Spreading through the desert

The largest construction exposition in the Western Hemisphere promises plenty to seeHemisphere promises plenty to see

Allen Zeyher / February 18, 2002

The construction industry will visit Las Vegas in March, but
not to build another glittering, gaudy monument to money. Manufacturers, materials producers, contractors and government and institutional officials from around the world will gather to display and discuss all aspects of construction.

ConExpo-Con/Agg will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 19-23. The show expects to have more than 2,300 exhibitors covering 1.8 million sq ft of indoor and outdoor exhibit space at the site. The space is a record, beating the previous mark of 1.73 million sq ft in 1999, the last time the triennial show was held.

The ConExpo-Con/Agg seminar program will be held at the Las
Vegas Hilton Hotel adjacent to the convention center.

“More than 420 new companies will join the excitement,
exhibiting at ConExpo-Con/Agg for the first time in 2002,” said Show
Managing Director Peter T. Vlahos. “Their enthusiasm and a strong
commitment from returning exhibitors have increased the footprint of the event’s
exhibit space to over 41 acres.”

More than 100,000 visitors from 135 nations around the world
are expected to attend the show, which is billed as the largest construction
and construction materials exposition in the Western Hemisphere.

The show is owned by the Association of Equipment
Manufacturers (AEM), the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association and the
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association. It is produced by AEM and the
International Concrete and Aggregates Group. The co-sponsor is the Associated
General Contractors of America. AEM is the result of the merger of the
Construction Industry Manufacturers Association and the Equipment Manufacturers

Pencil and paper

Seventeen construction, manufacturing and materials producer
organizations worked with the show’s management to plan the seminar

“Developing the curriculum with industry as-sociations
helps ensure that attendees will learn pertinent information about materials,
equipment and procedures that they can take home and put to work,” said

Select seminars will be simultaneously translated into
Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish to meet the needs of the international
audience, which is ex-pected to make up about 20% of the show’s

People who are planning to attend ConExpo-Con/Agg can
register and plan their entire itinerary on the show’s website

The ability to plan show activities over the web might be
particularly appealing to visitors from overseas. For visitors from the U.S.
who want to see what is happening overseas, the show offers international
pavilions featuring the latest product innovations by companies in the major
world markets of Germany, Finland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

“Companies in other parts of the world may be
developing different solutions than those available here in the U.S.
market,” said Show Managing Director Dennis Slater. “With the
international pavilions, show attendees have access to the broadest range of products and services available to help them address business challenges.”

Another feature of the show tailored to international
business is the International Business Center, designed for the use of
show-goers from outside the U.S. The center will be staffed by show personnel
and representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Services will include
interpreters fluent in major world languages, a lounge, welcome briefings,
meeting rooms and international phone, fax and web service.

A computerized matchmaking system will help connect
international show-goers with exhibitors displaying products and services of
interest to them. Multilingual staff members will work with individuals using
the system to help them find the exhibitors and products they are most
interested in.

Department of Commerce staff members also will assist
international show-goers with obtaining visas, forming official trade
delegations and making travel arrangements for those delegations to the show.

To facilitate transactions between exhibitors and international
buyers, The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. will be on hand at ConExpo-Con/
Agg’s international business center. The Ex-Im Bank is an independent
U.S. government agency that helps finance the overseas sales of U.S. goods and
services. It offers export credit insurance, direct loans, loan guarantees,
working capital programs and other resources.

As another way to facilitate financing, AEM will hold an
Investor Conference at ConExpo-Con/Agg to help construction equipment
manufacturers showcase their companies through presentations to and networking
with financial analysts who recommend, buy or upgrade public offerings. AEM is
teaming with Morgan Stanley on the one-day event, which is expected to bring
about 100 top financial analysts and investors into contact with AEM’s
publicly held member companies.

A look back

As a special event, ConExpo-Con/ Agg’s planners are
organizing an exhibit of historical construction equipment. The display will
feature more than 20 pieces of construction machinery built 40-100 years ago,
including earthmoving, hauling, lifting and aggregate processing machines.

“This display illustrates the product design advances
of our industry throughout the 20th century laying the groundwork for the 21st
century technological showcase that will be on display at ConExpo-Con/Agg
2002,” said Slater.

Collector postcards detailing uses, specifications and the
historical significance of each piece of equipment are also planned for the

AEM and the Historical Construction Equipment Association
are helping facilitate the logistics of the display.

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