The New New Normal

We've gotten used to a new normal ... but the recovery efforts on improving everything seem to indicate something more. Something better and not just a rebound from some tough times.

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This piece is less about concrete and more about the state of the industry. While I'm not putting forward any predictions, this is more of an extrospective take from what things look like in my office chair. Please, spare me a few moments of observation. 

This idea of a "new normal" has been tossed around for long enough. And it's something that, I feel, needs an update. Let me present to you the awkwardly sounding  "new new normal" concept. Give me a second to explain what this means to me.

According to "the internet", the new normal phrase started a lot longer ago than I first thought - further than the recovery after the pandemic. It first appeared in an article about technology development following the dot-com bubble. Then, it reared its minimizing way back into our lexicon during the 2008 financial crisis in an attempt to put the economic turmoil to a neat sound bite. Afterward, it transformed to being used after a loss, grief - with recovery. Today its baggage also includes how the world is dealing post-pandemic. 

Recovery is the key term here.

That extra "new" in our current new new normal almost acts counteractive as if the subject should just return to what "normal" used to be. Yet, the world has changed. We have changed. Business has changed (despite Mondays are still Mondays and concrete still needs placing). The cold hard truth is that there is no going back to how things were. But we can try and recognize some signs and trends along the way that mirrors how the industry is adapting. For one,, let's look at World of Concrete.

See. I brought it back to concrete.

If you consider the excitement for and the attendance of conventions, conferences, and tradeshows - things are looking good. In its own way, I think that can be an indicative outlook for the current and upcoming year. In my conversations with and during tradeshows, the trend seems to show that attendance is growing with more key people walking the floors. It's not the packed foot traffic they once were decades ago but - dear readers, you're working smarter and more efficiently. It shows. Your hard work is paying off. I've been to a lot of tradeshows in my career and the ones I've been to recently have been the most organized, thought out, and planned. That's all a reflection of what you - the attendees - want and how you are willing to learn about new equipment, tools, and products.

Ok. That's enough out of me. Let's get back to work.