Optimism reigns as ConExpo-Con/Agg ends

By |  March 14, 2017

ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 was March 7-11. Photo courtesy of AEM.

Nearly 128,000 people attended ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 over the course of five days, visiting vendors across a show-record 2.8 million net sq. ft. of exhibits.

ConExpo-Con/Agg set another record in attracting more than 2,800 exhibitors to Las Vegas, the host Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) says.

“This has been one of the best editions of ConExpo-Con/Agg ever,” says Rich Goldsbury, ConExpo-Con/Agg 2017 chair and CEO and president of Doosan Bobcat in North America and Oceania. “Exhibitors are writing sales at an incredible pace, and attendees clearly came to Las Vegas to buy.”

Dave Foster, vice president for marketing and corporate communications at Volvo CE, was equally excited about the show’s outcome.

“There was an element of confidence and pent-up demand at the show,” he says. “These are not tire-kickers. These are people who are willing to buy multiple machines for work they have now and anticipated growth based on a renewed confidence in the market.”

According to AEM, U.S. buyer attendance jumped more than 16 percent from the 2014 show. Total buyer attendance improved by almost 8 percent.

In addition, overall contractor and producer attendance grew by 10 percent; nearly half of all attendees serve in executive positions at their company; and more than three in five attendees serve in a decision-making role.

ConExpo-Con/Agg attracted 26,000 international attendees from 150 countries, as well. The international contingent made up nearly 20 percent of the show’s overall attendance.

In terms of the show’s education, attendees purchased a record-breaking 52,000 tickets for sessions at the show. That’s a 26 percent increase from the 2014 show, according to AEM. Total ticket sales excluding IFPE jumped more than 27 percent compared to 2014.

ConExpo-Con/Agg offered a record 143 education sessions grouped into 10 tracks, including a new technology track.

“I think there is a noticeable difference in the attendees at this show, and the difference is their optimism,” says Michael Haberman, Gradall Industries president and 2017 AEM chair. “Optimism was on display throughout the show, and the traffic was excellent.”

The technological changes revolutionizing construction and manufacturing were a central feature of the show. ConExpo-Con/Agg’s first Tech Experience pavilion showcased the world’s first 3-D printed excavator. Attendees also heard from industry innovators during a collection of “Tech Talks.”

“Our shows are renowned as an industry showcase of ‘what’s next,’ and this year’s show did not disappoint,” Goldsbury says. “From the new Tech Experience, which highlighted the vital connection between technology and construction to the culmination of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge, this year’s show demonstrated the rapid innovation in our industry.”

Three interactive zones within the Tech Experience pavilion gave attendees a firsthand glimpse at the technologies shaping the jobsites of tomorrow, infrastructure development and workforce development.

Hundreds of industry meetings, including annual conventions of eight industry associations, were held in conjunction with ConExpo-Con/Agg. As an example, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association Annual Convention was March 3-7 in Las Vegas.


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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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