By Joe Frollo
The precast concrete industry was on full display March 3-5 in Kansas City, Mo., as record-setting registration numbers and show floor space combined for an exciting and eventful Precast Show 2022.
More than 4,600 individuals registered for the 82,000-plus-square-foot show floor at the Kansas City Convention Center. Registration numbers and square footage both show the highest totals since the 2008 recession.
“What an exciting week for the industry,” NPCA President Fred Grubbe said. “The joy on people’s faces said it all as they gathered together, saw old friends and met new people.
“The feedback we got from exhibitors is that the show was not just well-attended, but active conversations led to both sales and potential business down the road. I believe everyone was eager to come to Kansas City and return to business as normal.”
The exhibit hall was just one part of the larger event. With committee meetings, more than 100 hours of education sessions, area plant tours, 42 graduating Master Precasters and a final event at the historic Midland Theatre,
The Precast Show 2022 had opportunities to experience and expound upon the industry nearly 24/7.
“I’m thrilled to be fully back face to face with my friends and precast family,” NPCA Chairman of the Board Mark Wieser said. “The Precast Show is the highlight of the year in our industry and a time to show the world who and what we are. I want to thank the exhibitors and Producer members, but I also want to commend Fred and the NPCA staff for all their hard work in making this a truly remarkable event. They set the bar really high for the years to come.”
Here are some of the highlights from the week:
An Industry on Display
The Precast Show floor included 361 booths covering 82,300 square feet.
With free food and drinks available at least parts of all three days, traffic remained high for most of the 14 hours.
Add to that: More than 30,000 Precast Show app page views, including 50 percent of those coming before the show, gave exhibitors a chance to share their products and services before people even began landing in Kansas City.
Thursday Awards and Keynote Lunch
The NPCA Keynote Luncheon Featuring Industry Awards and Graduation included 42 Master Precaster graduates and a special surprise for longtime Production Quality School instructor Mel Marshall. There also were certification anniversary awards, Best Practices Awards and a rousing keynote from Michael Hoffman.
Marshall became the third individual to be named an Honorary Master Precaster, joining Mark Thompson and Greg Chase.
Hoffman closed the event by challenging NPCA members to bring more energy to their work lives, to train themselves to say “yes” more often and to truly treat coworkers as family.
Three Times the Fun on Plant Tours
Precast Show attendees and exhibitors had the chance to visit three Kansas City-area facilities as part of the Plant Tour program.
With stops at Forterra Pipe and Precast plants in Independence, Mo., and Bonner Springs, Kan., along with the PRETCH plant in Kansas City, Kan., visitors toured the facilities and examined ongoing projects.
Once again, NPCA gave away more than $10,000 worth of prizes to 10 lucky visitors on the show floor. Ranging from an iPad to a tool kit to an outdoor fire pit, the Prize Patrol called out winners, who had 10 minutes to visit a designated booth and claim their rewards.
The grand prize winner of $5,000 – given away on Saturday afternoon – was Frank Robertson of Paulding Precast/Specialty Concrete Products.
Closing with a Bang
More than 500 people attended The Precast Show Final Event at The Midland Theatre, a former 1920s speakeasy. Guests were entertained by a jazz band and an improv comedy troupe as they indulged in fine foods and open bars on multiple levels of the theater.
The event capped what was an exciting week of reverie and reunions.