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Once again we see the throws of winter upon us and that can only mean one thing, another World of Concrete has come and gone. Perhaps most of you have noticed the difference in this winter season. Most companies are reporting schedules, busier than ever before, during the months of December, January and now February. The torrid pace for residential construction continues throughout most of our CFA regions but perhaps the biggest influence to this schedule is the weather. The record snowfalls of December have given way to a very mild, if not moderate, January. Already the start to February has shown little impact from the weather other than returning to more normal temperature conditions, all of this equates to foundations, foundations and more foundations.


The winter season is not the only thing that is different this year…World of Concrete was different! “Different?” You say. How is that possible? Certainly the subject didn’t change and the companies were largely the same save for the new and refined products showcased. But what was truly different this year is that across the board, World of Concrete 2006 was a record-setting event. The number of attendees, this year reached over 80,000 for the first time in the history of the 32-year event. This record number of attendees had the opportunity to scour over 800,000 net sq.ft. of exhibit space held by more than 1,800 exhibitors across three halls, both records of their own. In fact, the total effect the World of Concrete generated saw an increase of 15% in the numbers posted for 2005. This is a dramatic indicator of the success the concrete construction industry is enjoying at the present time. The CFA commits significant energy to the World of Concrete each year as a co-sponsor. This means that in addition to exhibiting and marketing registration, we also sponsor seminars (three this year) and host meetings including a full day of Board meetings and our Tuesday event, the Annual CFA Winter Meeting. This year we also added co-participation in a housing mega demo to show off the myriad of ways concrete is providing improved trends in new construction.


Truly this year the CFA kept up the trend of noticeable differences this winter. The Aladdin Resort and Casino was the site of this year’s Winter Meeting event, designed as purely a social function with heavy hors d’oeuvres and lots of networking in response to so many interested respondents from last year. At the time we arrived in Las Vegas, this event was set to be another in the string of successful CFA networking events with over 300 people registered. What we didn’t anticipate is that for the second straight year the number soared through the day Tuesday to over 400. By the time we closed down the registration that evening, a record 430+ came through our doors to plug into the networking power of the CFA.

Those in attendance were treated to three continuous PowerPoint presentations. One featured a comprehensive history of the CFA–its meetings, Presidents and notable accomplishments, including photos many thought surely had been burned or should have as well as terrific memories. Another gave a pictorial introduction to all ten entries to the Basement of the Year competition (another in the line of records set this year). The third proudly displayed information from each of the record, 23 sponsors of this year’s event.

You will also read in this issue the story of Arie Van Wyk, his wife Sue and their company, Van Wyks Inc. We couldn’t be more pleased at the opportunity to award Arie the Contractor of the Year during the evening events. Part of the reason he is recognized so highly was embodied in his acceptance speech…well, actually his acceptance line…” I got where I am today by taking from each of you, thanks.” Vintage Arie and a testament to this network known as the CFA.

The theme of record setting doesn’t end though with the main numbers and the CFA event. Considerable effort is put forth by your Board of Directors to spend time in the booth throughout the show to help give a personal touch, telling prospective members just what is so important about the CFA.

Combined with the number of hours that were logged by this effort was a new record for number of votes cast for the Basement of the Year to produce the three projects that took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place (first time the CFA has awarded multiple positions).


The success in numbers and networking opportunity also brought with it the strains of such a rapidly-growing event. Issues like faster access at the door to our event, more food, more beverages and more room are nice problems to now have to find improved solutions. Plans are already being made for next year’s event in the anticipation that you, the members of the CFA will continue to turn out in force with the goal of plugging into this networking in a social atmosphere. We’ll be promoting the “CFA Speed Pass” and a doubled room size coupled with a broader selection of menu items will be sure to answer the call while rumors of some great entertainment part way through the evening begin to surface. Go ahead, mark your calendar to be in attendance and while you’re at it, mark another date to register early and help us plan the volume.

Top to bottom the World of Concrete was probably the busiest and the best for our Association. We felt the impact of a surging construction economy and celebrated continued growth of the CFA, now mid-way through our 30th anniversary celebration. Let’s continue the success seen in Las Vegas as we surge ahead in 2006 and prepare for Indianapolis, The Dells and Hartford. Join us! We’ll be there for you.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us