World of Concrete and SHOT Show Make Triumphant Returns to Las Vegas, Exceed Expectations
Two major trade shows recently returned to Las Vegas with robust attendance and expanded footprints pushing the boundaries of pre-pandemic levels. Check them out!
World of Concrete
World of Concrete, the world’s largest trade show for the commercial concrete and masonry construction industries, held its 49th annual event at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Jan. 17-19. With 48,000 registered professionals, heavy show floor foot traffic and more than 120 countries in attendance, the event further solidified itself as the critical meeting place for industry advancement, according to officials from Informa Markets, which owns and produces the show.
“The 2023 edition of World of Concrete far exceeded our expectations,” said Jackie James, vice president, World of Concrete. “The crowded show floor and packed educational sessions proves how essential meeting face to face is, that it remains important now more than ever to have a space to connect, to learn, to share across the concrete, masonry and construction industries as a vital contributor to our economy.”
She added, “In-person attendance is on its way back to pre-pandemic levels and the World of Concrete event leads global trends in construction.”
The massive event spanned more than 587,000 square feet of expo space, with both indoor and outdoor spaces chock full of product displays, demonstrations and competitions from hundreds of suppliers showcasing innovative products and technologies.
Notable show floor highlights included the unveiling of exciting new innovations. These included the first-ever Mobile 3D Robotic Concrete Printer and AI Site Map Printer; top of the line work trucks with electric batteries and aerodynamic improvements; and the widest range of original manufactured equipment from excavators to wireless concrete sensors, AI-based platforms and modern materials such as the eco-driven Autoclaved Aerated Concrete.
World of Concrete’s premium education program offered more than 160 technical sessions, including hands-on training, safety expertise and business development. New additions to the 2023 education program included eight concrete basics and leadership courses presented in Spanish, a revamped three-hour comprehensive concrete repair track and new workshops focused on women in construction.
The event also featured exciting demonstrations and competitions, including the highly anticipated 2023 edition of the SPEC MIX BRICKLAYER 500 competition. The winner, mason Michael Schlund, and his tender, Arron Kowalski, laid 759 bricks in one hour, leading to Schlund being crowned “World’s Best Bricklayer” and receiving a new Ford F250 4x4 Super Duty truck, an Essick Pro12 Mixer and more than $15,000 in cash and prizes.
Returning for the 18th consecutive year, the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) program held its Silent & Live Auctions, generating a record-breaking fund of more than $2.1 million. Designed to prepare students for the concrete workforce early in their careers, the CIM education program provides students with a Bachelor of Science degree in Concrete Industry Management, a business program specifically developed for the concrete industry. World of Concrete also donated $15,000 to the CIM Education Program for the second consecutive year.
“Over 300,000 concrete contractors are employed in the United States and represent the backbone of the American and international workforce, said Kevin Thornton, senior vice president of construction, Informa Markets. “World of Concrete is proud to support laborers in education and connection, providing opportunity to advance the industry toward enhanced sustainability, efficiency and safety and continuing growth.”
World of Concrete will return to the LVCC for its 50th anniversary edition Jan. 23-25, 2024.
The 45th edition of the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) showcased an expanded showfloor, serious buyers, packed special events and solid attendance that exceeded expectations.
Held Jan. 17-20 at The Venetian Expo and CAESARS Forum, the fifth largest trade show in Las Vegas achieved pre-pandemic level attendance with more than 52,000 industry professionals eager to view new and innovative products for target shooting, hunting, outdoor recreation and law enforcement.
“The industry was back in full force at this year’s SHOT Show, and the energy and momentum among all attendees was palpable,” said Chris Dolnack, senior vice president and chief customer officer of the Firearm Industry Trade Association (NSSF), which owns and operates SHOT Show.
He continued, “I always say the SHOT Show is like Christmas morning and the Super Bowl all in one, and this year it was that and more. We are thrilled at the positive response from our attendees and optimistic for a strong year of industry sales to come.”
According to show officials, this year’s edition was the largest SHOT Show ever, marking the second year of expanded exhibit space at CAESARS Forum, in addition to The Venetian Expo. More than 2,500 exhibiting companies displayed products and services spanning more than 816,000 square feet of expo space at both venues.
“At a time when businesses across the country are questioning the efficacy of post-pandemic, physical trade shows, along comes the SHOT Show to dispel concerns,” said Dan Ferris, owner of MidWest Outdoors Media. “There is simply no substitute for meeting face to face with your industry associates and customers, especially in the firearms world.”
Meanwhile, the show’s two-day Supplier Showcase featured 539 original equipment manufacturer (OEM) third-party suppliers meeting with exhibiting manufacturers and exploring their needs for extrusions, fabrication, fabrics, machinery, metal, plastics, software, logistical support and tools.
“For a company like us with 40 people, [Supplier Showcase is] a great fit,” said Jeff Miller, sales manager at Active Manufacturing. “We can come show our wares for two days. The bigger companies come up here and walk around and the engineering people will talk to us. We’ve done it every year, and it’s really helped us increase our business.”
With education sessions for firearm retailers, shooting range operators, exporters and law enforcement professionals an important segment of SHOT Show, this year, more than 6,000 industry members attended SHOT University, Law Enforcement Education Program and Export Training Sessions to receive in-person classes on compliance, operations and more.
“SHOT University adds an amazing value for us,” said Traci Lewellin, owner of Gun City. “I can come in here, I have our managers out still looking at booths and I can learn some of the educational processes to take back to our stores and try to implement them over the next year.”
According to show officials, many official show events cluster around the four days of SHOT Show, creating “SHOT Week.”
Among them was the NSSF/HAVA Golf Classic in support of Honored American Veterans Afield, a firearm industry-run charitable organization that helps the healing of disabled combat veterans through participation in hunting and the shooting sports, and Industry Day, held at the Range the day before the show. This event, which hosted 3,400 attendees and exhibitors this year, gives invited media members and buyers an exclusive opportunity to preview and test the latest guns, gear and gadgets before anyone else in the industry.
Other special events included the well-attended NSSF Governors’ Forum and the NSSF Hall of Fame, which honors industry leaders for their contributions to NSSF, the SHOT Show and target shooting and hunting in America.
This year, the SHOT Show provided more networking opportunities than ever with an exciting new element: “SHOT After Dark,” featuring three evenings of events that included two networking receptions and an All-Star Jam Concert for all show attendees.
“This year is one of the best shows I’ve ever been a part of,” said Joe Bartozzi, president and CEO of NSSF. “On behalf of NSSF, I’d like to thank all the attendees, exhibitors, media members and our guests this week for helping the industry to succeed and supporting NSSF’s mission.”
SHOT Show will return to The Venetian Expo and CAESARS Forum Jan. 23-26, 2024.