Informa Markets, the organiser of World of Concrete (WOC), has received approval from the Nevada Department of Business and Industry to move forward with its upcoming in-person edition. WOC is the commercial construction industry’s largest annual international event for concrete and masonry professionals. It is scheduled to be held from 8 to 10 June 2021 at the Las Vegas Convention Centre, and set to be the first large-scale trade show to return to the US market since the pandemic brought in-person meetings to a halt.
Occupying more than 700,000 sq ft of indoor and outdoor exhibit space, WOC attracts approximately 1,500 exhibiting companies, including original equipment manufacturers globally and exclusive US distributors of equipment, tools, products and services for the commercial construction, concrete and masonry industries. The event is typically attended by more than 60,000 industry professionals from around the world, representing all segments of the construction industry.
Following Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak’s address on 12 March on the Las Vegas reopening plan, Informa Markets worked with the Las Vegas Convention Centre (LVCC) to submit a thorough health and safety plan to the Nevada Department of Business and Industry. The proposal outlined specific operational protocols and communication strategies surrounding the event – it was largely based on the framework of Informa AllSecure, a set of rigorous health and safety measures to prioritise guest safety at trade events, including mandatory face masks and temperature checks for all participants.
“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 Mr 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. With great confidence in the efforts made by our resorts, convention centre and meeting hosts, I say... welcome back! The greatest place to do business in the world is even better.”
“We are thrilled to return to the show floor and confident in our evidenced ability to execute a safe event under Informa AllSecure with strong commercial outcomes for our customers,” expressed Jackie James, group director for World of Concrete. “The Nevada Department of Business and Industry has taken a dutiful and cautious approach to re-opening, and we are honoured to be one of the first large-scale events to set the industry standard for safe and successful economic recovery. Our experienced team is excited to lead this charge.”
Informa Markets said the company is taking a concertedly customer-focused approach to its return to live events, in this case surveying past attendees via a third-party provider to ensure the decision to hold World of Concrete is a community-driven one. “Of those who responded, 80% were likely to attend in June and 97% viewed the decision as favourable to the industry.”
The LVCC campus is also reportedly poised to welcome business travellers back with robust new offerings, including the 1.4 mil-sq-ft West Hall expansion that will debut in conjunction with World of Concrete. The US$989 million addition joins the existing 3.2 mil sq ft campus. Finishing touches continue on the Convention Centre Loop, an underground tunnel system that will transport meeting attendees throughout the entire campus in Tesla vehicles, free of charge.
In addition, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) recently acquired the Las Vegas Monorail, preserving this important transportation solution for meeting attendees. Both systems will be operational for events beginning in June and will adhere to strict health and safety protocols.
“Not only are these platforms vital for the markets they serve, but the economic impact of holding World of Concrete is tremendous for Las Vegas,” explained Kevin Thornton, VP of operations at Informa Markets. “Conventions bring an estimated US$11 billion annually to Las Vegas, and those like World of Concrete create thousands of jobs supporting local hotels, restaurants, retailers, and entertainment, among others.”
“We create platforms that re-build and re-invigorate industries and regions,” added Nancy Walsh, president for North America at Informa Markets. “We are approaching 2021 with a hybrid model so interested participants can attend in the format that works best for them, but I am thrilled to return to the irreplaceable experience of an in-person trade show. Our platforms serve an important role in relationship building, in discovering innovation, and in revenue-driving for the communities they serve, especially when done in a safe and controlled way.
“The decision to return to the show floor comes with the commitment from the LVCVA to support our safety measures, as well as considerable feedback from customers that they are not just ready, but eager to return. Every industry has been impacted by the pandemic, and our customers, many of whom are small business owners, truly recognise these platforms are more critical than ever before.”
Las Vegas relies heavily on the meetings and conventions industry, which represents US$11.4 billion in economic impact to the destination, explained LVCVA in its statement. Trade show organisers like Informa Markets meaningfully support resorts and convention centres, as well as local small businesses and vendors including security providers, food and beverage outlets, transportation companies, graphic artists, printers, photographers, furniture companies, equipment rental services, florists, tour operators, and more.
The impact, however, does not solely benefit local economies such as Las Vegas, but facilitates growth and development of the global economies their platforms serve, from construction to fashion to health and nutrition, creating opportunities for economic recovery through networking and business. A 2018 study showed that globally tradeshows bring an average of 303 million visitors to host cities each year, supporting 1.3 million jobs and generating US$136.9 billion in business sales.