NCMA programs a virtual live event as alternative to Music City meeting

Due to safety precautions plus travel and event programming complications surrounding the pandemic, the National Concrete Masonry Association will not conduct the in-person ICON Expo 2021: Machinery & Equipment Show, originally scheduled for February 12-13. In lieu of a Nashville gathering anchored by a second triennial Machinery & Equipment exhibit—the 2018 debut of which saw a parade of five block or paver machines and companion plant iron at the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis—NCMA will launch ICON+365 next month.

Running February 9-11 and February 16-18, with daily morning and afternoon plus two evening sessions, the virtual live event will bring concrete masonry, hardscape and veneer stone producers and plant equipment or material suppliers together to foster relationships throughout the year. ICON +365 Marketplace participants from North America and beyond will have an opportunity to see the latest production or packaging machinery, batch plant and component, coloring agent, cementitious material, admixture and service offerings for unit masonry and veneer stone interests. In addition to the Marketplace, the ICON+365 schedule will see:

  • Virtual Plant Tours, with visits to Basalite Concrete Products, Lupton, Colo. (Besser and Quadra, sponsors); Jandris Block, Gardner, Mass. (Pathfinder Systems); and, Kortmann Beton GmbH, Germany (Topwerk America Ltd.)
  • Education Programs for production, plant and sales personnel
  • Supplier-Hosted Presentations, where producers can engage in business-to-business or educational discussions or webinars covering equipment, products, materials and services
  • Product Development & Creative Concepts Forum

Staff Sargent Keni Thomas will open the virtual event on Tuesday, February 9, recounting his 1993 Mogadishu, Somalia mission that framed the bestseller Black Hawk Down and subsequent movie script. Following his Army tour of duty, Sgt. Thomas pursued a country music career and now works full-time as a recording artist. He will cap the February 9 schedule with an ICON+365-exclusive evening performance.

The event is produced by NCMA and endorsed by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute. NCMA’s Annual Convention will be held virtually in conjunction with ICON+365, February 2-4. ICPI’s Annual Meeting will be held virtually March 1-3. Registration or additional ICON+365 information can be obtained from NCMA, 703/713-1900 or

The ICON+365 premier will afford block, paver and veneer stone production personnel an expanded framework for what has grown to be a National Concrete Masonry Association education staple. The Basic Boot Camp will run February 9-11, focusing on Concrete Concepts and Fundamentals across three 11:00 a.m. – 1 p.m. sessions:

  • Know the Raw Materials. Explanation of the basic production materials: aggregates, cement, pozzolans, pigment and admixtures.
  • Understanding the Process. Training on how concrete proceeds from mixing through packaging.
  • How I Can Affect the Product? Understanding an individual team member’s role in a plant environment and how it effects the final product.

In addition, NCMA has developed a new Advanced Boot Camp, presented February 16-18, with these 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. sessions:

  • How to Manage Quality. Training on quality assurance/quality control principles and how to set up a program that works for an individual operation.
  • How to Manage People. Understanding how to oversee and develop direct reports.
  • How to Manage Budgets. Accounting and administrative concepts that really work.

Boot Camp attendees will be able to participate in roundtables throughout the year, moderated by industry leaders. Topics will be based on current business issues and set by roundtable participants. Attendees will have their own community to learn and grow from each other’s experiences. Basic and Advanced Boot Camp fees are $250/per student per class, or $400/per student for both classes.