Partnership with CSI Benefits Industry
Last month I talked about the success of the Masonry Showcase held in Tampa in March. I talked about the quality educational programs that were conducted, the thousands of square feet of exhibits, the skills competitions, the Association's business meetings, and the networking events that all added to the success of the Showcase. I also talked about how our show was attended by the serious industry individuals who are dedicated to building the future of the masonry industry.
Over the past year, the MCAA Board has discussed the future of Masonry Showcase. We have debated on how the Association can make the Showcase experience better for both attendees and exhibitors, adding to the value received from their attendance. At the direction of our members and Board, we entered into numerous discussions with potential industry affiliates to seek partnerships that could assist in building the success of the Masonry Showcase experience. During our search, the solution that made the most sense was a partnership with the Construction Specifications Institute and their concept of "Construct America."
On April 10, 2003, at Construct America held at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center, the Officers of the MCAA and the Officers of the Construction Specification Institute (CSI) signed a co?location agreement that will bring the Masonry Showcase into Construct America alongside of the CSI. Beginning in April 2005, Masonry Showcase's 25,000 square feet of exhibit space will add to the 150,000 square feet of exhibits already at Construct America. Masonry Showcase will represent one of the largest partners and pavilions at Construct America. More than 10,000 architects, specifiers and owners will make up the majority of the over 17,000 attendees expected in 2005.
The Construction Specifications Institute is an individual membership technical society that serves as the premier integrating force for those that create and sustain the non-residential built environment and as the primary gateway to resources for programs, services and the exchange of information in the design community. The primary Construction Specifications Institute meeting is at Construct America, one of the nation's largest annual gatherings of representatives from all disciplines involved in creating and sustaining the built environment that typically draws more than 9,000 attendees and features more than 1,000 exhibit booths representing 600 participating companies. Our Board felt that the benefits of co?locating Masonry Showcase alongside the CSI Show at Construct America offered both the MCAA and the masonry industry the greatest benefit.
First of all, Masonry Showcase becomes a tremendous program for promoting masonry. The architect and specifier attendees will be able to view our exhibits and products, promoting the advantages of designing with masonry.
Secondly, our International Masonry Skills Challenge and Fastest Trowel contests will promote our industry's skilled workforce to a larger customer base. What greater impact than to show the thousands of customers who will watch our skilled events at Construct America, that we have the quality labor to build their projects if they design them with masonry.
Thirdly, we will be attending a larger tradeshow with exhibits for the entire building environment. That means our mason contractor attendees who are looking to offer their services to new markets can view the more than 150,000 square feet of other construction ? related exhibits.
Lastly ? and probably the greatest benefit to co-locating with CSI at Construct America ? is that by attending Masonry Showcase, mason contractors will have the opportunity to meet with architects and specifiers during the show, which will not only save you money on product purchase, but it may get your company new jobs.
We look forward to our partnership with CSI and Construct America. More importantly, we look forward to the experience that you will have as a mason contractor attending the Masonry Showcase at Construct America beginning in 2005.
About the Author
William McConnell is the owner of Architectural Paving & Stone, Inc. He has served as President of the Mason Contractors Association of America and on the Board of Trustees for the International Masonry Institute. McConnell was a recipient of the 2005 C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award.