4 things I learned from WOC, and how to make next year even better

Takeaways from my first World of Concrete experience

4 things I learned from WOC, and how to make next year even better

Now that I’ve had time to recover from the World of Concrete whirlwind and settle back into my routine, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the busy week that was my first WOC experience in Las Vegas. Here’s what I learned and observed.

1: The amount of technical knowledge and talent at one trade show is awe-inspiring. I’ve been fortunate to attend several technical meetings and conferences over the years. None of those events can come close to the sheer size of even one of the exhibit halls at WOC. The exhibit halls were filled with booth after booth of companies with decades of experience in the construction industry, but where I learned the most is actually from the attendees themselves. Everyone I met was excited to discuss project successes and areas for opportunity. It is incredibly engaging.

2: You will be behind on email when you return to work and that is okay. As I already mentioned, this was my first WOC. As I prepared for my departure, I diligently scheduled my email auto-response and left an informative voicemail welcome message, but I knew what a week away from work would mean: my return to the office meant a week’s worth of return calls and emails. That is OKAY. WOC is not just a week’s worth of hard work, meetings, vendor dinners, and fantastic networking events. It is a time to learn, discuss, and think critically about how I can better engage and support my audience. I put the iPhone down and embraced it. 

3: I was not prepared for World of Concrete. I was prepared for my schedule, for the day-to-day events, and for the educational session I presented, but I was not prepared for the magnitude of the show that is WOC. On the first day, my feet hurt from walking, my head was spinning from the stimulation that is Vegas, and the options of demonstrations had me reeling. After day one, I had to come up with a better plan. That night, I reviewed the exhibit hall maps and set predetermined “downtime” in my schedule. This is the time I set aside to walk the aisles to see the exhibitors and demonstrations that made the most sense to me. Ultimately, I still feel like I still missed things (how can you not?), but I feel like I got the most from the show and I am excited to attend again next year. 

4: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” ….except colds, those suckers will follow you home! Next year, I will load up on Vitamin C, get solid rest, and drink even more water.