WOC 2011 Starts The Year Off Strong
World of Concrete 2011 returned to the Las Vegas Convention Center January 18-21, 2011; Seminars 17-21, and launched a wide array of new products and equipment, presented a world-class Education and Certification Program, and provided crucial networking opportunities for exhibitors and attendees.
This well-known industry show continued to build upon its reputation as the only annual international commercial construction trade show for the concrete and masonry industry with 48,554 professional registrants in attendance. WOC also showcased just over 1,200 indoor/outdoor exhibitors in more than a half-million square feet of exhibit space.
“WOC is very proud to deliver a quality audience to our exhibitors and a show full of leading industry suppliers, related services, and educational opportunities to our attendees. Even though the numbers are slightly down from 2010, we have found that a majority of our exhibitors are actually getting quality leads and making more sales at the show. Attendees are taking advantage of all the opportunities and finding the information they can’t get anywhere else, all in one place. We consider WOC 2011 to be a very successful event,” said Jackie James, Director, World of Concrete.
“This is the largest annual show that we attend in North America. It’s a good source for new business every year because all the key players in the industry are here,” said Exhibitor Frank Zambotti of Applied Systems Associates, Inc.
“I had never attended WOC before, but a friend recommended that I come to find mixers and check out all the new products. The show is unbelievable! The size and selection are incredible — everything one could possibly need is here,” said first-time attendee John Bernal of Yonkers, NY.
For International VisitorsWorld of Concrete, for the sixth consecutive year, participated in the 2011 International Buyer Program. World of Concrete Management and the US Commercial Service worked closely in the global promotion of the show to bring international buyers and exhibitors together to expand business both domestically and overseas. As part of the program, over a dozen delegations from all over the globe attended World of Concrete to network with other international visitors as well as connect with U.S. exhibitors interested in exporting goods and services.
“This show is very big and broad and we’ve been able to pick up international contacts that we aren’t able to get at the other US shows that we do,” said exhibitor Mike James of Coins USA.
Trade Specialists from the Commercial Service Office and an Industry Specialist were also on hand to answer questions and provide export counseling to WOC 2011 exhibitors. Assistance was also available to international buyers to help meet purchasing and representation objectives during the show. There were 120 meetings between 11 U.S. government representatives and U.S. exhibitors; there were also 111 business-to-business meetings between international delegates and U. S. exhibitors. In addition to these pre-arranged meetings, there were more than 85 exhibiting companies counseled through their visiting the International Business Center or by show floor outreach conducted by representatives of the U.S. government.
“We came because we want to learn how to become more profitable and make more money. It’s always good to see new technologies. Some of the information and new products here help us to be more competitive back home," said attendees Rudi Sardjoe and Perkasn Ramsaran of South America.
During WOC 2011, there was also an Export Finance Briefing that was attended by international delegates from 7 countries (Angola, Dominican Republic, Iraq, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, and South Africa) as well as exhibitors attending the presentations on the export assistance programs of the Small Business Administration, Export-Import Bank of the United States, the U.S. Trade Development Agency, and the Oversea Private Investment Corporation.
“The show has definitely been an eye-opener for me. It’s so big and comprehensive—the industry is much larger than I thought!” said attendee Tyler Boehm of Surrey, British Columbia.
For Concrete ProfessionalsFor concrete professionals, there were several exciting events to attend. One event was the Concrete Construction Challenge, which included entertaining and inspiring challenges combining precision, speed and focus.
Pervious Concrete Live! presented by Concrete Construction Magazine, featured demonstration pads. One pad was placed too dry to demonstrate raveling, one pad placed too wet to show sealing, and one pad was placed just right. Students from the Concrete Industry Management program at Middle Tennessee State University installed the slabs and were on hand to explain the construction of each pad and the unique properties of pervious concrete.
The Concrete & Polishing Luncheon & Forum provided concrete polishing industry professionals the chance to gather and discuss the importance of concrete polishing specifications. The sixth annual Women in Concrete Luncheon & Forum, presented by Concrete Construction and The Concrete Producer magazines, brought together women working in the concrete construction industry to network and learn about topics that affect career and business specific to women in the industry.
New to World of Concrete: Concrete Surfaces & Decorative PavilionThe Concrete Surfaces & Decorative Pavilion, which took place in one of the outdoor lots, featured the 9th Annual Artistry in Decorative Concrete, where leading artisans demonstrated the latest decorative concrete techniques, including stamped concrete patterns, chemical stain work, decorative finishes and much more.
WOC also featured Concrete Construction magazine’s second annual Decorative Concrete Tool Demonstrations highlighting a live action area in which attendees were invited to learn how to use new tools and accessories in decorative concrete applications. These tool demonstrations included dry diamond polishing, hole coring, engraving, forming and others.
The editors of Concrete Surfaces hosted the Concrete Polishing Live! Demonstration Area, which featured what’s new in the expanding industry of concrete floor polishing. Demonstrations focused on surface preparation, achieving reflectivity, quality control, testing and more.
“I work for a decorative concrete company, so I came here looking for a broad range of products—anywhere from jewelling to general materials. I’ve already been able to get great vendor recommendations from networking with other industry professionals,” said attendee Eric Pottle of Peoria, AZ.
“We have both an indoor and outdoor presence. The inside is good because people can spend time with the equipment and ask questions. Then being able to take them outside to show them a demo—you can’t even put a price on that,” said exhibitor Hugh Thralls of CDC Larue Industries, Inc.
For Concrete ProducersThe Concrete Producer Challenges, which included the first-time Western Star Serious Trucks Challenge and the returning John Deere Operator Challenge, gave WOC attendees the chance to test their skills at the show.
Drivers who participated in the Western Star Serious Truck Challenge experienced a course that simulated the jobsite performance challenges of a concrete construction work site. The Serious Truck Challenge asked drivers to safely maneuver their trucks in confined spaces. Some were tasked to creep in reverse while simulating a concrete pour and maintaining adequate barrel speed. But the highlight of the Serious Truck Challenge was the backing up and stopping on a 42-foot long, steeply-graded ramp!
The John Deere Operator Challenge showcased the operating skills of attendees driving a 4WD loader, skid steer, backhoe, and excavator.
The Volumetric Operators Luncheon & Forum made its debut at WOC 2011. This luncheon provided valuable information on how contractors can learn about this important market, adopt industry-wide quality initiatives and bring about a proper respect for this segment of the commercial construction business.
For MasonsMasonry Construction magazine hosted the extremely popular SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 ® competition which featured teams competing to lay a double wythe, 26-foot wall in just 60 minutes! This is the premier bricklaying event in the world and winners from regional competitions gathered at WOC to face-off in this action-packed arena-style event.
Ray Robinson of JAM Construction, Lake City, Fla., took first place after laying 697 bricks in one hour in the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 competition. Along with claiming the “World’s Best Bricklayer” title, Robinson won a new 2011 Ford F-250 4x4 XLT Crew Cab, $5,000 cash, and thousands more in sponsor prizes. Second place and a $4,000 cash prize went to Charles “Jeff” Burton of Miter Masonry, Germantown, Ohio, for laying a 671-brick-wall.
Finally, Dave Moyle, of Moyle Masonry, Wadina, Iowa, placed 625 bricks to win third and $3,000 cash. Moyle also won the SPEC MIX Top Craftsman award for his “most sellable” wall, claimed an additional $5,000, and more sponsor prizes. About 10 of Moyle’s family and friends drove 22 hours from Iowa to watch his fourth participation in the competition. Burton’s son Raymond, won the SPEC MIX Toughest Tender competition. For setting up his work area the fastest, including brick and tools, he won $2,500 cash and sponsor prizes. This father-and-son team dominated in the competition.
MCAA (Masonry Contractors Association of America) held its Annual Convention at WOC. MCAA had several educational sessions along with two exciting events; the International Masonry Skills Challenge and the Fastest Trowel on the Block Competition. The Fastest Trowel on the Block winners were returning champion Kris Chee of El Mirage, AZ, second place went to Keith White of North Highlands, CA, and third place went to Ray Robinson of Gainesville, FL.
“Our target interest is masonry suppliers or installers. Last year we picked up some key people that turned into some nice business for us so we came back hoping to do the same this year,” said exhibitor Lance Merrill of Dal-tile.
Making its debut at WOC 2011 was the SIA Scaffolding Safety Challenge, which guided attendees through scaffolding displays that had common mistakes that are routinely seen on jobsites and cited by OSHA inspectors.
After finding these mistakes, attendees were then able to ask questions of the onsite inspectors, and got graded on how much they knew about proper scaffolding guidelines.
For Every InterestMaking its return to WOC 2011 at double its size from 2010 was the Product Showcase, which gave attendees an opportunity to be among the first to see and compare the latest and most unique industry products and technologies.
CIM (Concrete Industry Management) Auction 2011 held its annual unreserved silent and live auctions at WOC 2011 with all proceeds benefiting the CIM Program. This year, the auctions set a WOC show record, just topping $500,000! This annual event - held at the World of Concrete Conference – is sponsored by the CIM National Steering Committee (NSC), CIM patrons and staff, World of Concrete Show Management, Hanley Wood Publications, and Ritchie Bros. Over the past six years, this auction at World of Concrete has raised more than $1.5 million. In addition, supporting attendees donated approximately $4,000 in cash during the online registration process. This event benefits the efforts of the CIM National Steering Committee (NSC) in support of the CIM Programs at Middle Tennessee State University, Arizona State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, California State University - Chico and Texas State University - San Marcos. For more information, visit www.concretedegree.com.
Education ProgramThe 2011 WOC Education Program boasted tracks with more than 50% brand-new topics including sessions in Concrete Fundamentals, Concrete Production, Concrete Repair, Decorative Concrete, Residential, Green Building, Safety & Risk Management, Technical Updates, and much more. Additionally WOC provided Certification and continuing education hours to get attendees the training they needed at the show.
“This show gives you a complete educational overview of the industry in one place. The information I get at the seminars is something I can take back and directly apply to my business,” said attendee Andre Bilodeau of Las Vegas, NV.
New Technologies for Greenhouse Gas & Fuel Economy Regulation Compliance, sponsored by CALSTART, focused on green engine technology. This special session included presentations on current product offerings, future technology developments, and regulatory issues that affect the development and deployment of clean, advanced technology vehicles.
Over the years, World of Concrete has been an annual education and training resource for the military construction battalions. Noticeable this year was the 820th RED HORSE Squadron based at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas. 108 airmen attended various technical and project management seminars.
Be sure to save the date for WOC 2012: January 24-27; Seminars 23-27, back in Las Vegas!
About the Author
Steven Pomerantz is the Marketing Manager for Informa Exhibitions U.S., Construction and Real Estate and the World of Concrete.