Multiple construction and construction materials industry segments unveiled new technologies and products, shared knowledge, networked with industry peers and bought equipment at the CONEXPO-CON/AGG & IFPE 2020, held at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Festival Grounds during 10-14 March 2020.
Registrations for the show totaled over 130,000. At the conclusion of the show, cancellations from international attendees totaled less than 1 percent, indicating that the construction equipment industry in the U.S. remains optimistic, despite concerns about COVID-19.
“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,” 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 extended the record of success.”
Exhibitors across the show, from the Festival Grounds to North Hall to Bronze Lot to South Hall, expressed enthusiasm for the tremendous 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 now looking forward to the 2023 show.”
Mike Ballweber, President, Doosan Bobcat echoed similar sentiments, “We had a record breaking response in terms of sales leads and attendance at our booth, and our dealers and customers were really excited to be here.”
With growing concerns about COVID-19, the 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.
“We were pleased with the success of the overall show and attendance in our booth,” said Ingo Schiller, President and CEO of Tadano America Corporation. “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 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.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG/s Tech Experience
Whether it is artificial intelligence, autonomous equipment, big data, small gadgets, new energy technologies, sustainable highways or the future of cities themselves, CONEXPO-CON/AGG/s Tech Experience focuses on what contractors and manufacturers need to know to keep ahead of the technology curve.
“I was amazed at what some of the minds we had at the Tech Experience think up,” said Helen Horner, Director of Education Programs at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the organization that co-owns and operates CONEXPO-CON/AGG. “What we’re seeing in bringing all these ideas to one place is how some of them connect to form new ideas. Hopefully, those ideas germinate after the show to give us even more amazing technology to explore at the next CONEXPO-CON/AGG.”
One example was a Tech Talk on wireless energy transfer built into roadways to continuously charge electric vehicles while they drive, followed by a talk on turning concrete into a battery.
“New ideas and new connections are the core of what we want people to experience at CONEXPO-CON/AGG,” said Show Director Dana Wuesthoff. “The big iron and big deals are definitely fun, but the technology, information and education are what secure the future of this industry, and the continuing viability of the businesses that attend and exhibit here.”
Some of the Tech Talk highlights included:
- Driving Decisions with AI: The insights that Artificial Intelligence can now gather for organizations are unparalleled. A presentation showed how construction data can be used to identify the right projects, people and problems before it is too late.
- Smart Cities: The technology to build Smart Cities of the future is now available. Digital solutions are providing data to better manage job sites. New generations of construction employees will leverage the big data, advanced automation and virtual site mapping to build the smart cities of tomorrow.
- 3D Printing Buildings – Current Possibilities & Future Implications: Branch Technology presents their first demonstration structure as a house created entirely by 3D printing! Using the world’s largest freeform 3D printers, the shape of the next generation of housing appears in several weeks instead of several months.
- Wireless Energy Transfer: Imagine an electric vehicle like a Tesla or BMW driving down the road and maintaining a 60-80 percent charge the entire way! Wireless power transfer on roadways means that electric vehicles can charge as they drive.
- Prevention & Protection of Traumatic Brain Injuries: Prevention of work-related traumatic brain injuries (wrTBI) is of uttermost importance. One study showed that 45% of patients had not returned to work five years after the accident. This presentation provides an overview of wrTBI in the construction industry in North America and Europe, with a focus on the events causing wrTBI.
- 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., which featured an opportunity for engineers to network with their peers on the show floor.