This is What Matters to Your Bottom Line from Recent Record-Breaking Show
BY Sandy Lender
WOA, AGG1 delivered record numbers and tired feet for the asphalt paving industry. Let’s take a look at what all the hoopla delivered to industry members.
The 2016 World of Asphalt Show & Conference and AGG1 Academy & Expo concluded their March 22 through 24 run as the most successful combined event yet, with record attendance of more than 9,000, and record exhibit and education numbers. The co-located shows were at the Music City Center in Nashville.
“This was such an incredible opportunity to connect with so many fellow industry professionals in one place, to discuss common challenges, and learn how others have tackled similar problems,” Rick Moore of Lehman-Roberts Company said. He’s the retiring World of Asphalt chair representing the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). “There’s a real anticipation for what’s ahead; attendees know there will be bumps, but they know this is where they find the focused education and tools to make the right choices for their companies,” Moore said.
In the spirit of finding focused education and tools, let’s take a look at what was on offer for asphalt professionals specifically. While many exhibitors brought information about tried and tested technology and equipment, many had new innovations to share. The July edition of AsphaltPro is the new products edition, so it will feature a multitude of those rollouts, but some of the highlights just couldn’t wait.
As discussed in depth in the March/April edition of AsphaltPro, the use of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS)—drones—for mapping and materials management is all the rage. Companies such as AirGon LLC, Huntsville, Ala.; DroneView Technologies, Bloomfield Township, Mich.; Kespry, Menlo Park, Calif.; senseFLY, Washington, DC; and Stockpile Reports, Redmond, Wash.; had everything from information to actual drones on display. One thing their services have in common is the desire to make tasks such as stockpile management easier and faster for those who report to the bean counters. This means each company competes to show the user-friendliness of the apps available.
A basic question to ask of the company you reach out to is about certification. At this time, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is “watching” the use of drones. It’s a money-making opportunity for those who would regulate our airspace, that’s for sure, but it’s also an opportunity to keep everyone safe. Most companies offering drone services for stockpile management offer assistance in getting your personnel qualified and certified to fly the drone, as well as proper training in the use of the technology that maps and quantifies data.
A wonderful aspect of the WOA and AGG1 trade shows was the high incidence of safety items. Companies that specialize in lab or compaction equipment had elements of safety built into the offerings on display. Then, of course, companies that specialize in work zone safety had stepped up their game for attracting attention to saving lives.
EZ Road Inc., Tremont, Ill., for example, had on display its new TempRamps. These are interlocking sections of tapered mats that are designed to be set up by one member of the crew. These temporary “pavement strips” are placed at the transverse joint/end of the milled lane at the end of the shift to provide a riding surface that protects the vertical joint’s integrity and the driving public’s safety.
For something all-encompassing, HCSS, Sugar Land, Texas, brought its comprehensive safety software for attendees to check out. This software features more than 1,000 pre-built templates that offer structure for safety meetings, inspections and JHAs. The idea is to let you build a complete safety program for your company and crews. It gives you a way to simplify reg reporting and record observations to help reduce injuries and accidents. It lets you enter information so that it can remind you when it’s time to renew employees’ certifications, etc.
One of this editor’s favorite safety items from this year’s show has already been featured. We grabbed information about the BarrelMover5000 for the Here’s How it Works department in the March/April edition, and got to see the equipment in the company’s booth. The concept of keeping workers off the road completely and letting a smooth, automated arm scoot safety barrels into place before and after a shift looks like the type of innovation every crew needs. Complete with arrow board to keep motorists aware of what’s going on, the BarrelMover5000 offers a clever and efficient safety device for protecting workers from near misses—and back strain.
The plethora of safety items available during the show pleased this editor and it will be an honor to bring more of them to light in the new product edition in July.
Mark Your Calendar
In addition to the work and education going on, attendees were able to have fun around the shows. The folks from Ingevity, North Charleston, S.C., had a basketball hoop at their booth. The folks from Reliable Asphalt Products Inc., Shelbyville, Ky., had a small stage in their booth where country music artists entertained one and all throughout the afternoon hours. Various exhibitors offered treats and prizes. The AsphaltPro and PavingPro magazines gave visitors to their booth the chance to have their picture on a magazine cover. Watch our facebook platforms for those zany shots so you can vote for your favorite one. Somebody’s going to have a contractor profile prepared about his or her company and crew when you vote for them! Be sure to “like” our AsphaltPro and PavingPro facebook pages so you have your chance to participate.
Participation and support are this industry’s lifeblood when it comes to learning and sharing knowledge. The more engaged attendees were at WOA and AGG1, the more they gained from their time in Nashville.
“The shows could not achieve this success without such strong industry support; their participation helps us produce the highest-quality exhibitions that provide real value for show participants,” Rich Prausa, show manager, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) said.
“Exhibitors commented favorably on booth traffic and quality of attendees, and attendees were very positive about access to such a wide array of products and companies, as well as education options.”
AGG1 is owned by NSSGA and World of Asphalt is owned by NAPA, NSSGA and AEM. AEM produces both shows, which target the business and professional-development needs of aggregates, asphalt, pavement maintenance and traffic safety industry professionals. The next edition of World of Asphalt and AGG1 will be held March 6 through 8, 2018, in Houston. The shows are held annually except in CONEXPO-CON/AGG years (such as 2017), with that show spotlighting the exhibitors and products of World of Asphalt and AGG1. For the latest show information, visit www.worldofasphalt.com and www.agg1.org.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
- Record registered attendance of more than 9,000 is 18 percent over the record-setting 2015 shows and 38 percent growth compared to 2013.
- Attendees came from all 50 states, nine of the 10 Canadian provinces and more than 60 other countries worldwide.
- 30 percent of attendees were company presidents/owners, vice presidents, general managers or chief financial officers. (All together, 87 percent of attendees were in managerial roles.)
- The sold-out show floor covered 157,000-plus net square feet of exhibit space – a 16-percent increase over the 2015 shows. Of the 500-plus exhibitors, 150 of them were new to the shows this year.
- More than 115 education sessions achieved record ticket sales of more than 13,000.
- More than 20 allied industry, business and government groups served as official show supporting organizations—that includes your leading industry publication, AsphaltPro magazine!
- Because we all go to Vegas for CONEXPO/CON-AGG in 2017, the next edition of World of Asphalt and AGG1 will be held March 6 through 8, 2018, in Houston.