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Viva Las Vegas: the construction, demolition and C&D recycling industries gear up for this spring's conventions.

This March, more than the regular crop of casual spring tourists will be hitting the Strip as two of the construction and demolition industries' largest trade shows descend upon Las Vegas.

The casino capital will play host to thousands of pieces of equipment, acres of exhibit space, hours of workshops and presentations and scores of industry insiders looking to learn, network and have a good time.

The National Demolition Association's 32nd Annual Convention lands in Las Vegas March 6-9, 2005, followed by ConExpoCon/Agg, March 15-19.

NEW NAME, NEW LOOK

The National Demolition Association is ushering in some major changes at its 32nd annual gathering, including the formal announcement of its name change from the National Association of Demolition Contractors (NADC) and the unveiling of its new logo.

"It's the biggest thing the organization has done since it's been founded," says Mike Taylor, executive director of the association. "For us, it's a landmark."

The festivities actually kick off Saturday, March 5 with the annual golf tournament at Angel Park Golf Club. The Mirage Hotel and Casino will play host to the rest of the convention, March 6-9. "It's dead center on the Strip and it's got a 90,000-square foot exhibit center," Taylor says. "It's a no-brainer to go with the Mirage."

Mark Shields, PBS political commentator, syndicated columnist and author, will give the keynote address at the convention on March 7. "He's funny and intelligent and he'll be able to talk about what's going on in Washington, D.C.," says Taylor.

Other featured speakers include Jerry W. Milton, an insurance professional, who will speak on matching insurance with contracts; Deborah Kopsick, of the U.S. EPA, who will speak on identifying radioactive sources at demolition sites; and Donald W. Gregory, a law firm director, who will give an address titled "Subcontract Roulette: You Signed What?"

In addition to the presentations and breakout sessions, the event's organizers anticipate between 100 and 120 companies will be making use of the exhibit space.

"It's a really good show for us because it hits a pretty large core of our customers," says Patricia Stoll, advertising manager with Genesis Attachments Inc., Superior, Wis., a long-time exhibitor at the National Demolition Association's annual convention. "It's going to give us a chance to display some of our new products, targeting demolition contractors in particular."

The size of the convention is one of Stoll's favorite aspects. "It's more scaled back because it happens every year," she says. "So it's a very important show because it's a good chance to meet with our customers and get to know them a little better. You get the opportunity to meet with everybody on a one-to-one basis."

Another convention highlight is the annual party, held this year on Monday night, March 7. The bash boasts a "Mardi Gras Madness" theme this year, with Cajun music, cuisine and entertainment, Taylor says.

In fact, Taylor says the association has conducted surveys that show the annual party outranks networking and speakers as attendees' reasons for coming.

"They come for the exhibitions first, and then the party," he says.

Taylor says that when the shows are held in Vegas--every other year--they usually draw at least 1,500 attendees. But, he says in a good year, the convention can expect attendance to soar to nearly 1,800. "The scrap market is at record high numbers," he says. "So far, 2005 looks like it's going to be pretty good."

UNDER THE BIG TOP

Hitting Vegas in the wake of the National Demolition Association's annual convention is the three-ring construction industry circus known as ConExpo-Con/Agg 2005. Billed by its organizers as "the world's largest international gathering place in 2005 for the construction and construction materials industries," ConExpo

National Demolition Association Conference Schedule of Events

Saturday, March 5

7 a.m.--18th Annual Golf Tournament

Sunday, March 6

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Board of Directors Meeting

Noon--Exhibit Hall Opens

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.--Cocktail Reception

Monday, March 7

9 a.m.--Welcome and Introduction by Ron Richey, Convention Committee Chairman

9:15 a.m.--National Demolition Association "A New Name, A New Identity," Michael Taylor, CAE executive director.

9:45 a.m.--Keynote address, Mark Shields

11 a.m.--"Your Insurance and Contracts: Do They Match?" Jerry M. Milton

11:30 a.m.--Exhibit Hall Opens

3:30 p.m.--Exhibitor's Raffle

7 p.m. to 10 p.m.--Mardi Gras Madness Party

Tuesday, March 8

9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.--Breakout Sessions--"Get

Noticed for Next to Nothing: 10 Priceless

Marketing Ideas Without the Hefty Price Tag,"

by Anita Alvare, Elva Legere Clements;

"Subcontractor Roulette: You Signed What?!"

by Donald W. Gregory; and "Identifying

Radioactive Sources at the Demolition Site,"

by Deborah Kopsick.

10:30 a.m. to noon--Breakout Session Repeat

11:30 a.m.--Exhibit Hall Opens

7 p.m. to 8 p.m.--Cocktail Reception

8 p.m. to 10 p.m.--Annual Banquet

Wednesday, March 9

8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.--NIOSH Report on PPE for Silica

*** hits the trade show circuit once every three years. This year, the show will be March 15-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

With 2,112 exhibitors occupying 1.845 million net square feet of exhibit space, ConExpo-Con/Agg 2002 was the largest trade show of any industry in the Western Hemisphere that year, according to the show's organizers. This year, they expect exhibitors to take up a record 1.85 million net square feet of space.

And in 2005, the show will play host to more international exhibitors than ever before, with eight pavilions representing seven different countries, according to the event's organizers.

The show will feature exhibitors from Finland, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and two booths from Chinese industry groups.

In addition to wandering through acres of exhibit space examining the products and services of over 1,000 exhibitors, attendees are welcome to attend any number of the 115 seminars being offered throughout the week.

Presentations cover a variety of subjects, including business management with "The 10 Commandments of Effective Supervision;" recycling in such sessions as "What's Happening in Asphalt Shingle Recycling" and "Recycling in the Highway Environment;" and equipment, with seminars like "Lease vs. Buy: Equipment Finance 101."

Like the National Demolition Association Convention that precedes it, ConExpo is part business center, part social hub and part warm weather getaway.

Dave Noggle, sales representative with exhibitor Eagle Crusher Co. Inc., Galion, Ohio, says he looks forward to the social aspect of ConExpo just about as much as he looks forward to unveiling his company's own products and seeing what others are putting out on the market.

"It's just a huge show, everybody's here," he says. "When you've been in the industry a long time, you meet a lot of people." And Noggle says ConExpo is the perfect chance to meet up with customers and colleagues, many of whom he hasn't seen since the previous ConExpo event.

"You get to see people you've done business with and people you hope to do business with," he says.

With over 100,000 attendees expected to come through, the sheer volume of the show makes it "like no other," says Dan Brandon, marketing manager with exhibitor Morbark Inc., Winn, Mich.

The challenge for the small or medium-sized companies, Brandon says, is getting noticed. At a show the size on ConExpo, exhibitors have to earn a visit, he says.

Brandon recalls a survey that revealed 80 percent of ConExpo attendees made up their mind on which booths they planned to stop at before even arriving in Vegas. "You almost have to do that," he says. "It's so big, there's no way you can see everybody. So you have to make an itinerary."

ConExpo's size can also take a physical toll, Brandon says, leading to another piece of advice for attendees:

"Bring your best, most comfortable shoes," he says.

The author is assistant editor of Construction & Demolition Recycling magazine and can be contacted at jgubeno@gie.net.
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Title Annotation:Convention Preview
Author:Gubeno, Jackie
Publication:Construction & Demolition Recycling
Geographic Code:1U8NV
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:1343
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