World of Concrete Attendance Surges 20 Percent Under New Ownership

February 10, 2015

World of Concrete 2015 that took place Feb. 3-6 at the Las Vegas Convention Center showed the strongest results in six years. Attendance was up 20 percent, at 55,779, compared with last year’s numbers. Exhibitor count reached 1,400, a jump of 17 percent. Square footage also has grown by close to 20 percent to almost 700,000 square feet.

“We’ve had a phenomenal show,” said Tom Cindric, vice president of World of Concrete, Informa Exhibitions U.S., Construction and Real Estate. “The economy is getting better on the commercial construction side.”

The show also saw a boost in conference attendance and a growing investment in exhibits, many of which sported new construction, bars and carpeted areas even outdoors.

This was the first WOC to take place after the sale of its former owner Hanley Wood Exhibitions to a British show organizer Informa PLC for $375 million in Dec. 2014.

 “We’ve gone from a domestic trade show show organizer to a global one,” Cindric said, noting Informa’s presence in Canada, China, Latin America and the Middle East. WOC already has a show in India and is actively pursuing an alliance with Comexposium InterMat in France.

“The match with Informa aligned a lot of construction and real estate properties that Informa has globally but not necessarily in the U.S. The pieces of the puzzle fit together very well,” said Rick McConnell, who has kept his post and is now president, Informa Exhibitions U.S., Construction and Real Estate.

The deal added 17 construction and real estate events to Informa’s portfolio.

McConnell outlined several strategies for creating expansion opportunities, such as bringing the core brands to new markets, merging parts of complementary shows into the events the company is currently running, as well as introducing parts of its shows into events abroad.

The global network will also help with boosting international attendance and exhibitor counts for the core U.S. brands. “We’ve never had those opportunities before,” McConnell said.

When asked about his immediate priorities, McConnell said that in the next year the company plans to focus on acquisitions within the U.S, opportunities for WOC in the Middle East and China as well as global presence with the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo brand.

The Irving, Texas-based company has also been tasked with coordinating joint efforts, mapping out the priorities and developing effective information sharing and cross-marketing tactics.

How will the new resources affect the core U.S-based brands? McConnell expects a rise in international exhibitors and attendees as well as new opportunities to grow niche areas.

“We’ve very bullish about the WOC,” he said. “It took an extreme step this year, and we’re expecting the same thing next year.”

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