National Pavement Expo 2023 Preview

Events like NPE are a vital resource for industry pros whether you're new to the field or a long time veteran. There's something for everyone.

From NPE official Facebook page

Winter weather slows or even halts paving in many parts of the country, but slower times offer the perfect opportunity to think about the new year and implement fresh ideas. Todd Eichholz, owner and CEO of A&A Paving, Roselle, Ill. is one of those operators who is essentially done with outside work for the year.

Back inside the cozy office it’s a different story. “Now we get to plot and plan and figure out how to conquer 2023,” says Eichholz, who also serves on the Educational Advisory Board (EAB) for the National Pavement Expo (NPE) And Conference.

Eichholz and pavers throughout the country will look to match their motivation with a bit of inspiration when NPE convenes Jan 25-27, 2023 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The show brings together vendors and contractors who make their living from asphalt and concrete paving, sealcoating, striping, sweeping, crack repair, pavement repair, and snow removal.

NPE delivers more than 55 conference sessions over a four-day span, and there is much to be learned. Outside of the structured sessions, networking events provide a chance to chat with speakers and cement relationships with professionals (mostly non-competitors) who face many of the same challenges.

Three Talk Shop: NPE Speaker Meet And Greet events are scheduled for: Thursday, Jan. 26 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 27 from 11:00 a.m. to noon; and Friday, Jan. 27 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. As an NPE speaker, Eichholz will be available to chat with attendees in a casual setting that may prove to be more comfortable than in-session or post-session Q&A.

“The Speaker Meet And Greet is a little more personable,” Eichholz says. “It's more relaxed and you can do some networking with the speakers and ask questions. Sometimes people are hesitant to ask questions at the end of a class or during a class. They don't want to say something that they may think is obvious and/or they should know. There's also a pretty good line after educational sessions are over, and sometimes you can't get to everybody. The Meet And Greets are great opportunities to ask those questions and get to know the speakers.”  

Located within the Charlotte Convention Center, the NASCAR Hall of Fame will host another networking event, a three-hour party from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26. It’s a great way to have fun and learn about the best drivers in the history of professional racing. “It's relaxing and you can get to know people,” Eichholz says. “I've solidified some of my best working relationships at these types of networking parties, and those relationships have lasted a decade.”  

As attendees prepare for the trip to Charlotte and still others are on the fence, Eichholz has a final word of encouragement that involves a new mindset, particularly when it comes to the rationale for NPE attendance. He explains: “Rethink the word ‘spend’ when it comes to time, money, and effort. Replace the word with ‘invest.’ I am going to bring about a dozen people from my team to NPE, and that is not inexpensive, but it is a wise investment. We are investing in learning and in growing the company. If team members go in open-minded and humble enough to ask questions and learn, they are going to get ten times whatever they spend out of it. I've gotten a hundred times my investment back from NPE. I attribute a lot of our success to the things I've learned year over year, not just going once or twice.”