At least 13 Nevada-based companies are putting it all out there this week, trying to catch that special someone’s eye.
Las Vegas’ 6-year-old Desert Diamond Industries, for example, is showcasing its saws and blade varieties. Henderson’s own Carpenter’s Multi-Tool company is showing a ¾-inch tall tool that’s part spanner wrench, scraper and tape measure, among other things.
If you’re in the commercial concrete or masonry construction industries, you can catch them at the 2014 World of Concrete, through Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The trade show features suppliers, education, safety courses and special events such as the John Deere Operator Challenge, where drivers compete for speed and accuracy on a 4WD loader.
The 2014 World of Concrete is expecting about 50,000 attendees who will generate an estimated $63 million in nongaming economic impact and support about 450 local jobs, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Those numbers are slightly less than 2013’s show, which attracted about 55,000 attendees.
The trade show is a tad smaller this year than last at 575,000 net square feet compared with 2013, when it covered more than 600,000 net square feet. That’s 1,254 exhibitors this week compared with 2013’s 1,300.
Conexpo-Con/Agg being held in March this year is one reason for the smaller World of Concrete show; Conexpo-Con/Agg comes to Las Vegas only every three years. The Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ event takes away some attendance each time it comes, said Tom Cindric, vice president of Hanley Wood Exhibitions.
“Usually the number of companies that come to (World of Concrete) is about the same,” Cindric said, “but they just don’t send as many people because they have to spread it out.”
New to the 2014 World of Concrete is an event called Exploring Architectural Praxis: A Concrete Timeline, where architects can see what’s happening with the concrete business’s decorative side. The trade show also has expanded its work with the Air Force’s Red Horse Squadron, the branch’s heavy construction units, which will simulate an airport repair this week. About 300 squadron members are expected.
Cindric said he’s also expecting the education component to be popular this week.
“A lot of what we’re seeing is companies coming out with new technologies and new energy efficient products,” he explained.
Cindric said he’s expecting a sales upswing for 2014 in the $120 billion concrete construction industry.
“People need new products. Business is coming back and things are getting better. We’ve been hunkered down for the last few years,” he said.
World of Concrete trade show sales already have begun for booth space at the 2015 show. And, by Monday afternoon, more than 100 companies had signed contracts, some taking up more space.
“That’s a good sign, so we’re excited about that,” Cindric said.
Among the Nevada exhibitors at the Convention Center this week is Carson City-based Calculated Industries, showing off its ConcreteCalc Pro, a device used to calculate material measurements. The company’s targeting concrete, paving and masonry professionals. Calculated Industries is also introducing the ConcreteCalc Pro app for smartphones, which can help solve concrete problems on the job.
Also on the floor is Xtreme Manufacturing, which sells forklifts, cubes, EZ Loader truck beds and loading ramps. The truck beds have capacities ranging from 12,000 pounds to 24,000 pounds. Xtreme Manufacturing, headquartered in Las Vegas, was founded in 2003.
“We attend WOC every year,” marketing manager Daniel Brown said. “And we view any and every show as an important opportunity to showcase our equipment.”
Xtreme’s 6,000-square-foot booth is showcasing 11 rough-terrain telescopic handlers and the company’s cube system. They company is also showing off the Snorkel brand of aerial lifts, as Don Ahern, Xtreme’s owner, recently purchased 51 percent of the company.
Las Vegas-made Harrington Tools also has a presence with its full line of finishing hand tools for cement, masonry, brick, drywall, tile and plaster trades. The company manufactures trowels, edgers, groovers, floats, fresno scrapers, placers, curb, gutter and step tools.
World of Concrete began in 1975 in Houston, and first came to Las Vegas in 1976. The show rotated between among Houston; New Orleans; Orlando, Fla; and Las Vegas until 2005 when it made Las Vegas its permanent home.
The 2005 World of Concrete featured 1,597 exhibitors and 72,106 attendees. Since then, the trade show has generated an estimated $696 million in nongaming economic impact for Las Vegas.
“Every time we broke a record, it was in Las Vegas. … While we liked being able to move the show a little bit, we felt it was a little bit of a downer to come to Vegas and have this big show and then attendance would be down a little the next year,” Cindric said.
He added that World of Concrete takes up a lot of outdoor exhibit space, and not many facilities in the country can accommodate the show the way the Las Vegas Convention Center can with its multiple parking lots. Weather, too, comes into play as the show is staged in January or February.
The trade show is contracted with the convention authority through 2030. Of the total U.S. show attendance, about 20 percent to 22 percent is international, up from 17 percent a few years ago.
“Vegas has a lot to do with that,” Cindric said.
2013 marked the first year of World of Concrete India, and in 2015, Hanley Wood will co-produce a World of Concrete in Paris. The first Indian event attracted 100 companies and takes place in Hyderabad, India, a city that Cindric likened to California’s Silicon Valley. Hyderabad, a booming city, has many construction projects in progress and a subway.
Contact reporter Laura Carroll at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.