Under the desert sun

01 May 2008

The leading construction industry players in the region (and most of the smaller ones, too) will be presenting their product lines. The leading construction industry players inand services at Conexpo 2005. The show is predicted to be the largest construction industry trade event of 2005. Always an ideal opportunity to bring new products to the attention of the construction professionals that flock to Las Vegas to see the sights (both on and off the showground), the 2005 event looks likely to be no different.

The show started life as two separate events, with the first Conexpo being held in 1909, long before powered access equipment had even been thought of, and powered construction equipment generally was still very much in its infancy (horse power was still more common). Since then, the show has developed in line with the industry and particularly after World War II, when industry in the US was generally undergoing massive growth.

In the 1970s, Conexpo first opened its doors to exhibitors from outside the USA and also began to feature an international business center. In the 1980s, the show moved to its now regular home in Las Vegas in order to provide sufficient space for the growing number of visitors and exhibitors.

The 1999 Conexpo broke every record for US trade shows, with 1.7 million square feet of exhibits (157,000 square meters) and 124,000 attendees. The 2002 show confirmed the event's position as the largest trade show in the US, although perhaps because of the difficult market conditions at that time, attendance fell to 108000. Of these, 15500 came from outside the USA. Sixty per cent were contractors and other equipment users, 21 per cent were construction material producers, and 5 per cent came from dealers, the rental industry and manufacturers.

The 2005 event currently has 1.85 million square feet of display space confirmed to date, and the show organisers are predicting visitor numbers well over 100000 once again.

The organisers have tried, wherever possible, to keep specific industry sectors together in the showground to make it easier (and less tiring on the feet) for visitors to find their preferred exhibits. The Gold Lot is where the powered access manufacturers exhibiting will be concentrated (apart from Genie, who as a result of using space on parent Terex's stand to show its products is in the North Hall). Scaffolding and related products will largely be on display in the Silver Lots.

Information on new products that will be making their first appearance at Conexpo is currently sketchy, as manufacturers guard their ‘secrets’ closely until nearer show time. However, Genie and JLG will both have new products on display (although admittedly both will have had their formal launch at ARA), Genie's Z-135 articulated boom is likely to be the tallest new powered access machine at the show, while JLG will have two new trailer mounts on show, the 35 ft (10.5 m) platform height T350 and the 50 ft (15.2 m) platform height T500, confirming its continued expansion of its product lines.

There are also access first timers appearing at the show, such as utility vehicle specialist Altec Industries. In addition, it is pleasing to see the return of scissor manufacturer MEC, rejuvenated since its purchase by Equipment Parts Wholesale. MEC will be showing its electric scissor models, but tells AI that we can look forward to two larger machines making their appearance later in the year.

Full schedule A full set of specialist seminars will be held throughout the period of the show, covering a wide range of topics from personnel management issues through to forthcoming legislation on diesel emissions. Full details of the seminar programme are available on the Conexpo 2005 website (go to www.conexpoconagg.com and look under events 's education for a full schedule) A new event at this year's Conexpo 2005 will be the International Forum, where international government officials involved in the construction industry and large contractors will present a number of market updates on Brazil, China, Mexico, Russia and the USA.

The aim is to present news and information to those looking to participate in international construction activities. Topics that will be discussed include shortterm and long-term construction projects, contractors' needs, market trends, trade barriers and local business cultures. These sessions, free-of-charge to interested attendees and exhibitors, will be held on the second level of North Hall in room N259, close to the International Trade Center. An International Networking Reception, providing an opportunity to meet old and new business contacts in an informal setting, will follow each update Finally, visitors to the show will be able to make use of an interactive map of the area that contains information on hotels, dining, shows and attractions to pre-plan their time in Las Vegas, as well as information on the local nightlife. Also included is a list of the Las Vegas monorail stops. Use the link http://maps.mapnetwork.com/lasvegas/conexpoconagg/index.asp to access this service. You can also access the service via the Conexpo 2005 website, www.conexpoconagg.com

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