Construction expo visitor increase hints at industry optimism

USA – The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) says the mood was positive at this year’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2011, despite continued uncertainty in the American construction industry.

Running from 22 to 26 March at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the two events attracted an unaudited 120,000 registered attendees and 2,400 exhibitors. In terms of space, IFPE was the largest ever and CONEXPO-CON/AGG was the second largest in the show’s history.

“The construction industry has been through some very tough times, with record unemployment, but with these positive numbers we’re optimistic about the future,” said AEM vice-president for exhibitions and events Megan Tanel.

The shows saw a higher than ever proportion of international visitors this year, with almost a quarter of total visitors coming from outside the US.

“The increased global participation underscores the importance of world markets to our industry,” Tanel continued. “The US economy is slowly improving and we have a way to go, but after 18 to 24 months there is more pent-up demand for equipment to be ready for the upturn.”

Co-located events included ICON Expo for the concrete products industry and several annual conferences for national industry associations.

Earlier this year, Hanley Wood Exhibitions reported dwindling numbers to its World Concrete Expo in the same city. The organiser said visitors and exhibitors must have been holding out for AEM’s March event.

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