Sources: Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Milwaukee; CP staff
Despite continued uncertainty in the U.S. construction markets and the overall economy, the mood at last week’s ConExpo-Con/Agg and IFPE 2011 in Las Vegas was, by all accounts, remarkably positive as industry professionals expressed hope for a sustained upturn in the coming months, while global sales continue to be strong for exhibitors with export capability or overseas production.
Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, this year’s exposition attracted nearly 120,000 registered attendees, significantly less than 2008 attendance figures of more than 143,000, but only slightly less than 2005’s 124,000-plus. International registrations accounted for a record 24 percent of the total, representing more than 150 countries. Altogether, there were more than 2,400 exhibitors taking more than 2.34 million net square feet of exhibit space. IFPE was the largest ever, and ConExpo-Con/Agg’s exhibit space was the second largest in the show’s history.
“The construction industry has been through some very tough times, with record unemployment, since the last ConExpo in March 2008,” said Megan Tanel, AEM vice president of exhibitions and events. “With these positive numbers and the industry support of the shows, we’re optimistic about the future and looking forward to seeing these new sales orders fulfilled.”
A record number of more than 860 co-located events, educational programs and pre-planned meetings were held with the shows, plus dozens more meetings scheduled onsite. Co-locations included Icon Expo for the concrete products industry and several annual conferences of national industry associations. New for 2011 were a Crane and Rigging Conference and the Green Roads Summit. More than 80 allied associations and groups were official show supporting organizations, coming from the U.S., Canada and more than a dozen countries worldwide.
Industry-focused education was an important component of the show experience, and there were a record number of education, training and certification programs offered. The show’s education program featured a record 126 sessions across nine tracks, with sessions emphasizing industry issues and trends, management and applied technology, while numerous industry training and certification programs were also held.
The next of the triennial ConExpo-Con/Agg and IFPE expositions is scheduled March 18-22, 2014, again at the Las Vegas Convention Center.