CONEXPO-CON/AGG attendees took stock of the new technologies incorporated into equipment on display at the show, and they said that an improving business environment is spurring confidence in purchasing decisions.
“We just enjoy seeing all the new technologies – what's new, what can make us more efficient and more productive,” said Alberto Caballero, a civil contractor from New Mexico who was attending his fourth show. “We're always, always finding something new and helps out. We end up usually purchasing something all the time.”
Attendees said they were upbeat about the overall business environment, too, thanks in part to the new Trump administration, and the pro-business policies that could come along with the government.
“I think things were beginning to click,” said John Hargett, an asphalt and concrete contractor from Knoxville, Tennessee. “So certainly to have an administration that's a little bit more business-minded is going to be good for everything in construction, not just about infrastructure, but business in general will be better.”
One of the major draws of the show this year has been the emphasis on technology and the future visions for infrastructure and construction. The all-new Tech Experience has even shocked some of the most technologically astute attendees and exhibitors at the show.
“There is technology here that I didn’t even think was out, or even commercially ready. It’s awesome,” said Luke Meyer, an exhibitor working closely with Project AME, the world’s first 3D printed excavator.
Mike Weldon, an oilfield contractor in Utah, was struck by how much smaller his segment's equipment had become due to advances in hydraulic engineering and other technology.
“It's amazing -- overwhelming, really -- the amount of innovation,” he said.
Business development has also been a driving factor for attendees, as both shows offer networking events, meeting rooms, and education opportunities to promote the growth of the industries.
“We have plans to invest in a new facility in the United States, and part of my visit is to learn what kind of machines are popular here,” said Thiago, a Crane expert from Brazil.
Education is also an essential part of business development, and CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE are dedicated to educating our industry experts to help promote advances in technology and best practices. With hundreds of education courses to choose from, there is truly something for all attendees and exhibitors.
“My company sent me out here to learn about the newest and baddest, and I have yet to be disappointed,” said a contractor named Scott from Utah. “I attended almost all of the education sessions so far, and they have been excellent. Not only do they drive home what we already know, they also help us apply new information to our current practices.”