With more than 900,000 net square feet of the newest concrete and masonry products, ideas, and technologies from 1700 exhibiting companies, World of Concrete delivered the 2nd largest event in its 34-year history, second only to WOC 2007's record-breaking show.
"This has been a very successful event. We are very pleased with the support exhibitors and attendees have shown to us when things in the commercial and residential construction communities have been affected by the current economy. To get this kind of support, especially with other industry events occurring during the first quarter of 2008, really speaks volumes to what the show has become to attendees and the industry alike. WOC has truly become the industry event to attend," stated Tom Cindric, director.
World of Concrete featured special product and action areas including The Producer Center, a dedicated marketplace of materials, equipment, demos, and seminars for concrete producers; Material Handling, offering trucks, excavators, and more for material delivery, distribution, concrete placement, and earth moving; Concrete Repair and Demolition, housing a display of surface preparation equipment, scarifying, grinding, sawing equipment, and other demolition products; World of Masonry, showcasing a full range of products, tools, information, and technology for masonry professionals; and Technology for Construction, featuring the newest products and tools for the commercial construction industry from top information technology and systems providers.
New in 2008 was the GREENSITE area of the show floor located in the South Hall. In this well attended area, exhibitors showcased green build technologies and products along with interactive displays, video presentations, and valuable information on this new and growing topic of concern in the commercial and residential construction industries.
For both returning and first-time attendees to WOC, the experience of being at the 2008 show was met with excitement and enthusiasm.
"This is my first year at WOC. I'm in the forming business, and I came to see all the new innovations in forming. The new products here definitely make this a worthwhile trip and I'll be back again next year. There is something for everyone here," stated Wendell Stockton of Stockton Concrete LLC, Albany, Ky.
"I've been to 12 of the last 15 World of Concrete shows. There is always something new. I talk to my suppliers and scout for new ones. It is nice to get a chance to talk in person. It is also a great way to comparison shop, network and test new products," noted Randy Dewey of Granite Construction, Indio, Calif.
"Every year I attend World of Concrete. This is where everything happens. I've bought all kinds of stuff here including a boom truck and a pump truck. Plus, I can talk to my suppliers face to face. I will be back next year," remarked Deane Guy of Deane Guy Masonry Inc., Clements, Md.
The World of Concrete Education Program is lauded as a world-class feature at the show resulting in attendees participating in more than 25,000 industry leading educational sessions. Targeted 3-hour sessions covered everything from Concrete Fundamentals to Decorative Concrete and Business Management Practices and 90-minute topics included Leadership Management, Technology for Construction, Legal Issues, Women in Construction, Finance and Money Matters, Green Building, Safety and Risk Management, and more.
New this year was the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Safety for Concrete Construction course. This intense two-day program, which sold out before the show, provided concrete workers, supervisors and other field personnel with an awareness of safety and health concerns in the construction industry and placed a special emphasis on the OSHA regulations that address concrete issues. This is the only OSHA 10-hour construction program specifically designed to help concrete workers and supervisors identify and avoid hazards they are likely to encounter every day on the job. The class was highly engaging and included video segments of job site scenarios that portrayed typical hazards and their remedies.
Unique to World of Concrete is the Outdoor Events and Demonstration Areas featuring fan favorites including the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500, the Pettibone Telehandler Skills Competition, the John Deere Load America Competition, and the Mack Driving Skills Safety Challenge. Along with these key spectator events are hundreds of outdoor exhibitors demonstrating many new products and cutting-edge equipment/technologies for a one-of-a-kind experience.
Masonry Contractors Association of America (MCAA) held its annual convention concurrently with the World of Masonry. The move benefited the masonry industry by combining resources and making the World of Masonry, an integral part of World of Concrete, the masonry industry's premier event. Kicking off the event at the Opening Session luncheon for MCAA was Henry Winkler, one of the most recognized actors in the world, often remembered for his portrayal of "The Fonz" for 10 seasons on the hit series "Happy Days." MCAA held several educational sessions along with two exciting outdoor events: the International Masonry Skills Challenge and the Fastest Trowel on the Block Competition.