World of Concrete to be the first large show to return to Las VegasPublished 10/5, 2021 at 14:54
World of Concrete (WOC) will be the first large show be held at the partly renovated Las Vegas Convention Center, 8-10 June, 2021. It will also be one of very few shows to take place globally during the first half of 2021.
World of Concrete is the first show out during the first six months of 2021, although it is believed that quite a number of shows will be organised during the autumn. However, we are currently in the borderland between a raging pandemic and a massive vaccination programme which hopefully will result in a declining infection spread and lifted restrictions. It is uncertain how the current situation will affect the attendance of potential exhibitors and visitors of the Las Vegas show from outside the United States.
Approved by the US Department of Business and Industry
WOC has been approved to go ahead by the US Department of Business and Industry, and will be the first large scale trade show to be held in the US since the pandemic brought in-person meetings to a halt.
The State of Nevada’s new directive requires meetings, trade show and entertainment venues to certify through the state’s Department of Business and Industry that they will follow Nevada’s health and safety requirements and protocols. This will see adherence to the prevention principles that have remained consistent, namely maintaining safe social distancing, wearing face coverings and practicing good hygiene and cleaning measures.
“Las Vegas has been the top convention and meetings destination for many years. We pride ourselves on providing the best facilities, the best service and now, the safest,” said Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. “We’ve been cautious, but very focused on reopening Las Vegas in the safest way possible for you, our treasured customers, our valued employees and our entire community.” These thoughts were supported by Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention Center: “We are thrilled to be welcoming World of Concrete exhibitors and attendees back to Las Vegas as our first major convention to return to our destination.”
Still not the same this year
There is little doubt that this year’s edition of World of Concrete will be different from a regular show. The vaccination process is well ahead in most parts of the world but the pandemic is still harvesting many lives. Restrictions are very slowly being lifted though, and in Sweden for instance, when this article was written, a maximum of eight people can meet in a group, with the current restrictions set to stay in place at least until mid-June.
There are no trade shows planned to take place in Europe before end of August, and unfortunately it is believed that very few people from outside the US will attend WOC this year. Foreign manufacturers with representation in the US will send their US staff to the show, whilst the manufacturers with no representation will in all probability choose to forego attending the show, with the number of registered exhibitors testifying to this unfortunate state of affairs. To date, 599 companies have registered to exhibit at World of Concrete 2021, whereas in 2019, a record year saw 1,500 exhibitors. In 2020, when the pandemic just started in Asia, the number dropped to 927. But still the decision by the organisers to go ahead with the show has great value for the industry, as business must carry on, albeit in different and changed ways.
Thanks to the mass vaccination programmes across the world, we are beginning to see a change for the better, with new ways being found to reopen the global market. WOC is a good example of these endeavours, even if at this time it will be a very much US focused event and less global than usual, with mostly exhibitors and visitors from the US. PDi Magazine is exhibiting as usual, but this time with staff only from the US office.
However, the concern remains that this pandemic will behave differently from other pandemics. We don’t know for certain if the vaccines will protect us from the growing numbers of mutations. Only when the global vaccination programme is completed and time will tell. It is possible that the vaccine will reduce the number of fatalities but still many people will become ill. This possibility may result in people continue to socially distance, wear face masks, and constantly disinfect themselves for a long time to come, with a corresponding effect on business life.