I attended the World of Concrete (WoC) in Las Vegas this year after skipping it in 2010. The year prior, in February 2009, was notable for being the first WoC that followed the financial crisis of 2008 and the start of the recession. We noticed even then that attendance was down.
Kryton is a perennial exhibitor at WoC and we invest significant sales and marketing resources into the event so poor attendance is a real concern. However, we noticed the quality of attendees was quite good. We speculated at the time that since companies could no longer afford to send an entire contingent to the show, they would only send one or two. And if it was to be just one or two people, then it was most likely to be the boss. We found the people stopping by our booth were indeed the senior level people – the decision makers!
This year, the attendance numbers showed everyone the recession is still very much upon us. The difference is that this year, the number of exhibitors was way down as well. In 2009, it would have been too late for exhibitors to pull out of the show. At the conference last week, there were huge sections of empty exhibition space, both indoors and outside.
Part of the reason there were fewer exhibitors and attendees can be attributed to the fact that Las Vegas will host CONEXPO/CON-AGG in just a few weeks. This is a construction, concrete and aggregates show that is relevant to many of the same exhibitors and attendees who would attend WoC. Since this trade show happens only once every three years, many budget conscious companies will opt to attend CONEXPO/CON-AGG instead of WoC this year.
The good news is that Kryton was at WoC same as always, while most of our competitors were not. We had our booth in its usual location at the center of the South Hall. We did a live product demonstration of KMA at the Contractor’s Clinic. We displayed our new Hydrostop Restore & Protect System at the World of Concrete Product Showcase. And our President and CEO, Kari Yuers, gave a great speech at the exclusive Women in Concrete luncheon sponsored by the Women in Concrete Alliance.
As the economy improves and without CONEXPO happening next year, I expect WoC 2012 will start to get back to pre-recession attendance numbers. Kryton is planning a completely new and impressive exhibit for our booth and I encourage everyone to come to the show and drop by to see us.
As always, your comments about the show or anything else are much appreciated.