Whether a first-time exhibitor or a long-standing veteran of The Precast Show, there is a place among the 75,000 square feet for everyone.
Walking the rows at the Kansas City Convention Center, more than 300 booths will display their products and services to the largest crowd of precast concrete producers gathered under one roof.
For both big companies and small businesses, The Precast Show is about connecting with customers, meeting potential future buyers and converting those conversations to sales.
Gene Vineyard of Concrete Careers in Atlanta said nothing beats face-to-face communication, and The Precast Show fits what he is looking for. With just four employees, Concrete Careers doesn’t have a large marketing or advertising budget, so Vineyard spends one week each year at The Precast Show connecting – and reconnecting – with customers.
“It’s very good exposure to clients, precast companies and NPCA members in general,” Vineyard said. “I don’t travel much, and I don’t go visit my client list like larger companies do, but by being on site, I get to know people better, and that starts conversations with people that they know as well.”
Concrete Careers helps facilities find new employees – from floor workers to general managers. Vineyard has been attending The Precast Show for 20 years, and in that time, he has developed strong relationships with many of NPCA’s members.
It is to the point where he recognizes not just members of the precast concrete industry but their spouses and children as well.
“The Precast Show really is a like an extended family reunion for me,” Vineyard said. “These are people we get to see every year and otherwise wouldn’t see.
“At the Saturday lunch in New Orleans (during The Precast Show 2021), I sat with a man I knew for a long time. He brought his wife and son over to meet me, and I got to know them better as well. You want to really know about someone, meet the people he’s closest with. Learning people’s histories and backstories is a benefit you get from working alongside NPCA and its members.”
While Vineyard has been attending The Precast Show for two decades, New Orleans marked the first time Ed Calafut of Truebite Inc. joined the event.
Based in Vestal, N.Y., Truebite manufactures more than 25 original products, including the Roll-n-Vac, which was a hit with precast producers.
“We like to go to trade shows because people want to see and touch the products,” Calafut said. “We do a real easy display where we fill up 20 gallons of water in a garbage can, and 10 seconds later, they see half the water gone. Right away, they want to buy.”
Calafut has found members of the precast industry to be different than other groups he works with. Precast producers are much more open with each other about things they see and do that work well for them. NPCA members share information, and that word of mouth is a boon to the vendors on site.
NPCA’s decision to host The Precast Show in-person in May 2021 was important, Cafafut said. It not only showed other industries that it was time to return to normal on the show circuit, the face-to-face opportunities greatly helped sales.
“I did four virtual shows in 2021, and you can’t interact with anyone or get a crowd talking about your product,” Calafut said. “At The Precast Show, we sold enough units to pay for the trip and got leads for the future. People who bought one item are calling about purchasing a second now. People see something new and different, they tell others, and you can’t beat that.” PI
Joe Frollo is the NPCA director of communications and public affairs.