The 2018 World of Asphalt Show & Conference and AGG1 Academy & Expo had a record number of attendees – more than 8,300 – and a sold-out show floor in Houston March 6-8.
Attendees came from all 50 states, 10 Canadian provinces and 50 other countries.
“It was a good show; it’s always nice to see your competitors – see their new innovations and the progress they’ve made with their products,” says Larry Brown, a paving product specialist from Wheeler Machinery, which is a Caterpillar dealership in Salt Lake City, Utah.
He was there with coworkers Cody Rhoades and Aaron Benz. Benz, a paving product support specialist for Wheeler Machinery, has joined Brown in attending many equipment trade shows. And Benz says this was the most equipment that he’s ever seen on a show floor.
Held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, both World of Asphalt and AGG1 hosted a sold-out show floor that broke size records and spanned a combined 174,000 net square feet of exhibits.
More than 460 exhibitors, including more than 160 new to the shows, displayed their latest products and technologies for the aggregates, asphalt, and pavement maintenance and traffic safety sectors. Among those with a presence at the show were the Women of Asphalt Council, which had booths and a forum.
“These outstanding numbers emphasize the value of the convention and AGG1,” says said Joel Galassini, CEMEX regional president and AGG1 Academy & Expo chair. “This really is the best time for anyone in our industry to connect with peers, examine business issues that affect our operations and get energized for the future.”
Attendees and exhibitors conducted business and discussed issues affecting future growth including infrastructure funding and work-zone safety. Industry experts shared best practices during a wide range of education sessions that ranged from setting up safe work zones to intelligent compaction to pavement preservation topics.
Education was an integral component of the event, with attendees purchasing more than 10,000 tickets for the shows’ signature learning programs: People, Plants and Paving Conference from the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and AGG1 Academy from the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA), officials say.
“This was one of our best events ever that delivered it all for industry professionals: product innovations, focused education and quality networking,” says Kevin Kelly, president of Walsh & Kelly and World of Asphalt 2018 chair. “It is always an incredible opportunity to come together and learn from each other, and we thank all participants for their continued support.”
The mood at the show, according to Benz and others, was positive.
“The economy’s going good and in Utah, we’ve only got 3.5 percent unemployment,” Benz says. The only dampener, he adds, was also the biggest buzz at the show: How will the industry find enough skilled labor to do the work?
While he and colleagues checked out plenty of heavy equipment, Benz also pointed to the intelligent compaction technology that was on featured at the show. “Technology’s what really seems to be driving the market right now,” says Benz.
Mark calendars for 2019; show planning under way
The next World of Asphalt Show & Conference and AGG1 Academy & Expo will be held Feb. 12-14, 2019, at the Indianapolis Convention Center in Indianapolis.
Exhibit space sales are open to companies, with space assigned on a first come, first served basis.
The shows are held annually except in CONEXPO-CON/AGG years, when that show spotlights the exhibitors and products of AGG1 and World of Asphalt.
Strong industry support from across the globe
Industry support amplified the shows’ networking and knowledge sharing. More than 25 allied groups from the United States, Canada and worldwide participated as official supporting organizations.
The shows are industry-owned and managed. World of Asphalt is owned by AEM, NAPA, and NSSGA, and produced by AEM. NSSGA owns and produces AGG1.
AGG1 Academy & Expo focuses exclusively on the aggregates industry as its leading exposition and education resource, also co-located with the NSSGA Annual Convention.
World of Asphalt Show & Conference is the largest education conference and exhibition focused on the asphalt, pavement maintenance and traffic safety industry sectors.