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World of Concrete Review: Expo Magazine Interviews Tom Cindric
Michael Hart / Expo Magazine
From Expo Magazine
World of Concrete had another great show back in January. Since it—and other similar shows—are seen as bellwethers for the construction industry, Expo Executive Editor Michael Hart spoke with Hanley Wood Vice President Tom Cindric about the show and his plans for its future.
Expo: How did World of Concrete go this year?
Tom Cindric: Overall, we were very pleased. Total registration was over 48,000; our exhibit space was in that 570,000 [net square foot] range.
We were down a little from the previous year but this is the year where you’ve got the Rental Show and CONEXPO-CON/AGG and some other construction-related events that occur in the first quarter.
People will take a little bit of a smaller footprint every third year when CONEXPO-CON/AGG takes place. From an audience perspective, our exhibitors were thrilled with the attendance.
Expo: What was the international audience like, since I know CONEXPO-CON/AGG is a big draw?
Cindric: People were surprised with our strong international attendance. With CONEXPO-CON/AGG coming up in a couple of weeks, people have the perception that that’s where the international audience goes, but the reality is the international audience still goes to World of Concrete.
Expo: Is the construction business back to pre-recession levels yet?
Cindric: It seems that business is better and there’s more optimism. Hopefully, the construction industry is turning. That’s the big thing for us. I want to see the market get back to, maybe not where it was in ’07 and ’08, but certainly back to better times.
There are parts of the country where it’s always been better. The bigger thing is that other parts of the country where construction had kind of come to a halt is picking up. You’re starting to see more construction projects across the nation, especially with commercial, because commercial always lags behind residential.
Expo: What is going on internationally?
Cindric: Last year we announced we were launching a show in India. We partnered with a local Indian organizer. We were able to secure the support of the Indian Concrete Institute (ICI).
We had about 100 exhibitors. We had over 3,00 people attend the show. It’s not a huge show, but certainly people were receptive to it. The biggest thing I learned is that there’s so much need for something like that.
We didn’t go to Mumbai or Delhi or Bangalore, which is where most international organizers go. We went to Hyderabad, which is kind of the Silicone Valley of India. ICI wanted to have their conference there and we worked with them to do our trade show alongside that.
We’re going to bring it back, in the same city but closer to November to help with some of the weather issues we had.
Expo: What is the long-term goal with the Indian show?
Cindric: I use Mexico as an analogy. We launched a show in 2004 in Mexico City. It was very successful for five or six years, into that ’09 period. We got into ’09 and ’10 and we had to stop doing the show. It was an economic thing.
Since that show stopped, our Latin American audience has grown at the U.S. show. We truly believe it was because of the relationships we developed when we exposed that show to the marketplace. While that show is not there, we were able to see that many companies said, “We need to come to the U.S.”
In India, that’s a little difference because it’s so far away. It’s a different hemisphere but exposing the brand to the world is really our overall goal. It’s never going to be as big as the U.S. show. It’s a niche show, serving a marketplace, and that’s what we’re trying to do with it. We just know there’s an opportunity in India.
Expo: Anything else going on?
Cindric: We’ve formed a strategic partnership with the INTERMAT show, which is the triennial construction show in Paris. We are in the process of finalizing our agreement with them to launch World of Concrete Europe.
We developed a relationship over the years. In ’15, World of Concrete Europe will be part of INTERMAT and we’ll help expand and help with education. They already have some of the marketplace.
Then, if that’s successful, well do a standalone event 18 months later. So, if everything goes right, we’ll do a standalone every three years between the triennial INTERMATs.