The World of Concrete returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 17, and this year’s convention will focus on sustainability.
Many of the exhibiting companies plan to share past results and future endeavors that demonstrate strong sustainability commitments and implementations of best practices in the industry, in their company, and in their community.
“An important focus at this year’s event is the concrete and masonry industries’ commitment to reducing the carbon footprint on a construction site,” said Jackie James, Vice President of World of Concrete. “Many of our exhibitors are unveiling electrification of tools and equipment. Others are introducing technologies and business software that enable contractors to be more efficient with project planning and labor assignments.”
This is the 49th edition of the WOC. Last year’s convention drew more than 37,000 professionals from the concrete industry to Las Vegas. This year, attendees will see more than 1,000 exhibitors at a convention center that boasts over 600,000 square feet of event space indoor and outdoor.
The WOC will feature new areas on the show floor this year, according to James.
“We are anticipating the announcement of hundreds new products during the event,” James said. “To aid contractors, we have created the Work Truck Live!, which will highlight how technological changes have impacted this important class of equipment.”
World of Concrete will also debut the Ride and Drive event, which will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday during the convention. At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to test-drive select Class 1 to Class 7 vehicles. Approved drivers and passengers experience the feel of the vehicle in a closed, short loop located offsite near the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The WOC has also added an Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) Pavilion to showcase the value and use of AAC in today’s construction environment. Convention attendees will be able to discover new building materials and new opportunities for the US construction industry, such as production technology, blocks, panels, and application of AAC in the construction industry.
This year’s World of Concrete will also focus on supporting the next generation in the industry. Organizers are helping to support the activities promoted by universities that offer the Concrete Industry Management program. The Silent and Live Auctions will benefit the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) programs at five universities. And the World of Concrete Education Program works with over 50 campuses, military branches, and technical career academies and institutes that educate younger generations on the opportunities and careers in the concrete and masonry industries.
No industry gathering would be complete without at least one event that focused on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). And this year’s WOC will be no different.
“Last fall, Ed Sullivan, the Portland Cement Association’s economist, forecasted that the cement industry will begin to realize the effect of the projects authorized by the IIJA in the third and fourth quarter of 2023,” said Kevin Archibald, senior show manager at World of Concrete. “So, this year’s event will be an important opportunity for contractors to prepare for the increased infrastructure and associated commercial activity.”
Many of the WOC’s educational sessions will feature the IIJA. More than 160 educational sessions will address the current and anticipated needs of concrete and masonry industry professionals.
Luckily, all the World of Concrete speakers are well versed with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and will relate course learning objectives to the current state of the industry with construction growth potential, labor shortages, sustainability incentives/initiatives, and international influence.
That’s not all those who attend educational sessions can receive. There are several technical classes focused on mass concrete placement, pavement design and construction, preservation and repair, and 3D printing in concrete construction, just to name a few.
There are also Business & Project Management courses this year focusing on issues such as finding, building, and securing tomorrow’s workforce, women in the construction industry, and negotiating construction contracts. There will also be eight seminars presented in Spanish, developed by professionals and associations working with and for the growing number of Hispanic contractors in America and abroad.
Don’t forget to study the layout of the exhibits before you get to the convention. There is a lot to see, as usual. In the Central Hall, you’ll find exhibits like the World of Masonry. In the North Hall, you can get educated on construction technology, cement production, and precast. In the South Hall, you can check out the concrete repair, decorative, and demolition equipment.
When you’re tired of being indoors, the Silver and Bronze Lots will have fantastic outdoor exhibits and events, as well. You can watch live demos, heavy equipment, and skill challenges and championships. There is so much to do during WOC, you may not be able to see it all.
As always, World of Concrete will be in Las Vegas, a city known for its glowing nightlife, good food, and excellent entertainment. When asked why Las Vegas is the best location for World of Concrete, Archibald said: “The fact that Las Vegas is such a popular destination for domestic and international visitors is important for a global show like World of Concrete. It is also a great location for entertaining customers in the many restaurants available. The LVCVA has always provided a facility that is perfect for the outdoor and indoor exhibits. The planned renovation of the existing halls in the future will be a welcome enhancement for all shows taking place there.”
James said she can’t wait for for WOC to start.
“We are looking forward to a well-attended, strong show with a lot of business being done throughout the week,” she said. “We are excited about all the new specialized areas, new exhibitors and returning exhibitors, new education partners contributing new sessions & events, and having many of our international delegations and attendees be able to join us. World of Concrete staff, show attendees, and exhibitors will also, through their varied experiences and contributions, be setting the stage for the 50th Anniversary of World of Concrete in 2024.”
As usual, Road & Bridges will have a booth at WOC. Please stop by and say hello!