The World of Concrete is celebrating 50 years of bringing innovative products, education and demostrations to the concrete construction industry Jan. 22-25 in Las Vegas. The worldl-class event that attracted more than 48,000 attendees and spanned 587,000 net square feet in 2023 has come a long way since the first show was held at the Hyatt Regency in Houston, which welcomed 1,550 attendees and 71 exhibitors. The cost to enter the exhibition area at that first WOC in 1975: $3.
The first event, hosted by the Concrete Construction publication and cosponsored by the American Society of Concrete Contractors and the American Concrete Pumping Association, offered indoor and outdoor exhibits totaling 75,000 square feet, concrete-related demonstrations and workshops. According to attendees, the most popular exhibit featured an innovative product many felt would change the industry: tapered tie rods.
The first demos spotlighted a variety of categories including vacuum dewatering slabs, laser surveying equipment and high-temperature lances for demolition and cutting. Sessions were based on input from the Portland Cement Association and American Concrete Institute and included Human Engineering and Motivation, Field Practices for Architectural Concrete and the Role of Data Processing in a Medium-Sized Construction Firm. The latter was considered groundbreaking because its purpose was to "help attendees decide if there is a place for a computer in your organization," show officials said at the time.
Click through the slideshow to see highlights of WOC shows since the 1970s.
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