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Head to Vegas for ConExpo. It’s Not Really an Option

Contractors with a dime to spare ought to head to Vegas in early March for a day or two.

Mon February 24, 2014 - National Edition
Giles Lambertson

ConExpo-Con/Agg doesn’t really need any trumpeting. Its reputation is secure enough to stand on its own without any rah-rahing from this gallery. Still, the exposition coming up March 4-8 in Las Vegas is worth this reminder: Be there.

ConExpo is big. It is not as big as the bauma trade show in Munich, of course, but it is held in the United States—the world’s biggest producer of construction equipment and still the world’s biggest construction market. There is not a better place in the world for progressive buyers and first-rank manufacturers to mingle.

And mingle they do, right across the board. Typically, contractors with less than $1 million in gross annual sales constitute about 15 percent of the crowd and a nearly identical percentage of visitors gross more than $100 million, with other sizes of contractors spread pretty evenly between. The show has something for everyone.

Its influence is inordinately large, too. Nearly half of the crowd in Vegas will be company executives, the decision-makers who can make the most persuasive sales pitches for their equipment or give the firmest handshake on a purchase agreement. Engineers, fleet managers and superintendents will crowd booths, too, and they aren’t just gawking tourists. They can seal a deal.

Some of the equipment is monstrously large, of course, and worthy of gawking. However, in the shadows of the big machines will be displayed components and systems of outsized importance to one contractor or another. The vendors will all be there—from A & A Manufacturing to ZTR Control systems, with Ditch Witch, Mack Trucks, Sandvik Construction and everyone else in between. To paraphrase a Beatles lyric, “Got to be good-looking cause there’s so much to see.”

The point is, contractors with a dime to spare ought to head to Vegas in early March for a day or two. Industry peers will be there, the best equipment will be there, and you probably should be there, too.

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