Pit & Quarry hosts Roundtable in Asheville

By |  June 8, 2021
The 2021 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference took place at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. Photo: PamElla Lee Photography

The 2021 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference took place at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. Photo: PamElla Lee Photography

In-person aggregate industry events fell by the wayside during the pandemic, but producers, manufacturers, dealers and others reunited last week at the annual Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference in Asheville, North Carolina.

It was refreshing to see old faces for the first time since ConExpo-Con/Agg 2020. And it was invigorating to meet a number of new folks who made the trip to the Omni Grove Park Inn for what was likely the aggregate industry’s first national gathering since March 2020.

While the Roundtable is one of the first in-person industry meetings to take place since ConExpo-Con/Agg, other meetings aren’t far behind the Roundtable. Next week, the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) will host its first in-person event since the 2020 Annual Convention. NSSGA’s Executive Committee & Leadership Summit will take place in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Other industry-related events are back, as well, with May’s AED Summit already in the books and World of Concrete underway this week in Las Vegas.

Trade shows like World of Concrete and September’s MINExpo International may look and feel somewhat different going forward, though. Producers and manufacturers shared at the Roundtable that their approach to trade shows will vary coming out of the pandemic.

One producer shared that his company would scale back the number of employees it sends to MINExpo from 150 to 30 or 40. Similarly, one manufacturer detailed that his company would seek out smaller booths at trade shows and exhibit less equipment, knowing full well fewer producers will attend.

While these measures don’t exactly bode well for trade shows, the producer and manufacturer in this Roundtable case both recognize the value trade shows provide. Neither sees trade shows going away for good, but these industry staples – like everything else emerging from the pandemic – will undergo at least some change before settling on a corrected course for the years to come.

One reminder Roundtable attendees were served in Asheville was the value of the in-person experience. While Roundtable attendees say video conferencing and virtual events will continue to have a place, many articulated during formal Roundtable discussions that there is no replacing the ability to network at a show, during a meeting or over a beverage. That much may never change – or, perhaps, at least not in our lifetimes.

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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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