Last week I traveled to Las Vegas to experience one of the newest wonders of the modern world, the World of Concrete Expo.  While I consider myself good with words and would love to spin verbiage in a way that could adequately describe just how impressive it is, I’m not worthy or able.

Cement trucks and booms

Inside one of the buildings at the Las Vegas Convention Center for World of Concrete.

The entire Las Vegas Convention Center, 2 million square feet of exhibition space stretched over three enormous buildings, was packed with eye-popping displays and an energetic crowd.  Then there were the outdoor spaces.  Two vast parking lots of working machinery, brick laying exhibitions, back-hoe contests, riding power trowel races, and cement cutting gave anyone with interest plenty of reasons to stand outside in the cold to watch.

As the newest member of the Breeza Industrial family I have a lot to learn about the way we’re able to service the many industries that need our products, and this event didn’t disappoint.  Each time I turned down a new isle and looked at the half-mile walk ahead of me I spotted machinery that needed our fans, engines that needed our spacers and pulleys, and a new contraption our outstanding fabrication shop could certainly produce.  But there were more important lessons I learned from this gathering that will help me in the upcoming years.

First, the concrete industry and all of its sub industries are about much more than rock and water.  The brilliant minds of chemists, engineers, mathematicians, and machinists who continue to move this industry forward are some of the smartest men and women in the world.

Second, this industry, which is often perceived as labor only, is art.  The outdoor spaces were filed with concrete that was so beautifully polished, colored, and finished that it could easily be interpreted as art work.  The pride of the artisans was quite obvious.

Man rides cement trowel.

The trowel challenge brought large crowds to watch the races.

The third lesson I learned, one I won’t soon forget, was the importance of face-to-face meetings.  I didn’t attend the event as an exhibitor or a sales person, but each time I engaged someone in conversation at a booth I entered into conversation that was full of information and connection.

As a marketing professional it’s easy to sit at a computer and count up the number of “connections” made through social media and our website, but there is nothing as powerful as a face-to-face engagement.

It’s always fun to learn, and this event was a universe full of new knowledge.  But the bigger thrill was getting back to people and remembering why marketers do what we do.

We connect to people, not companies, with the intention of solving their problems with our products or services.

That’s what this business is all about.

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