Five opportunities to explore at AGG1 2018

By |  February 26, 2018

AGG1 attendees can browse the latest equipment and technology March 6-8 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Photo by Darren Constantino

It’s hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017, but the aggregate industry is ready to once again assemble at a national trade show.

This year, of course, the industry convenes in Houston, where AGG1 Aggregates Academy & Expo is co-located with the National Stone Sand & Gravel Association’s (NSSGA) Annual Convention, as well as World of Asphalt.

At AGG1, which takes place March 6-8 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center, aggregate producers will have the opportunity to experience the latest equipment and technology, learn from leading industry experts, and network with thousands of their peers. Equipment suppliers will demonstrate tools and technologies to help drive down costs and increase efficiencies at their aggregate operations.

In addition, industry leaders will share their knowledge in more than 50 educational sessions at the AGG1 Academy. Their practical knowledge and techniques will enable attendees to manage their operations more effectively, efficiently and profitably.

The NSSGA Annual Convention, which takes place March 4-7 at the Marriott Marquis in Houston, also presents opportunities for learning. Hundreds of industry professionals gather at the convention each year to hear about issues that are vital to their business and learn about NSSGA’s latest advocacy efforts.

Both AGG1 and the NSSGA Annual Convention offer attendees a wealth of opportunities. Here are five to consider as you finalize your travel plans for Houston.

1. Hit the classroom.

AGG1 Academy educational sessions are divided into four tracks: Operations and Production; Business Management and Leadership; Automation, Technology and Software; and Environment, Safety and Health.

According to NSSGA, classes in the Operations and Production track cover virtually every aspect of plant operations, production and equipment maintenance, from 101-level courses to the latest technologies, processes and products that producers are using to produce aggregate and manage their fleets in creative and innovative ways.

Of course, running an aggregate operation is about more than equipment and processes. AGG1 Academy’s Business Management and Leadership classes focus on the business of your operation and professional development, including understanding business and financial principles, dealing with the surrounding community, and ways to market and sell your product.

The Automation, Technology and Software track, meanwhile, focuses on automation and advanced technologies to help companies improve efficiency, employee safety, product quality, information management, and cost reductions. Attendees can learn automation basics, discover new ideas and technologies being applied to aggregate production, and find out how emerging technologies are changing the way you do business.

Lastly, sessions in the Environment, Safety and Health track demonstrate best practices and techniques for producers to be efficient, safe, healthy and environmentally responsible.

2. Visit leading producers.

NSSGA has arranged for afternoon visits to two aggregate locations March 5 in the Houston area. Tours of Cemex’s Navigation facility and Vulcan Materials’ Houston Yard are available to the first 100 paid registrants.

According to NSSGA, Cemex’s Navigation facility brings aggregate in by rail whereas Vulcan’s Houston Yard receives material by ship through Houston’s shipping channel.

NSSGA will provide hard hats, safety glasses and safety vests for attendees, who are asked to wear steel-toed boots to participate in the tour. Registration is $70 on site and $60 in advance.

3. Supe up your sales skills.

Those who are new to the world of selling or are unhappy with the results they’ve been generating are invited to sign up for the two-day Strategic Sales Training seminar March 5-6.

The seminar will focus on what it takes to connect with customers and prospects. Attendees will learn how to take control of the sales process without being pushy. Session leaders will focus on how to differentiate yourself other than by cutting price.

In addition, the seminar will detail how to make the “no-pressure cold call” to grow our new account base. The seminar will provide opportunities to role play to practice and gain experience.

Registration for Strategic Sales Training is $849 on site and $799 in advance.

4. Network with the industry’s young leaders.

NSSGA’s Young Leaders Luncheon is slated for March 6 with David Sears, a veteran troop commander for the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, who’s scheduled to speak.

Sears served in the U.S. Navy SEALs, the elite special operations force, for 20 years. Sears planned, led and executed hundreds of special operations missions in more than 40 countries. He has extensive management experience in international and multicultural environments and unique expertise in building peak-performing teams and maximizing results.

Sears has been involved in some of the most significant and defining special operations missions of our time, including the first successful U.S. prisoner of war rescue since World War II. In his presentation, he’ll offer a high-energy look into how audiences can apply the best of the Navy SEALs to their own organizations.

5. Take in Houston’s sights.

NSSGA has arranged several activities for those looking to explore the city or take in a show.

Those who arrive early in Houston can sign up to attend a March 3 rodeo and concert. The annual Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo is a Houston tradition since 1932. Attendees can browse the grounds and the retail area featuring a selection of authentic Western wear. Registration is $175 on site or $160 in advance and includes transportation, venue admission and Chairman’s Club premium seating.

Later, on March 5, NSSGA hosts Country Music Night at the convention center. Tickets to the event are included in all Annual Convention registration and guest packages. NSSGA has secured two acts for the festivities: Sawyer Brown and Little Texas.

Other activities tied to the NSSGA Annual Convention are tours of a local brewery (March 4), Space Center Houston (March 6), and the rodeo (March 7).

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