Historically, the attendance and number of exhibitors at the World of Concrete is a good indicator of the health of the commercial concrete construction business. When, in 2009, the results were down from the previous year, this signaled the several dismal years to come.
The preliminary results for the 2015 show implies that the pendulum is swinging in the other direction. There are 200 more exhibitors coming this year than in 2014 and 275 of those are new exhibitors that have never displayed at WOC. And some big exhibitors that had dropped out a few years ago are back. Attendance is looking record-breaking and seminar sign-ups is booming. The show folks don’t like to be too optimistic in advance—things like snow storms can always have an impact on attendance—but all signs are for the best show since 2007.
But all of this just seems to go along with everything I've been hearing about the coming couple of years. There’s lots of optimism out there! If you want to hear it from those whose business it is to forecast the concrete economy, come by the CC Live booth at 1:00 on Tuesday to hear from PCA economist Ed Sullivan and Pierre Villere, a partner with Allan-Villere and an economist in the ready-mix industry. Sullivan has been very accurate with his estimates. When he told us in 2008 that it would be seven years before things came back strong we all doubted him. Come by the booth to see what he foresees for the next few years.