If you are betting on good shows to attend in 2008, you will likely hit the jackpot at Conexpo-Con/Agg in March. The 2008 Conexpo-Con/Agg show will feature an estimated 2,200 exhibitors and more than 2.2 million square feet of space. As with its international counterparts, Bauma and Intermat, the scale of the event and the vast number of people visiting Las Vegas mean that it makes sense to arrange your transport and accommodations well in advance. See the box stories for some details on how to book your hotel and register for the show.

The skies over Las Vegas will be filled with crane booms and likely most of the world's construction equipment manufacturers – including the vast majority of crane, truck and trailer manufacturers – planning to attend. As ever at Conexpo, attendees can expect plenty of product launches, demos, product enhancements and more while wearing out the soles on their shoes – get ready to tread some serious ground.

Attendees can expect to find the latest equipment and product technologies and innovations to help solve their business challenges. The show will feature new and expanded education opportunities and a record amount of exhibit space. More than 125,000 industry professionals are expected to attend.

Attendees can comparison-shop for the latest equipment, products and services; participate in targeted education sessions; and network with peers and competitors to exchange ideas and information. In conjunction with Conexpo-Con/Agg will be IFPE 2008, offering a wide array of motion control products and technologies. The show will host exhibit pavilions sponsored by the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA) and the Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA), as well as an exhibit pavilion that highlights the expanded presence of sensors suppliers at the show.

The countries of China, Italy, Spain and Taiwan are sponsoring IFPE 2008 international exhibit pavilions. These international pavilions provide an added dimension to the shows' exhibits, giving attendees the opportunity to examine a broader range of business solutions and develop more global industry contacts. And, participating exhibitors gain access to customers outside their home countries.

As with past shows, Conexpo 2008 will have exhibitors grouped into product-concentration areas to help attendees more easily find the products and companies they are most interested in visiting. These product groupings are: aggregates, asphalt and compaction, concrete, earthmoving machinery and attachments, engines and components, information technology, trucks, utilities, lifting (aerial and cranes), associations/industry events, drilling, safety and traffic, and trenching and shoring. Most of the crane and transport related exhibitors will be in the Gold Lot in the trucks, utilities and lifting areas.

The show has signed on 10 international exhibit pavilions from Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Italy, Korea, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Also new to the show is a display of historical equipment, illustrating the industry's rich heritage and the show's history from 1908 to the present.

New show-floor additions at Conexpo will focus on industry safety training and the need for a qualified industry workforce. A special Safety Zone exhibit area will feature live demonstrations and information resources focused on jobsite safety, from groups including the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF).

The education program at the show will offer more than 120 sessions delivered by industry experts with a focus on industry trends, case studies and “how to” application techniques and strategies. The sessions are divided into 10 program tracks to help attendees locate topics of most interest to them: aggregates, asphalt, concrete, construction project management, earthmoving, environmental/recycling, equipment, management, personal development and safety.

The show will again feature an Information Technology (IT)/Management Pavilion designed to provide a comprehensive selection of the latest technology solutions that increase company productivity and efficiency in the office and in the field. The IT/ Management Pavilion has been sponsored by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) since the 2002 show.

The pavilion will showcase the leading companies offering industry-focused computer software, hardware and peripherals. Applications include computer-aided design (CAD), bidding and estimating, construction surveying and project management. The pavilion will also spotlight telecommunications equipment, business-to-business e-commerce solutions, and related management products and services. Attendees can conveniently compare features and benefits, with hands-on demonstrations, to find the technology tools that best fit their needs, all in one place.

New for the show this year is a special free program on best practices for small fleet management, which will be held the last day of the show. The program will provide practical solutions for the specific fleet management needs of small business owners specializing in commercial, industrial and public construction. Also new for 2008 is a program on seminar delivery methods using electronic technologies, such as podcasts, to extend the show's educational value to attendees.

Selected education modules will be conducted with simultaneous interpretation into Portuguese, Spanish and Russian. Industry organizations will also offer certification and examination programs.

A substantial number of show visitors are expected to come from outside the United States. The shows will operate a comprehensive International Trade Center onsite, with services to include interpreters fluent in major world languages, message centers, phone/fax/e-mail access, meeting rooms and a lounge area. US Department of Commerce representatives will be on hand to provide import and export counseling for interested attendees and exhibitors. There will also be a special international attendee registration area designed to serve the needs of the global visitor.

Included in the official Conexpo-Con/Agg Show Directory will be an Export Opportunities Guide (print and electronic versions available) for distribution onsite and to US Commerce Department international posts. The guide is designed to help attendees easily locate companies interested in doing business on a worldwide basis through export sales, agency relationships, distributor investment or joint ventures.

More than 90 US, Canadian and worldwide trade associations and allied groups are official supporting organizations of Conexpo-Con/ Agg 2008 and/or IFPE 2008, promoting the shows' value and bringing their memberships to the events. Joining US-based groups are international industry-related organizations from Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Finland, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and Venezuela. A record 11 associations are holding annual conventions or board meetings at the shows, and in total the shows expect to host more than 300 meetings of associations and companies.

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