Really good, incredible, better than expected, outstanding—these are the responses I received from both attendees and exhibitors when I asked, “How is your experience at this year's World of Concrete?”
Held Feb. 1–5, 2010 at the Las Vegas Convention, World of Concrete 2010 (WOC) attracted more than 55,000 attendees and 1354 exhibitors throughout 600,000 square feet of exhibition space. Despite the economy coupled with short-term uncertainty clouding the concrete industry, both attendees and exhibitors are preparing for the concrete industry turnaround, which is expected to chart growth in the residential sector in the latter part of this year, according to research from the Portland Cement Association.
Many of the exhibitors I spoke with at WOC 2010 were optimistic; some even selling equipment at the show. Makita, AboutTime Technologies, and Wacker Neuson, all mentioned they were selling products to contractors. And yes, many of the contractors were in a buying mode.
I spoke with a number of contractors at the American Society of Concrete Contractors' Kick-Off bash, the day prior to the show opening. Most, if not many, said there were at WOC to not only attend the technical sessions, but to spend money on tools and equipment. Granted, many of these contractors represented middle to larger size construction firms represented in our annual CC100 list, but it was easy to see the overall mood of the contractors echoed something along the lines of “cautious optimism.”
WOC 2010 also was the opportunity to speak with a number of our recently named Top Influencers (see “2009 Most Influential,” in the January 2010 issue). I had conversations with Greg Scurto, Bob Simonelli, and Ward Malisch, all of which were appreciative of the honor, and impressed by the cover illustration.
My conversation with Scurto took place prior to the CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION Field Test Breakfast & Forum, which included detailed presentations from the Field Test Steering Committee specific to their concrete expertise. Nearly 100 people attended the breakfast, which also is planned for WOC 2011, Jan. 17–21, 2011 in Las Vegas.
Speaking of future WOC events, the World of Concrete Regional Conference is scheduled for May 14–15, 2010 in Orlando. WOC's education program is the focal point of the conference. Attendees can choose from 12 of the most important and popular WOC 3-hour sessions and earn credit toward master certificates. For more information, check out www.worldofconcrete.com.
All told, WOC 2010 has been deemed a success, and many eyes are eagerly and optimistically looking toward the future.
One final note regarding World of Concrete 2010: Check out our online coverage for an endless supply of ancillary content related to the show. Click on the World of Concrete logo to view copies of the daily e-newsletter; stories from the Daily News editions; products; slideshows, videos; and more.