World of Concrete when the industry gathers the first week of February in Las Vegas. This hardly qualifies me as a veteran. Still, I've been around long enough now to realize that each show has a flavor and feel of its own.

My first was in Orlando. I was impressed by the scope of the event, not to mention that single hall at the convention center. It took forever to go back and forth between my hotel and the convention center, but that's another story.

Since then, World of Concrete has been held in Las Vegas. The industry for several years was healthy and I became increasingly impressed by the concrete industry and its people, innovations, and products. Then came the 2009 show. The economy was tanking, car companies were on the verge of bankruptcy, a new president had just been inaugurated, and the industry was looking forward to reaping the benefits of a multibillion dollar stimulus package. It was a squeamish feeling.

As we prepare to gather for the first World of Concrete of the new decade, I feel apprehensive, yet hopeful. The contractors, manufacturers, and producers that battled through the last 18 months are survivors. If they made it through 2008 and 2009, they can survive anything that's thrown at them.

Waiting for business to increase is no reason to not educate yourself. The show this year provides many opportunities to do just that.

First, polishing contractors shouldn't miss the Polishing Luncheon and Forum, noon-2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 2. This is a chance to meet your colleagues in this increasingly important industry segment. Speakers will discuss concrete polishing specifications.

Artistry in Decorative Concrete sponsors will demonstrate their products during our first CONCRETE SURFACES Contractor Clinics. Here is a great chance to watch products in action and to ask questions about how they can help your business.

Turn to page 37 for more details on these and other events at the show. I hope to see you in Las Vegas. And keep smiling. To quote the late radio commentator Paul Harvey, “The good old days are yet to come.”

Tom Bagsarian,
Managing Editor