Pavement professionals are used to bumps in the road. Alligator cracking, longitudinal cracking, pot holes—a lot can go wrong. Over the last nine months, the entire world has felt the weight of a global pandemic, and that burden has reached organizers at the National Pavement Expo and Conference (NPE).
“We are eager to return to the in-person events that we miss and need so deeply, but have come to the conclusion that it will not be possible to host the in-person 2021 NPE, which had been scheduled for January 20-23, 2021 in Nashville, TN,” said Russ Turner, associate show director, NPE. “Continued developments have made it impossible to effectively execute NPE that deliver the level of connection, discovery, and value our community expects.”
Ultimately, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic motivated the cancellation. Specific factors in the decision included: ongoing government restrictions on travel and large gatherings in Nashville and various company-imposed travel restrictions on employees which affected attendees and participating companies.
Organizers decided not to postpone the event, mostly due to the timing of the paving/maintenance season, as well as to avoid any potential detraction from the next event in early 2022. Instead, Turner and his team are excited to present sponsored online educational sessions during the month of February 2021.
While the in-person event will be sorely missed, Turner says the online component would allow NPE to maintain its role as an important knowledge resource. “It is our job to provide technical, management and leadership classes to this industry,” he says, “even if we can’t meet in person for 2021.” Stay tuned to your inboxes and social media for more details on the virtual conference.
For those who want to put the next event on their calendars, the 2022 NPE is scheduled for Feb. 23-25, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. Not only is Charlotte an attractive destination for the event, but it is within driving distance for NPE’s main attendee base. “We are very optimistic about the 2022 event,” Turner enthuses. “Now more than ever, the face-to-face interaction and networking that trade shows provide are so important. Given what has transpired with this situation, we all realize it now more than ever.”
Organizers are finalizing a comprehensive list of FAQs that will be emailed out and posted on the NPE website. Any conference/expo only registrations will be refunded in full.