Concrete etouffee

Ready-mix gourmands to gobble up seminars and demos

Article January 04, 2002
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In a city known for its rich food, the menu in January will
include various mixtures of concrete in addition to the regular favorites such
as jambalaya and catfish. The World of Concrete will kick off the year at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. The roster of seminars starts on Jan. 8. The exhibits open on the next day. All events wrap up on Jan. 12.

An average of 65,000 construction professionals from around
the world attend the show every year, according to show management, and an
average of 1,400 companies put their products on display.

The 2002 show includes a five-day, 85-session educational
program, a four-day product showcase and three days of live-action Mega Demos.
Seventeen of the educational seminars are new this year.

“Our audience is searching for new ideas and they look
for programs that focus on jobsite applications. That’s why many of our
topics start with ‘How to,’” said Susan Clancy, seminar
director.

To be sure topics fit the needs of the show’s audience
and reflect changes in the industry, topic sessions for each year are
determined through feedback from past show-goers and input from industry
sources. Clancy also seeks out ideas from speakers: “The speakers are so
tuned in to the audience and the technology that they come up with very
relevant suggestions.”

Trends in attendance show that safety is receiving more
attention, said Clancy. “Stronger government regulations and an
increasingly litigious society have put greater emphasis on safety. The pumping
industry and the American Society of Concrete Contractors in particular have
become more conscious of promoting safety.”

The show features a variety of other attractions.

A Producer Center focuses on helping plant managers,
dispatchers, fleet managers and material suppliers stay on top of the latest
equipment and technology.

For the second year, World of Ma-sonry will be held as a
separate show connected to World of Concrete. World of Masonry, with 50,000 sq
ft of exhibit space, features 10 specialized sessions targeted to the needs of
masonry professionals.

Mega Demos offer visitors an opportunity to see the latest
products and techniques in action in a simulated jobsite setting, according to
show management.

Other featured areas offer opportunities to test and see new
equipment and techniques in action. These include the Test Track, where
show-goers can try out ready-mix trucks, excavators, loaders and more. In
Concrete Alley, manufacturers use fresh concrete to demonstrate a variety of
techniques and equipment. Action Exhibits offer the chance to try out small
equipment and tools.

When the show goes marching out

This will be the last time World of Concrete visits New
Orleans. The show is going on the road west, according to show manager
Hanley-Wood Exhibitions, Addison, Ill.

“In each of the past three years, World of Concrete
has experienced double-digit growth in exhibiting companies,” said Beth
Gassen, show director.

Based on feedback from exhibitors and show-goers,
Hanley-Wood decided to hold the show at a single venue. Post-show surveys
strongly endorsed Las Vegas for its after-hours activities, its restaurants and
its ability to handle such a large event.

“Las Vegas draws the best crowds,” Jonathan
Omer, marketing manager for exhibitor Putzmeister America, told Hanley-Wood.
“It gives exhibitors a better diversification of customers between
domestic and international. The facility and the surrounding infrastructure
make it easy for people coming into the show.”

The attendance figures confirm Omer’s statement,
according to Hanley-Wood. In 27 years, World of Concrete has been held in Las
Vegas 11 times. Ten of those shows have drawn record-breaking attendance.

The show previously rotated through Las Vegas in
even-numbered years and Orlando or New Orleans in odd-numbered years. It will
make one more round—New Orleans in 2002, Las Vegas in 2003 and Orlando in
2004—before settling in to Las Vegas for the future.

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