From the moment the Pittsburgh Construction Expo’s doors opened the morning of Feb. 8 until they closed the evening of Feb. 9, a steady stream of contractors from all over western Pennsylvania and Ohio filled the ExpoMart’s aisles, keeping exhibitors busy — and happy.
Over the course of the two-day show in Monroeville, PA, just outside of Pittsburgh, a hefty serving of iron was on the menu as highway contractors, earthmovers, recyclers and landscapers alike checked out the latest wares from manufacturers such as Caterpillar, John Deere, Case, New Holland, Rayco, Komatsu, Kobelco, JLG, The Screen Machine to name just a few.
Of course, trade shows always boast a sizable display of product offerings, regardless of what they are. But the hallmark of any trade show is whether or not exhibitors’ sales representatives are busy talking with potential customers or are just busy talking with each other, and during the Pittsburgh Construction Expo — the first in the Steel City for CEG Productions — there was very little time for chatter among colleagues … not when there’s iron to be sold.
“One of our salespeople said that he could see more customers here than going out and driving around in his car all day,” said Pam Pajan, marketing coordinator of Beckwith Machinery. “Visitors asked a lot about the Accugrade system on the Cat D6. We’ve done other shows and haven’t received nearly the response we’ve had here with the large number of owners of companies attending. We’re real happy.”
“A lot of our local customers have come by to say ’hello’ to us. Based on input from our other sales reps here, we’ll be back next year,” said Mark Dublin, territory manager of Groff Tractor and Equipment. “I’ve been unbelievably busy. Usually you go to shows and you might see one or two customers you know and the salesmen end up standing around all day, but from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., it never stopped. I couldn’t believe it was 7 o’clock.”
A recurring sentiment offered by several exhibitors was how pleased they were with the show’s high visitor turnout.
“There was very good traffic,” said Bob Stein, branch manager of Anderson Equipment’s Bridgeville, PA, facility. “The Komatsu PC35 mini-excavator has drawn a lot of attention. Based on what we’ve seen at this show, Anderson will be back for next year’s show.”
“It’s been a great turnout. A lot of people we knew came out and we’re getting a lot of good hits from the show,” said Jim Barefoot, Caterpillar compact equipment sales, One Cat Rentals, Neville Island, PA. “There are guys who deal with a lot of other equipment who don’t know a lot about ours, and we were able to teach them about our lineup; it’s giving us an edge. This has also been good for our rental side. We went to a show last year, but it wasn’t as rental-involved as we’ve been able to do it this year; we’re getting that information out there and letting people know how our company is set up. Based on the turnout and leads we’re getting at the show, we’ll definitely be back next year.”
At trade shows, the traffic can be high, but high attendance does not mean much if there is not a large number of “decision makers” among the crowd. The Pittsburgh Construction Expo drew a lot of company owners and equipment managers.
“We’re very happy with the quality of the customers. They’re the main decision makers,” said Thomas Jordan, vice president of Emerald Equipment Systems, Lebanon, PA. “And genuinely, I think the people are interested in the equipment that’s here, probably because there hasn’t been a show in this area for a long time. I think this show ranks right up there with CEG’s Philadelphia show.”
“I’m very impressed with the show,” added Jack Herr, vice president of Level Best Grading System at the Productivity Products and Services Inc. booth. “The folks that we were talking to were real decision makers. I think it’s been real worth our time being here. We have really good leads and some people who wanted demos. We’ll be back next year.”
Throughout the two-day expo, myriad door prizes were given away with the biggest one of all being Remmington 700 BDL Synthetic Dale Earnhardt Jr. Signature No. 8 rifle. Paul Park, of Park Excavating, Summerville, PA, was the lucky winner.
“I didn’t think there was a chance in the world I would win it,” said Park, who added that it was not just the rifle that drew him to the show; he went to check out the iron. “I was very impressed with entire show,” he said. “There was so much equipment that it took me a long time to go around the exhibit area and see everything I purchased a laser level while I was there.
“I was just happy to be able to attend and I appreciate CEG putting this show on. My company, Park Excavating, is about 80 miles north of Pittsburgh and it’s not easy to shop for equipment up there, so it’s a lot easier to come down here to see all these dealers.”
And that’s what the Pittsburgh Construction Expo was all about — providing a meeting place where contractors and equipment dealers could get together (and have some fun in the process).
Lane Cox, manager of construction parts of Wengers of Myerstown, Myerstown, PA, put it best when he said, “The show has been excellent for us. We’ve gotten a lot of exposure. There’s a big crowd, and we have many good leads, many people dropping business cards; we’re promoting business all around. Hats off to ’Construction Equipment Guide!’”
We look forward to seeing all of you again next year!