By Ashley Smith | President/COO, Smith-Midland Corp.
I have traveled to The Precast Show and earlier versions of this important industry trade show for 40 years – ever since I was a teenager working in the family business. Now that I’m running the company, I have a different perspective on the trade show, and it’s become an even more important event for the ongoing growth and success of Smith-Midland Corporation.
When I was a teenager, the last thing I worried about was how much it would cost to attend the trade show. As a company decision-maker who is also responsible for the bottom line, I now look at the cost with a critical eye, and it is always a worthy investment for both me and the Smith-Midland associates who are selected to attend.
Like most precast companies, we have ongoing training at our plant, but the in-person education available at The Precast Show is one of the most valuable benefits that NPCA offers the industry. It’s not just the in-class experience. It is the connections you make with other precasters and suppliers; the one-on-one discussions with instructors and equipment experts; and the ability to see the most important equipment, tools and technology in the industry – all under one roof.
If you’re operating a precast concrete company and want to grow and remain profitable, it’s a no-brainer. You need to be there. The precast industry has never stood still, but it’s changing faster than ever and The Precast Show enables you to stay in touch and on the leading edge of technology and innovation. The knowledge gained at every Precast Show is critical not just for company leaders but production workers, technical staff and managers as well.
We send the Smith-Midland associates we want to develop – our precast superstars – to The Precast Show for training, networking and trade show exposure. There’s nothing better than a potential trip to The Precast Show to motivate our plant floor folks and get them excited about the industry. It’s our way of showing them that we are investing in their future, and that’s a big deal. It pays off in higher retention, and a staff that is loyal, highly trained and more enthusiastic. That positive energy radiates through the plant and is an important part of our culture.
And, of course, there’s always plenty for me to learn. I still enjoy the educational courses and networking throughout the week with precasters from across North America, many of whom are longtime friends. Then there’s the time spent on the trade show floor. The wide range of equipment and supplies enables me to compare, talk with the experts and make informed decisions before buying. The internet is a great tool for researching purchases, but there’s nothing like seeing the equipment, touching it and talking with the folks who know everything about it.
Those are just a few reasons why I go to The Precast Show, and why you should too. See you in Denver.