On January 27 and 28, contractors, excavators, landscapers, representatives of municipal and county governments, and construction-industry suppliers gathered at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park, in West Allis (Milwaukee), Wis., for the Conex Wisconsin/Northern Illinois trade show.
Wisconsin’s only full-spectrum construction show of the year, Conex attracted between four and five thousand industry professionals from central and southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois who wanted to learn what’s new in the industry and how to work more effectively and efficiently.
The exhibit floor held displays from 105 exhibiting companies who occupied 300 booth spaces and showed everything related to construction from software, safety vests, and small power tools, to directional drills, dump trucks, and bulldozers.
A number of equipment distributors that were large exhibitors last year didn’t have displays this year. And some of the larger exhibitors from last year took smaller spaces and brought less equipment this year. But despite the economy, the number of attendees was surprisingly large.
“Although we don’t have a final attendance number,” says Jane Lally, the show’s marketing manager, “we had 4,400 attendees in 2009, and it looks as though this year’s attendance will go higher.”
Cliff Anglewicz, CEO of Yale Equipment Services (YES), a JCB dealer and one of the largest exhibitors at this year’s show, says, “The attendance seemed to be more robust this year. We had good traffic both days, with several hundred attendees giving us their names and contact information. We introduced a brand new skid-steer-sized telehandler, that’s only been out a few weeks. This was its first appearance at any show. It drew a lot of interest.”
In addition to equipment suppliers, the exhibits included booths from service providers such as safety consultants, insurance companies, and industry publications.
Industry associations such as the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance, Wisconsin Underground Contractors Association, Wisconsin Excavators and Graders Association, Wisconsin Ready Mixed Concrete Association, and the Operating Engineers Union exhibited, too.
Government entities with booths included OSHA and the Wisconsin State Patrol.
Free seminars held on the show floor covered green building basics, pervious concrete, OSHA-related topics, and how to manage snow and ice storms.
The Conex Wisconsin/Northern Illinois show is held near the end of January each year at State Fair Park in metropolitan Milwaukee.