6 things you can’t miss at CONEXPO-CON/AGG
By Jenny LescohierMarch 07, 2023
If you haven’t heard (haha), CONEXPO-CON/AGG is now less than a week away. The largest tradeshow in North America, held March 14-18 in Las Vegas, will offer a 64-acre venue to more than 1,800 exhibitors who expect to greet some 130,000 visitors from all over the world.
The upcoming show will be 5% bigger than the last show held in 2020.
Make no mistake about it, the sheer scope of the event can be awe inspiring, not to mention tricky to navigate for the uninitiated. Thankfully, there’s a free mobile app, available on iOS and Android, that connects the exhibitor directory with the show floor map, allows attendees to plan for what they want to see when they get there, and take notes for review when they get home.
“There are only five days to see it all,” said CONEXPO-CON/AGG Show Director Dana Wuesthoff. “The app really helps attendees find the exhibits they’re searching for. Less time searching means more time discovering.”
If you’re packing your bags for Vegas, thinking about what you want to make sure you see and do at the show, we’ve got your covered. Here’s a list of some of the highlights you won’t want to miss.
1. The Community Zone
Yes, the exhibits will appear boundless when you get to the grounds, but there’s a lot going on outside of the tradeshow booths, too. CONEXPO-CON/AGG is not only a place to shop for the latest and greatest products and equipment, it’s also a place to meet with peers and learn more about the construction industry.
To foster that sense of community that can only come from meeting people face to face, show organizers are introducing the Community Zone. Open to all show attendees, no tickets required, this new space is located at the entrance to the Festival Lot. View the map for further details.
While “in the Zone,” make sure you do at least three things: relax, reconnect and network.
The Community Zone is intended to be a place to chill out, regroup and get ready for what’s next to see. Have casual conversations with experts - top names in your industry are going to be hanging out in the Community Zone giving friendly, informal talks.
You can also use The Community Zone as a place to meet and bond with your team. There is so much to see at the show, so here’s a spot to exchange information and make plans.
Besides your team, you’re at the show with everybody in your industry. Make long-lasting connections that will help grow your professional community.
2. 175+ education sessions
Want to learn more about what’s changing in construction? Interested in what trends to get ahead of? Concerned over how you will manage emerging technology and a changing workforce? CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 is where these questions get answered.
CONEXPO-CON/AGG’s comprehensive education program is a leading source for contractors, business owners, construction material producers and end-users to obtain cutting-edge information for today’s challenging economy and business model.
Additionally, for those attending education sessions, the app will allow users to view sessions and check on their educational experiences. Also, with there being so many events going on, users can see what is happening, when, where, and make sure they get there.
There are more than 175 individual education sessions across 10 tracks. For more information, click here, and for a look at which sessions are trending, head over here for details.
3. Big iron
Taking in all the biggest and best new machines is fun for everyone. Even if you’re not shopping for a new wheel loader or excavator, there are certain exhibits you just won’t want to miss:
Caterpillar plans its largest exhibit to date at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023, where it will showcase its latest products, services and technologies while paying tribute to those who build the world’s infrastructure.
The company’s 70,000-square-foot outdoor demonstration arena will anchor the massive Operator Stadium located in the expo’s Festival Lot.
New Caterpillar Technology, Services and Sustainability hubs offer a look beyond the iron for ways to boost operating efficiencies and improve machine uptime. Visitors will find new and current models and battery-electric machine prototypes.
Don’t miss it: On Tuesday, March 14, nine finalists from around the world will compete for the ultimate title in Caterpillar’s Global Operator Challenge. Taking place in Caterpillar’s outdoor Festival Grounds exhibit F4455, starting at 9 a.m. PDT, the winner will be crowned 2023’s world champion at 3 p.m. PDT during the live event.
John Deere has announced it too will have its largest CONEXPO-CON/AGG presence to date. Totaling 80,000 square feet of booth space, John Deere and Wirtgen are
combining forces for the first time at CONEXPO-CON/AGG, encompassing a 70,000-square-foot booth outside in the Silver Lot (S5020). Inside the West Hall (W40844), an additional 10,000 square feet is dedicated to the future of John Deere technology in the construction space.
According to the Group, the John Deere and the Wirtgen presence will offer customers an engaging experience and an all-encompassing snapshot of the future of construction through industry-leading equipment and technology.
At Case Construction Equipment’s booth, W40800, attendees are promised a look at “The New Case,” including industry and business solutions to make contractors’ jobs easier, including more than 30 new machines, new attachments and technology, as well as educational sessions with tips on best practices around technology, equipment, fleet management and more.
Case will also host new product presentations in the booth Tuesday through Friday at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., in addition to having loads of knowledgeable team members ready to help industry members get more done, with greater ease than ever before.
“These are just some of the ways Case is digging deeper, pushing harder and reaching higher to help contractors and business owners win,” says Brad Stemper, director of product management - North America, Case. “We are focused on delivering swift, smooth and smart machines with an operator-first focus and industry leading hip-pocket support from field staff and dealers all throughout North America.
“We are making moves with the speed and agility of a startup — all anchored in 180 years of experience in the earthmoving business,” said Stemper. “Last year we launched the most talked-about machine in recent history with the industry-first compact dozer loader, the Case Minotaur DL550, and we’re moving forward with that same hustle on innovation and practical solutions that will really make a difference for businesses all throughout North America.”
4. New product introductions
When you’ve made the rounds of the big machines, it’s time to get acquainted with the lesser-known innovators, the entrepreneurs who are toiling away - perhaps in their own garage - to bring you a never-before-seen concept with the potential to change your life, or at least the way you do business.
These products range from high tech to simple “git ‘r done” ideas, but one thing they all have in common is they solve problems.
With that in mind, stop by and see the folks at Ditch Doctor in Booth N10715.
Draining ditches is dirty business, and the traditional tools used to perform the task – an excavator and a dump truck – were not exactly designed for that purpose. The result can be an inefficient use of time and resources.
Adam Fisher was raised in the business and from a young age he thought there had to be a better way, so he developed the Ditch Doctor, an excavator attachment made for maintaining ditches. It allows ditch maintenance that doesn’t start from scratch every time, while leaving local soil in place with limited impact to the environment.
The prototype Ditch Doctor was built in the family shop in Nova Scotia back in 2002. Today, there are several models available to fit both small and large excavators.
The Ditch Doctor works in both wet and dry soil conditions and is said to be three times faster than the traditional method, using less fuel and labor and leaving valuable topsoil in place – good news for companies aiming to meet sustainability goals.
“The Ditch Doctor basically cuts the trench, cuts the ditch and clears out the spoil in one step,” says Fisher, founder of Ditch Doctor Drainage Solutions. “You can adjust the RPM to spray the spoil 20 feet or 100 feet, where it stays. You don’t even know that you’ve been there other than you’ve got a nice, clean, flowing ditch.”
On the more high-tech side of things, you have Blue Vigil, a developer of tether power systems for commercial drones announcing the preview of its new Autonomous Aerial LED (ALED) portable light aimed at making nighttime sites safer and more productive. See for yourself in Booth N10816.
Re-envisioning the traditional towable light tower concept, Blue Vigil’s ALED is a compact area lighting system that mounts a high-intensity LED array on a tethered Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), also known as a drone, positioning the light 40 to 100 feet above a job site for as long as needed.
The ALED puts over 8,000 sq ft of light on the ground providing nearly twice as much coverage as traditional towed light towers. By illuminating a work zone from 40’ to 100’ above, light shines directly down onto the area of operation, without creating the dangerous glare and shadows that negatively affect workers, residential environments, wildlife and motorists.
“Currently, towed light towers are the de-facto standard for a majority of nighttime roadside, bridge, overpass and other horizontal construction sites. However, they do a poor job of illuminating work scenes due to the inherent limitation in the tower height and lack of flexibility in placement, said Robert Schumann, CEO, Blue Vigil. “We have a better, and safer, solution to answer what will soon become known as ‘yesterday’s problems,’” Schumann stated.
5. Ask the influencers
Be sure to save some of your energy for work on Friday, March 17, when the Ask the Influencers panel discussion takes place at 9:30 a.m. in West Hall 228-233.
Meet up with the most influential construction minds, including James Starbuck, managing director of Starbuck Excavation Pty Ltd; Katie Kelleher, crane operator and appointed person at Katie Cranes; Matt Stanley, paving foreman/marketing manager at American Pavement Specialists - Raised on Blacktop; Missy Scherber, owner and president at T. Scherber Demolition, Excavating & Roll-Offs; and Taylor White, owner at Ken White Construction.
6. Happy hours (complete with CONEXPO-CON/AGG branded beer!)
All work and no play make... for a very long week in Vegas. Be sure to decompress with a little down time at official CONEXPO-CON/AGG happy hours.
The first will take place 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, with live music and fun in the Food Court & Beer Garden in the Festival Lot. CONEXPO-CON/AGG has partnered with Hop Valley Brewing Co. to create Quarry Crusher, the official beer of CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023. Those in attendance will receive a free limited-edition Quarry Crusher souvenir cup with their specialty beer purchase.
You can do it all again from 4 to 5 p.m. on Friday, March 17, in the Food Court in Silver 3 Lot. Feel free to stay longer, as hotel shuttles run until 6:00 p.m.
There’s certainly more at CONEXPO-CON/AGG than we can cover here. For more information on all things show related, visit conexpoconagg.com for the latest info.