by Joe Frollo
With nearly 3,000 people traveling to New Orleans for The Precast Show 2021, the precast party was back.
Including more than 100 hours of in-class education, special events throughout the city, a show floor that spanned 450,000 square feet housing 241 exhibitors, a demonstration area and enough food and drinks to keep a season of college football tailgates fueled, there was something for everyone in The Big Easy.
“By any measure, The Precast Show 2021 was an enormous success, thanks to the shared vision and team effort of NPCA and the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center,” NPCA President Fred Grubbe said. “The
NPCA Board of Directors never wavered in its decision to hold the show. Moving it back by three months was a logical step based on data trends of where we thought the pandemic would go. Adding in the vaccine rollout and growing herd immunity, the NPCA Board of Directors confidently supported the planning and execution of this annual show.”
The Precast Show 2021 marked one of the first trade shows to return as an in-person event in North America and the first major trade show at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center facility after more than a year of COVID-19 cancellations and delays. Organized by NPCA and held May 20-22, The Precast Show is the largest precast concrete-specific trade show in North America.
With almost 3,000 exhibitors, attendees and staff members taking part, The Precast Show is one of the largest trade shows that the conventions and events industry has seen nationwide since March 2020. The Precast Show enjoyed better-than-anticipated attendance with the show’s 241 companies exhibiting, many remarking that they were pleasantly surprised with the level of activity on the expanded 450,000-square-foot event space.
“Since the Board’s early February decision to proceed with the show, everyone – members; exhibitors; our co-participant, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI); and the great folks in New Orleans – involved in this event demonstrated the resiliency necessary to create a safe, exciting and rewarding experience for all attendees,” Grubbe said.
Among the highlights:
- A Keynote Luncheon featuring nearly 300 friends, family and coworkers celebrating 22 new Master Precasters; dozens of facilities celebrating Safety Awards, Anniversaries and Best Practices Awards; and 2020 Yoakum Award winner Gene Martin.
- A plant tour excursion to Gainey’s Concrete Products where Mother Nature threw everything she had at 12 busloads of visitors but could not deter the good times.
- A final event at Generations Hall where the precast community celebrated one more time alongside two bands and three rooms of carnival atmosphere.
- More than 100 items sold in the NPCA Foundation Silent Auction that raised $67,500.
- California State University-Chico won the NPCA Foundation Student Design Competition.
“It was impressive to see everyone gather in New Orleans for The Precast Show,” NPCA Chairman of the Board Ron Sparks said. “We hope that our show demonstrated to the country that large, in-person trade shows can produced safely and effectively, encouraging others to return to business as normal.”
Joe Frollo is the NPCA director of communications and managing editor of Precast Inc.