ConExpo-Con/Agg leaders say equipment industry remains optimistic, despite COVID-19 concerns

Multiple construction and construction materials industry segments converged on the Las Vegas Convention Center and Festival Grounds as they came together for ConExpo-Con/Agg & IFPE last week to unveil new technologies and products, share knowledge, network with industry peers, and buy equipment.

Registrations for the show totaled over 130,000. At the conclusion of the show, cancellations from international attendees totaled less than 1 percent.
“We refer to ConExpo-Con/Agg as the ‘heavy metal’ show, but it’s more than that. It’s also small equipment, education and technology. And that was reflected in every way this week,” said Mary Erholtz, vice president of marketing at Superior Industries and ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020 show
chairperson. “Giant machines, incredible exhibits, fantastic education, and huge expectations.

Organizers of ConExpo-Con/Agg have a legacy of building and innovating on previous shows, and the 2020 gathering extends that record of success.
“This has been one of the best editions of ConExpo-Con/Agg – ever,” continued Erholtz.

Exhibitors across the show, from the Festival Grounds to North Hall to Bronze Lot to South Hall, expressed enthusiasm for the engagement they received from contractors and producers looking to purchase equipment.

According to IFPE Show Chairperson David Price, global marketing manager of HydraForce Inc., “The crowd was much better than expected under the circumstances, and, most importantly, the right buyers were on the show floor. We were very pleased with the strong showing from the 300-plus exhibitors at IFPE 2020, and we are looking forward to the 2023 show.”

Mike Ballweber, president, Doosan Bobcat echoed those sentiments, “Tuesday for us was record breaking in terms of leads and attendance at our booth, which is how we measure how successful the show is for us. We had more people to our booth on the first day than all of the 2017 show. This is a one-every-three-years show, and our dealers and customers were really excited to be here.”

With growing concerns about COVID-19, show management worked closely with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the Southern Nevada Health District to make sure exhibitors, vendors, and attendees were provided with heightened cleaning services and hand sanitizers to help reduce the spread of germs and enable show participation to stay healthy onsite at the show.

“We have been pleased with the success of the overall show and attendance in our booth,” said Ingo Schiller, president and CEO of Tadano America Corp. “The management team at ConExpo-Con/Agg has been monitoring the situation, and they made a very difficult decision to close the show a
day early. We appreciate their leadership, and we look forward to ConExpo-Con/Agg 2023.”

Key metrics reflect overall quality of ConExpo-Con/Agg and IFPE 2020 attendees:
– U.S. buyer attendance increased 8 percent from the 2017 show, and total buyer attendance improved by almost 5 percent.
– Overall contractor and producer attendance grew by 14 percent.
– 6-in-7 attendees serve in a decision-making role.
– Total registered attendance reached over 130,000 for the week.
– Attendees purchased a record-breaking 75,622 tickets for education sessions at the show, a 46-percent increase from the 2017 show.

At the same time, the technological change revolutionizing these industries was pervasive across the shows’ record 2.7 million-plus net square feet of exhibits featuring 2,300-plus exhibitors from the leading U.S. and global manufacturers, from multinational giants to small firms with specialized products.

Other highlights included:
– Partnership with women in construction groups to highlight the growing role women play in the industry, including the unveiling of the world’s largest 3-D printed statute of a human to honor the growing role women play in the construction industry.
– Workforce solutions area in the Festival Lot that showcased industry recruitment best practices.
– The Tech Experience returned for a second year and focused on modern mobility, sustainability, and smart cities.
– The first-ever Fluid Power Hour for the co-located IFPE show.

ConExpo-Con/Agg ends early as COVID-19 impact widens

AEM released the following statement regarding ConExpo-Con/Agg:

Due to the growing concerns about COVID-19, the travel restrictions put in place by the President, and changing corporate travel policies that impact many of our attendees and exhibitors, we have made the decision to close ConExpo-Con/Aagg & IFPE one day early, closing on Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m.

We made this decision based on conversations with our AEM officers and other leadership, several top exhibitors, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and the office of the Nevada Governor.

As we have said from early February when the first news of COVID-19 became available, we were committed to monitoring the situation daily and keeping our top priority focused on the health and safety of all participants at ConExpo-Con/Agg & IFPE 2020, including attendees, exhibitors, vendors, staff, industry partners, and others involved in the show.

After 5 p.m. on March 13, we will begin to dismantle booths and begin the scheduled process of removing equipment from the show floor.

We thank our exhibitors, attendees, vendors and the City of Las Vegas for its support throughout this week.

Final attendance numbers will be available soon.

Celebrate Women in Construction Week with educational opportunities

While celebrating Women in Construction (WIC) Week, March 1-7, consider opportunities at next week’s ConExpo-Con/Agg show to sign up for one of several events focused on women in the industry.

“As the largest construction industry-focused trade show in North America, ConExpo-Con/Agg seeks to draw attention to and celebrate the important role women play in the industry,” said Dana Wuesthoff, vice president of expositions and event services with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and ConExpo-Con/Agg show director in a press release. “Working together, Con-Expo-Con/Agg, NAWIC, and WOFA, will not only showcase women industry leaders, but reinforce the career growth potential for women, who today represent a small percentage of the workforce and the opportunity to diversify the industry.”

“According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey, women make up only 9 percent of total workers in construction,” said Chrissy Ingram, executive administrator of NAWIC National. “As our industry continues to grapple with a labor shortage, women are poised to help play a greater role in all areas of construction. By teaming up with ConExpo-Con/Agg, organizations like NAWIC and WOFA can help women thrive in a male-dominated industry.”

The partnership kicks off with a breakfast event, Genders on the Jobsite, on Wednesday, March 11. It features Vicki O’Leary, founder of Be That One Guy, and Lorein Barlow, director and producer of Hart Hatted Women, who will have a candid discussion on how women experience job site opportunities and challenges and explore how everyone has a role in keeping job sites productive and safe for all workers.

On Wednesday afternoon, a panel discussion and networking event will be held in the Tech Experience. It features social media influencer and construction business owner Missy Scherber, Aaron Witt of BuildWitt, Keaton Turner of Turner Mining Group, and Stacey Tompkins of Tompkins Excavating.

To sign up for these and other women events, click here. And, if you know of a woman in the aggregates industry who deserves recognition, email me about a potential profile in Rock Product’s Women who Rock.