World of Concrete 2009 Another Strong Event
Annual show delivers positive results for construction and masonry industries
World of Concrete 2009, held February 3-6, 2009; Seminars 2-6, delivered another strong event with 65,287 registered professionals in 880,000 net square feet of exhibit space. This 35th edition of WOC confirms that even in a challenging economy, attendees and exhibitors understand the importance and value of this annual international event for the commercial concrete and masonry industry.
“World of Concrete continues to be as full and robust as it has in the past. We have seen an increase in our outdoor exhibits and events and those that attended were amazed at the new products and offerings. Even though the overall numbers may be lower this year, as with most tradeshows in this current economic environment, it is the quality of buyers we bring to the table that continues to make this a strong and important event for the industry,” said Tom Cindric, Show Director, World of Concrete.
Exhibitors met and networked with qualified buyers at WOC and took this opportunity to exchange ideas on sustaining business, obtaining the education necessary to be up-to-date on new products and technologies, and learn about new ways to run a smart and lean business during this challenging time for the construction sector.
“We have a lot of new products to launch and this is the best place to do it. World of Concrete is always a great show for us and this year is no exception. We have a booth inside and outside. It’s important to be outside because people want to see these things in action,” said exhibitor Ed Jaroszewicz, Wacker Neuson, Michigan.
“I think there are opportunities for companies in a down market to get their message out there. There’s a lot of proof that companies that continue marketing during a recession tend to come out stronger when the economy rebounds. The right people are still at WOC. We’ve had more good leads here in two days than we typically generate at other shows in 3-4 days— the people who are here are serious," said exhibitors J. Allan Haggai and Sonda Gerdes, Freightliner Trucks, Fort Mill, South Carolina.
“We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the prospects who visited the Cemen Tech booths during the WOC. We had set some conservative targets for the show and while our overall leads were down vs. previous years, the quality of the conversations we had at the show was strong. In a tough economic environment, WOC was encouraging as to the potential that exists in the marketplace” said exhibitor Darren Huinker, Director of Sales, Cemen Tech.
“This is our premier concrete show; we’ve been here for 15 years. We feel it’s important to our customers that we show our presence. We want to show stability. It doesn’t send a good message to current and prospective customers if you’re not here—they start to fear that you might be going out of business or aren’t doing well. We talked about it, should we be at WOC. Everyone said yes. If we could only do one tradeshow this year, this would be the one we chose. We are getting less traffic, but as far as strong leads, I haven’t heard anyone who is disappointed. We’re getting as many good leads as we did when the economy was good," said exhibitor Darrell Messman, Palfinger North America, Lincoln, Nebraska.
World of Concrete has been recognized by Tradeshow Week as one of the Fastest 50 Tradeshows in both 2007 and 2008, and WOC 2009 did not disappoint with special product and action areas including The Producer Center, Material Handling, Concrete Repair and Demolition, World of Masonry, and Technology for Construction.
“I saw WOC as an opportunity to get out here and make contacts with some dealers. Plus, the thing is, you can’t win the game if you’re not playing it. There are a lot of people who are just rolling up in a little ball and seeing what happens in 6-8 months, a couple of years; I refuse to do that. I know there’s still business out there to be had if you look hard and in the right places,” said attendee John Rieth, Main Street Financial, Florida.
World of Concrete is proud to have been selected to participate in the 2009 International Buyer Program. World of Concrete Management and the U.S. Commercial Service worked closely in the global promotion of the show bringing International buyers and exhibitors together to expand business both domestically and overseas. As part of the program, delegations from all over the globe attended World of Concrete to network with other international visitors as well as connect with US exhibitors interested in exporting goods and services.
“We are seeing the right buyers in our booth—decision makers with purchasing authority. When the economy is uncertain, you have to be selective about what shows you do, and this is the right show for us. Coming and having a presence can help position us for when the economy rebounds,” said exhibitor Susanne Nichols, Raydan Manufacturing Inc., Nisku, Alberta, Canada.
“This is a big show for us and there is still important business to be done. We’re launching a new range of products in a couple of stands so we are here to promote that,” said exhibitor Robert Burgese, KGS Diamond, England.
“I come to World of Concrete every year because there’s always something new to see. I’m here to look for new products to help me do my job better. I see technology for cutting and drilling and this year’s new products are always better than last year’s—there’s always something new,” said exhibitor Steve Cirjak, Best Concrete Cutting, British Columbia.
This year, WOC’s world-class Education Program offered 150+ expert-led seminars, packed with leading-edge advice on how to reduce costs, improve profits and save time, including the latest, most effective strategies for surviving—and thriving—in today’s economy. It featured 17 designated tracks with both 90-minute and 3-hour sessions that provided practical, field-proven instruction in everything from Concrete Fundamentals, Business & Project Management, Masonry, and Concrete Production to Decorative Concrete, Safety & Risk Management, and Finance & Money Matters.
“We come every year. We’re here to take classes and get up-to-date on things. I am here to become a certified finisher. The information that I’m learning I can apply directly to my business. It’s always worth my while to come to World of Concrete. If you aren’t here, you’re going to be a step behind. This industry changes constantly and you have to stay up to date if you’re going to compete,” said attendee Brad Kleman Anderson Contractors Inc., Fort Pierre, South Dakota.
Returning for 2009 was the OSHA 10-hour Construction Safety for Concrete Construction course in English and the all-new Spanish Language OSHA course. These intense 2-day programs 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. These are 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 returning GREENSITE area on the show floor showcased the latest green build technologies along with displays, video and live presentations, and limitless information about this exciting new aspect of the construction industry, The Editors of Concrete Construction, The Concrete Producer and Masonry Construction magazines hosted the first annual GREENSITE Luncheon & Forum, sponsored by Holcim. This forum provided contractors, producers and architects a place to share ideas on how to be a part of this growing construction segment – Green Building. Participants learned about techniques and methods from industry professionals who have completed projects in which their innovative approaches to concrete construction techniques, material design, and/or design elements enabled the structure’s owners to earn a green building rating.
Premiering at the 2009 show was the New Product Showcase. Satisfying the #1 reason why attendees come to WOC each year, the New Product Showcase created a targeted area on the show floor where attendees could see some of the newest products to keep their business running strong. With close to 100 participants, this area was a big success packed with attendees throughout the show and will return for WOC 2010.
“The economy is affecting us all, but I am always looking for new products, technologies and ideas to help me be more competitive. The economy will turn around eventually and I need to make sure I’m well positioned for the rebound,” said attendee David Santarossa, Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co., Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana.
“I’m here to get new technology that will help us keep our competitive edge. In this economy, if you’re not moving ahead, you’re falling behind,” said attendee J.T. Hughes, Hydro Technologies Inc., Jeffersonville, Indiana.
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 and the Liebherr’s Operators’ Precision Challenge. Along with these key spectator events are hundreds of outdoor exhibitors demonstrating many new products and cutting-edge equipment / technologies for a one-ofa-kind experience.
The Concrete Producer magazine also hosted two sold-out Hoover Dam Bypass Editorial Tours sponsored by SIKA. Tour patrons learned the history and challenges of the Hoover Dam Bypass as well as the admixtures used in the project's mix designs during an informative construction site visit and tour.
The 4th annual Women in Concrete Luncheon & Forum, sponsored by LaFarge, was another successful event, hosted by Concrete Construction and The Concrete Producer Magazines. This luncheon and forum brought together hundreds of women working in the concrete construction industry to network, learn and identify issues important to them.
CIM (Concrete Industry Management) held the 4th annual unreserved live auction at WOC 2009 with all proceeds benefiting the National Steering Committee for CIM to support their efforts to establish, support, and sustain its programs at selected universities. The auction, produced by Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, raised $300,000.
MCAA (Masonry Contractors Association of America) held its annual convention concurrently with WOC. Kicking off the event at the Opening Session luncheon for MCAA was Alan Thicke, known for his role in the hit Television series “Growing Pains”. MCAA also held several educational sessions along with two exciting outdoor events; the International Masonry Skills Challenge and the Fastest Trowel on the Block Competition. MCAA also held Masonry Action Stations for the first time at WOC providing a “how to” approach to educating attendees on various techniques specific to the Masonry industry.
With such a wide variety of events, demonstrations, educational sessions, networking opportunities and much more, World of Concrete will continue to create an important and vital marketplace for both attendees and exhibitors even during challenging economic conditions. World of Concrete 2010 will be February 2-5; Seminars 1-5, back again in Las Vegas, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Visit the newly redesigned and dynamic World of Concrete website, full of brand new user-friendly features, downloadable high resolution 2009 show images, and technology to help buyers and sellers connect before, during and after the show at www.worldofconcrete.com.
About the Author
Steven Pomerantz is the Marketing Manager for Informa Exhibitions U.S., Construction and Real Estate and the World of Concrete.