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Concrete Foundations Convention 2019 “It’s A Wrap!”

Every year, the Concrete Foundations Convention brings together cast-in-place contractors, design professionals, suppliers and manufactures for three days of education, networking, exhibitions, certification, awards, and much more. The event is the largest annual gathering dedicated to the cast-in-place concrete industry, and plays a vital role in the growth and development of companies, big and small, across the country. This year the event, presented by Schwing, took place in lovely Denver, Colorado.

Post-event surveys show nearly 80% of these attendees made a new connection that will help them grow professionally, over 60% discovered a new product or tool that will save money on their next job, and close to 80% learned something that will improve the safety of their crews and projects.

“We met a lot of wonderful and knowledgeable people through this event,” said Shannon Dwinnell, the division manager at Doggett Residential Services. “The networking is fantastic, and the education provides great opportunities to dive deep into various subjects.”

The education program was selected specifically to inspire and offer great value to business owners across the country, addressing some of the most common areas of business that keep owners up at night. The Concrete Foundations Association recently surveyed members who were not in attendance this year to find out what topics would have interested them and perhaps persuaded them to attend. The results show that 100% of the requested topics were actually addressed at this year’s event in some manner. Labor and money management, employee retention, negotiating contracts, OSHA and other code regulations, succession planning, and relationship solutions – the education and early-bird roundtables covered it all. 

“Every time I come to these events, I always learn something new and leave feeling recharged,” said Andy Renner of Bartley Corp. “In addition to the education, the exhibit hall is a great way to keep up with new products. I’ve already tried a couple of new things that I found out about in Denver!” 

This year’s exhibit hall featured nearly 40 companies with the newest and latest products for the cast-in-place concrete industry. Exhibiting companies often use this opportunity to not only show off their products, but also to learn how they can make them better, adapting to the needs of the industry. 

“As first time exhibitors, we found the attendees feedback to be very helpful and encouraging,” said Jeffrey Snyder of Aaron Hilbert, LLC. “It was nice to have beverages and food available during exhibition hours so people could view products and share ideas in a relaxed and positive atmosphere.”

Attendees are able to check out exhibits through out the event, with dedicated exhibit hours during the Kick-Off Bash, sponsored this year by Irving Equipment, and the Awards Gala cocktail hour, sponsored the last four years by Putzmeister.

In addition to the education, networking rates among the top reasons for people to attend convention. The CFA creates numerous opportunities for attendees to network throughout the event. Between a Brewery Tour around Denver, sponsored by Stabila; a zipline tour in the Rockies; and a Closing Social at TopGolf, sponsored by ICC Distribution Group and Wall Ties and Forms, attendees were able to foster new relationships that will continue to grow for years to come. 

“The networking opportunities are my favorite part of the CFA,” said Justin Atkins of Atkins Brothers Concrete Walls. “I remember coming to my first meeting in Vegas when I was 21. We didn’t take much away from it in those days. I took a chance and came to Myrtle Beach for the 2016 Concrete Foundations Convention, and it was a whole different world from there on,” said Atkins. “The chance to sit and talk with the people I’ve met through the CFA every year is what I look forward to every time we talk about going to the summer convention or to World of Concrete. We’re all diverse and we’re all the same in our business strategies. We all have one common goal, which is to create a successful company in the concrete industry. Every time I talk to friends who are CFA members, I try to take something away from the conversation and use it in our business to become better. It has completely changed the way I look at running a business, just from talking with other successful people in the industry.”

It is not just the attendees who were able to create new relationships; this year the CFA introduced its first annual Guest and Spouse Social. While attendees were deep into the education program, guests and spouses gathered at Lime Cantina at the Denver Pavilions for mimosas, margaritas and appetizers. 

“I would like to thank all of the wonderful people who made my wife feel so welcome,” said Dwinnell. “She was overwhelmed by their kindness and enjoyed herself thoroughly.”

The CFA has always been a tight network of peers, and has, over the years, turned into one big family. If you have questioned whether or not to bring your spouse or guest to this event, question no more. 

“Everyone was beyond friendly and I felt welcomed right off the bat,” said Roxanne Roffers. “I met so many amazing people that day, and I have never felt this at any convention before. Having this gathering made me feel more involved, and I was able to relate to others on a ‘spouse’ level of this industry,” said Roffers. “I had a great experience and look forward to attending more in the future!”

Following a day of education and social activities, attendees and their newly acquainted guests gathered in the exhibit hall for the 2019 Awards Gala. Here, the CFA recognized individuals and organizations that demonstrate the highest ideals of professional knowledge and technical service. Awards are offered annually in three main categories: Projects, Safety and Professional Achievement. Nominations and participation in these award programs are a benefit of membership, and companies can seek membership in order to participate in these opportunities for recognition to elevate their stature in the marketplace.

The CFA staff is working diligently to plan an education program designed specifically for cast-in-place concrete professionals, and is also planning to offer more exciting networking and social opportunities at next year’s event. We look forward to welcoming you to beautiful Charleston, South Carolina, July 23-25, for the 2020 Concrete Foundations Convention!

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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