The entire GradeTech team recently attended ConExpo Con/Agg, North America’s largest construction trade show. The event, which was held last week at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Nevada, was an opportunity for the GradeTech team to learn about the latest equipment advances and newest technology applications in the industry. It also served as a retreat for the team, giving them the opportunity to step away from everyday activities and spend some down time together.
According to Rory Hall, Operations Manager and Co-owner of Grade Tech Services finding the middle ground between new techniques and the tried and true way of doing things is the key to staying ahead of the pack. He explained that it is vitally important for the company’s management team to buy into that philosophy so they can pass that along to the team, particularly new or younger team members, and attract new workers into the trade. “If we don’t up our game, we will fall behind; we have to push that boundary,” he explained. “In order to stay ahead, we need to embrace the advancing technology in our trade and motivate veteran employees, new employees and even potential employees to learn the latest technology and old school techniques to be the best they can be.”
The ConExpo-Con/Agg tradeshow, which is held every three years, brings together contractors, dealers, distributors, service providers, engineers and producers from across the nation. The show featured more than 2,300 exhibitors representing a wide selection of products and services from all aspects of construction, including asphalt, aggregates, concrete, earthmoving, hauling, lifting, trucking and underground construction. Registrations for the show totaled over 130,000 attendees who walked the record 2.7 million-plus net square feet of exhibits. Cancellations from international attendees totaled less than 1 percent due to the Coronavirus.
ConExpo and the Coronavirus
Despite the ongoing concern about the coronavirus, the show was well attended. It did, however, end a day early due to the growing concerns about COVID-19, the travel restrictions put in place by the President and changing corporate travel policies that impacted many of the show’s attendees and exhibitors. Rory and the Grade Tech team were not surprised that the show went on as planned despite the fact that many other conferences were cancelled. “Did people really expect the men and women of our industry to not show up? We are the ones who get up at 4 a.m. every day; we work in the rain, snow, sleet, hail and in any temperature – from 40° below to 115°+,” Rory explained. “This is why I love the trades! Our teams work 12 hour days to get the job done, whether they are sick or tired, or both. We’re here no matter what and I wouldn’t expect any less from my team or others in the industry.”
Education and a Good Time!
In addition to a wide array of networking opportunities and team-building time, the GradeTech team had access to more than 150 education sessions on a host of subjects from management techniques, to equipment operation, finances and workforce planning. A sampling of session titles included, “”How To Build a Diverse, Multi-Generational Workforce;” “Equipment Operator Best Practices;” “Tech Talk: Capturing and Using Drone Data” and “11 Traits of Effective Managers.” We made it a point to meet at the Caterpillar booth on Thursday, and the Topcon booth on Friday.
On the last night, Rory treated the team to dinner at STIPSTEAK at The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. It was a fun night with amazing food!