If trade show floor activity is any indication, the North American precast concrete industry continues to grow and diversify. Staged at the Orange County Convention Center last month in Orlando, The Precast Show 2015 attracted serious buyers who were looking to purchase equipment to meet growing product demand.
“We saw more movement at this Precast Show than any since 2007,” says National Precast Concrete Association President Ty Gable. “Last year many companies were checking out equipment and supplies and making plans for major purchases. This year they were actually buying.”
Nearly 3,500 producers, equipment manufacturers, material suppliers and industry service providers filled a trade show floor that buzzed with optimism reflected in construction forecasts projecting 8–10 percent growth for 2015 and 2016. The mood in Orlando proved the most optimistic since the precast concrete business peaked in 2007. The ensuing recession saw sales plunge up to 40 percent for many Precast Show attendees and exhibitors.
“Some companies went out of business and most other precast manufacturers held off making any major equipment purchases,” notes Gable. “They have been squeezing extra years out of their equipment and making continual repairs rather than following a routine replacement schedule. Now that business is improving, there is some pent up demand for new equipment, upgrades and new technology.”
The three-day Precast Show featured 268 exhibitors in 57,000 net square feet of space—up about 14 percent over 2014—on an exhibit hall floor spanning more than 120,000 square feet. NPCA produced the event in partnership with the American Concrete Pipe Association. “We are the largest precast-specific trade show in North America,” Gable affirms. “We tend to have serious buyers on the trade show floor. They are either company owners or decision influencers and so we’re delivering quality leads to our exhibitors.”
In addition to the trade show, both NPCA and ACPA held extensive training, committee meetings and special events around exhibit hours. The Precast Show 2016 will be March 3–5 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Nashville, with the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute joining NPCA as event partner.