The World of Asphalt 2006 Show and Conference set attendance and exhibit space records during its run March 13-16, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
More than 4,145 asphalt, highway and maintenance industry professionals attended World of Asphalt 2006, a 26% increase compared with the last show, held in 2004, and more than two-and-one-half times the attendance at the inaugural 2001 event. Attendees came from companies large and small and from businesses throughout the U.S. and worldwide.
A record 68,800-plus net square feet of space was used by 221 exhibitors to showcase the latest equipment, product innovations and services to enhance job performance and productivity. This was a 26% increase in the amount of space taken at the 2004 show and almost two-and-one-half times the exhibit space at the first World of Asphalt.
The show attracted a highly qualified audience, with a majority of attendees in management roles—with titles including president, owner, vice president, general manager, chief financial officer and purchasing, sales or marketing manager.
“More than numbers, this year’s World of Asphalt had such a positive energy and was truly an industry gathering place where we could exchange experiences and learn from each other,” noted R. Wayne Evans, World of Asphalt 2006 chairman and senior vice president business development for Hubbard Construction Co. in Orlando, Fla.
“Attendees found all they needed to keep up to speed on what’s happening in the asphalt industry today—from the latest equipment on the show floor to the latest trends discussed in the education sessions and live equipment demonstration event,” he added.
World of Asphalt 2006 education also set records, with 4,185 tickets sold for the People, Plants and Paving Training Program and the Asphalt Pavement Alliance’s (APA) Asphalt Pavement Conference. This represented a 62% increase compared with the last show and a 74% gain compared with the first World of Asphalt educational programming in 2003.
The event featured a live equipment demonstration event that illustrated technological advancements in roadbuilding techniques to help industry professionals meet today's ever-increasing demands on project specifications. More than 25 equipment manufacturers, contractors and suppliers joined together in the cooperative effort as an educational service to the industry.
The international scope of World of Asphalt continued to grow, with visitors coming from more than 50 countries outside the U.S., accounting for almost 19% of total show attendance compared with about 10% for the last show.
Among the global attendees was a Chinese delegation of approximately 15 roadbuilding professionals ranging from company presidents to engineers. The Russian attendance of 55-plus industry professionals included delegations organized by the Moscow-based Center for International Studies and the Russian Services Bureau of Miami and was a result in part because of promotional support from the Russian magazine “Stroitelstvo” (Construction). A continuing cooperative liaison with the Mexican Asphalt Association, based in Mexico City, helped bring a large Mexican contingent to World of Asphalt 2006.
World of Asphalt 2006 also had the support of more than 25 domestic and international industry organizations as well as government groups at the county, state and national level. Supporters included the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and, for the first time, a Chinese roadbuilding organization.
The next World of Asphalt will be held March 19–22, 2007 in Atlanta. The event is held annually except in years when the CONEXPO-CON/AGG exhibition is staged.