World of Concrete shattered all previous registration and exhibit space records with the 2006 show. With more than 1800 exhibitors occupying over 800,000 square feet, and registrants in excess of 80,000, approximately 15% higher than in 2005, WOC 2006 was the largest show in its 32-year history. As part of this massive event, the editorial staff of Concrete Construction planned and provided leadership for several special events. Here's a run-down:

Hoover Dam bypass editorial tour. Hosted by the editors of Concrete Construction and The Concrete Producer, 130 people joined the tour sponsored by the Sika Corporation. They visited the new bypass construction site where Wes Pollnow, the site superintendent, explained how a new state-of-the-art bridge is being built to cross the Colorado River a safe distance away from Hoover Dam. They also toured the electrical generating power plant inside the dam.

Left: The location for the new bridge that will cross the Colorado River below Hoover Dam. Right: Visitors to the Mega Demos see residential home building systems up close.
Left: Jenni Spinner; Right: Oscar Einzig Left: The location for the new bridge that will cross the Colorado River below Hoover Dam. Right: Visitors to the Mega Demos see residential home building systems up close.

Women in Concrete luncheon. The fact that over 200 women (and a few men) attended the first ever Women in Concrete luncheon at the World of Concrete points to the changing makeup of the workforce in the concrete industry. Speakers included Deborah Henry, the director of special programs, Continuing Education/College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri, St. Louis; Joan Blecha, chairperson of the National Precast Concrete Association and president of Hanson Pipe and Products Southeast; and Susan Hollingsworth, president of the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association and CEO of Holes, Inc. They spoke about the changing nature of women's involvement in the industry and encouraged women to be more involved in associations that lead industry advances.

Reception for CC's list of the 10 most influential people. At this well attended reception, Concrete Construction magazine recognized its choices of the industry's 10 Most Influential Leaders (see CC September 2005) for their significant contributions to the concrete industry.

Mega Demos featuring concrete home building systems. Two of the three days of the Mega Demos featured systems for building concrete homes. Wall-building systems included insulating concrete forms (ICF), concrete masonry units, precast, removable form, and tilt-up construction. In addition there were demos showing how to post-tension slab-on-grade foundations, place and finish pervious concrete pavement, and install finishes for exterior and interior concrete walls. More than 40 companies and associations worked together to make the demos possible.

The CIM auction. Conducted by Richie Brothers Auctioneers, the live auction had 200 attendees and 69 online bidders. The top items auctioned included a 2006 International-McNeilus ready-mix truck, a Somero Power Rake, and a Putzmeister portable concrete pump. The $224,225 raised from the event was donated to the Middle Tennessee State University's Construction Industry Management (CIM) program. The construction industry will now be further supported by the addition of three new CIM programs at Arizona State University, California State University at Chico, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

‘Don't Work for Free' session. This roundtable discussion, organized by CC editor Bill Palmer, focused on issues that influence contractor profits: getting a fair price for your work, surviving changes and making claims, collecting retainage in a timely fashion, dealing with “pay-if-paid” clauses, and maintaining adequate cash flow. After brief presentations from roundtable members Bobby Sweeney, National Concrete Services; Gary Micheloni, Full Contact Project Management; and Tony Lampasona, Lampasona Concrete, the audience participated in a lively discussion.

Watch for a complete review of the Artistry in Decorative Concrete demos in the April issue.