WOC brings the heat, generates sparks, high hopes

by JOSH SIMONS, in Las Vegas

Thank goodness for Las Vegas! As record snows buried Chicago and laid siege to Boston earlier this month, I was thrilled to flee west to the arid embrace of sunny ‘Sin City’ for the annual World of Concrete mega conference and trade show. Traditionally one of the built environment’s largest and most well-attended events, the strong turnout this year was further evidence that the global economy is still gaining momentum, especially for the built environment.

The technology pavilion was located in the Central Hall and there was no shortage of excitement in the air. Tokyo-based Topcon Positioning Systems was constantly trafficking in and out attendees to display their latest GPS, optical, scanning, and machine control technologies, rivaled in popularity only by Seattle’s own Dexter + Chaney, which had augmented its high-energy raffles with free beer and a demo on its cloud-based management and operations software. (Read the firm’s own take on the Beer Leads it generated here!)

Good vibes permeated every hall, every booth and virtually every demo, both inside and outside the convention center. It even followed me back to Chicago after the show. Now, I’m already looking forward to next year’s show, whether it snows in Chicago or not!

For more details, here’s the official WOC press release

Double-Digit Growth at World of Concrete 2015

Dallas, Texas – February 10, 2015 – Celebrating 41 years of industry excellence, World of Concrete 2015 exceeded expectations across the board. The signature event for the concrete industry drew 55,779 registered professionals, up from just over 48,000 in 2014, and featured more than 1,459 companies exhibiting across more than 675,000 net square feet of space, an increase of more than 100,000 net square feet from 2014 . This was the largest World of Concrete in six years, and the energy & excitement from both attendees and exhibitors was palpable throughout the week at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“The excitement and energy we saw at the World of Concrete this year was like no other.  We are very pleased with the results of the show in all categories from the increase in the number of exhibitors (up 200 companies) to the increase in attendees (up 15%) to the increase in the number of seminars taken (up 23%).  These increases show not only the value that World of Concrete brings to the concrete and masonry industries but also shows that the industry is getting stronger and poised for much success in 2015,” said Tom Cindric, Vice President, Informa Exhibitions U.S., Construction & Real Estate.

Biggest WOC crowds since the start of the recession in 2008 flocked to Las Vegas this month. (Josh Simons Photography)

Biggest WOC crowds since the start of the recession in 2008 flocked to Las Vegas this month. (Josh Simons Photography)

“With the industry ramping up again education became a key asset at WOC this year. Attendees took more classes than they have in the last six years sharpening their skills for what’s to come. In addition, international attendees made a big impact scouring the show for new equipment, tools, and technology to make their operations more efficient and profitable,” said Jackie James, Show Director, World of Concrete.

Highlights of the 2015 edition included the opening ceremony awarding the World of Concrete Legacy Award to recipient Ed Sauter, Executive Director, Tilt-Up Concrete Association, & Executive Director, Concrete Foundations Association, along with the Weatherton Scholarship, providing funds to help the next generation of concrete professionals attending the CIM (Concrete Industry Management) Program. In addition, CIM held its annual unreserved silent and live auctions at World of Concrete. The silent and live auctions raised an initial tally of approximately $800,000. More information on the CIM Program can be found at www.concretedegree.com.

‘Crews that rock’ contest

For the fourth year, World of Concrete 2015 recognized the accomplishments of crews in the commercial construction/masonry industry with the CREWS THAT ROCK competition, sponsored by BASF. Crew members were honored for their teamwork and contributions to the industry and their communities. Projects were submitted in one of two categories, Community Service/Not-for-Profit and Commercial/For-Profit. With 25 total finalists, including 19 in the Commercial category and six in the Community Service category, the contest resulted in thousands of online votes and tremendous interest through social networks.

Topcon's new positioning software enables real-time updates on job sites, 24/7. (Josh Simons)

Topcon’s new positioning software enables real-time updates on job sites, 24/7. (Josh Simons)

Langston Concrete Inc. received the award in the Commercial/For-Profit category for the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park and the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers’ (BAC) La Grange Park’s Veterans Memorial received the award for the Community Service/Not-For-Profit category.  The two Grand Prize winners were honored at WOC 2015 during the Crews That Rock reception. BASF and TV personalities Dean & Derek presented awards and swag bags for the winning crews. Details on the winners can be found at www.crewsthatrock.com.

World of Concrete 2016 will be held February 2-5 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

About World of Concrete

World of Concrete is the industry’s ONLY annual international event dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry construction industries. Featuring indoor and outdoor exhibits with the industry’s leading suppliers showcasing innovative products and technologies, exciting demonstrations and competitions, and a world-class education program. Visit www.worldofconcrete.com for complete show details.