A Large Industry with a Small Town Mindset

Welcome home from World of Concrete. Of the many conversations I had during the few days of the show, one of the many ideas that came to mind was the sense of community.

From a newer perspective, given the number of people working in the concrete construction industry this is an impressive feat. And I’m including everyone from foundations, the finishers, the road builders, the decorative, polishers, hardscapers, the manufacturers, suppliers, plants, and more.

The show reports that 37,000 professionals registered for the event. (With the number of flights canceled last minute, how many actually attended and put boots on the ground, we’ll never know.) On top of that, over 1,100 exhibitors were on display manned by teams of people. Combined, its impressive to see the number of people reconnect for a shared commitment.

Despite being just another masked person of a crowd, I found this sense of community from the people I spoke with. One stated that they see these events solely to be a part of it – to be a part of the community they so love. They opt to participate not because they needed to sell the latest but as if it was important to say that the connection was relevant – that “you” are relevant – that getting together is still important in today’s world of emails, face calls, and messages.

Don’t get me wrong. If you’ve opted to not attend, that’s understandable. My thoughts here aren’t meant to be about tradeshows but the sense of community concrete contractors have in general. I grew up in a small town of roughly 6,000 people (it’s a bit more now, but not by much). No matter where or how you connect with each other, it’s that small town mindset how people that knew you, saw you. They see the real you and recognize the effort that you put forth.

There may be a million and more of you. Contractors may be placing a New York’s worth of concrete down each month. The concrete world of banding together to reduce its carbon footprint. But you are doing it together; it was plain as day to see that once you think about the dedication behind every attendee and exhibitor. It’s a big industry but one where you’re all in it together. And that’s something as solid as concrete.

As always, stay safe out there.