LAS VEGAS — Informa Market’s World of Concrete (WOC), the U.S.’s first major trade show since COVID-19 brought the industry to a screeching halt, opened to much fanfare in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s (LVCC) new $1 billion West Hall.
A ribbon cutting attracted industry leaders, elected officials and others. The energy in the convention center and surrounding outdoor areas was electric as all were thrilled to be meeting face-to-face once again.
The event, which brings together tens of thousands of members of the concrete, construction and masonry industries, signaled the opening of LVCC’s West Hall as well as Elon Musk’s underground Center Loop, which transports attendees around the convention center in two minutes, typically a 25-minute walk.
“This is our rebirth,” Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. In Las Vegas, the trade show industry represents $11.4 billion in economic impact. The WOC alone contributed $109 million of economic impact to the city in 2019.
“Over the past 15 months, this entire industry has completely disappeared, leaving tens of thousands out of work and all that economic impact completely gone,” Steve Hill, president and CEO of the LVCVA, said.
All eyes were on this show as a bellwether of sorts for other large conventions. Although no longer state-mandated, there was an 80% capacity limit with health and safety in mind. In addition to thermal scanning at the entrance of the convention center and digital badges, aisles were spaced 15 to 20 feet apart with social distancing in mind.
Charlie McCurdy, CEO of Informa Markets, emphasized how far-reaching the importance of this trade show’s opening is. “The widespread and lasting impact this pandemic has had is far-reaching both personally and professionally and being here today is a testament to humanity and is a beacon of hope for the return of conventions,” he said during the show.
The WOC show has ranked in TSE’s Gold 100 a staggering 13 times and has made the Fastest 50 on three separate occasions. Usually held in January or February at the LVCC, in 2019 it attracted more than 60,000 attendees to nearly 2.4 million square feet of indoor/outdoor exhibit space, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
In addition to WOC, Informa Markets will also host the following trade shows in Las Vegas, with plans to return other keystone events throughout the rest of the year.
- Vegas Cosmetic Surgery (June 2021)
- The International Surface Event (June 2021)
- WasteExpo (June 2021)
- The Aesthetic Show (July 2021)
- Inside Self Storage World Expo (July 2021)
- MAGIC Fall (August 2021)
- International Roofing Expo (August 2021)
- Licensing Expo (August 2021)
- SupplySide West & Food Ingredients North America (October 2021)
- International Sanitary Supply Association Expo Show North America (November 2021)