The inaugural Construction Americas Exposition, held March 26-27 in Miami was a great success! The event produced by the OHL School of Construction at Florida International University was sponsored by Dodge Analytics, Bosch Power Tools, Digital Drafting Systems, and the Construction Marketing Association. The event was created and managed by the Construction Marketing Association.
Construction Americas kicked off with a welcome reception March 26, hosted by Chris Grundy, from the DIY Network’s Cool Tools and Blog Cabin. Chris shared many entertaining anecdotes and behind-the-scenes insights into the popular cable series. The Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC), was an excellent venue for the expo, with great food!
Hundreds of attendees participated in the exposition, including managers and staff from national, regional and local construction firms, staff from exhibiting companies, journalists and trade press, and of course, many students from the FIU OHL School of Construction, and other construction-related programs.
Over 30 exhibitors participated in the Exposition, including our lead sponsor, Dodge Analytics, who launched a new app, Dodge Maps. Other exhibitor highlights include the massive concrete truck from Florida Concrete Unlimited, and a pink cement truck from SuperMix (hh check this). Safety was a big theme and Construction Americas, with two safety wear exhibitors, MSA Safety and IronWear, along with construction safety consulting firm, Optimum Safety Management. Cranes were well represented with the manufacturer of the biggest cranes in the world, Liebherr, along with the Crane Inspection and Certification Bureau (CICB). Alpi and Brookside displayed beautiful wood veneers specified by architects. HoistCam showed off it’s camera systems for equipment and construction sites. Of course no construction event is complete without a Caterpillar, and Florida region dealer Kelly Tractor obliged.
The absolute highlight of the exposition was the panel discussions, that featured many experts from across the construction industry.
The CEO panel offered a rare glimpse into the minds of top managers both international, and regional construction firms including Larry Casey from Skanska, Gilberto Neves of Odebrecht USA, Alicia Cuervo of OHL Arellano, Jose Vazquez of Facchina, and Gordon Knapp of Manhattan Construction. Topics ranged from the skilled trades labor shortage, to dealing with cyclicality, and embracing technology.
The Technology Panel offered much insight into how BIM is transforming the industry, and driving new levels of productivity and performance. Represented by construction industry heavy weights including Autodesk (Clay Freeman), Dodge Analytics (Steve Jones), e-Builder (Jon Antevy), and Jonas Software (Orton Baker).
Last but not least, the editor panel offered yet more perspectives on construction labor, legislation, and again, technology. Moderator Paul Deffenbaugh (Metal Architecture, Metal Construction News), shared his 25 years of insight. The engineering background of Rachel Detwiler of the Prestressed Concrete Institute and PCI Journal added a technology perspective, along with suggestions to use veterans to fill the labor shortage. Scott Judy of ENR magazine offered a broad analysis of the construction industry.
The FIU OHL School of Construction is one of the largest programs in North America. Construction Americas 2015 Exposition brought awareness and understanding to the program, along with much insight into one of the most vibrant and active construction markets in the world, south Florida.
Stayed tuned for details on the Construction Americas 2016 Exposition. And special thanks to Bernadette Chung of the school, and Heather Hawes of the Construction Marketing Association, for their tireless efforts in making the event a success.