As show season comes to close and the asphalt season is about to officially start, this is a good time to reflect on what everyone took away from the shows. For many, the World of Asphalt and National Pavement Expo were opportunities to network with other contractors in the industry as well as see what new equipment the vendors have to offer.
Some attendees went with something specific in mind they wanted to buy or research, some went to attend the various classes offered by both shows, and some went to network with old friends and new contractors.
From an exhibitor’s perspective, here are three main takeaways KM International has from the trade show season.
1. It is an exciting time to be in the pavement maintenance industry.
2018 was a strong year across the board for pavement maintenance contractors. Everyone from sealcoaters to large-scale pavers reported an abundance of work in 2018 and expected the same going into the 2019 season. Many of the contractors said they had a majority of their schedules booked for 2019 and anticipated 10-20% growth for their companies.
In addition to an uptick in residential and commercial work, many municipal organizations have received funding for road repairs and resurfacing and are bidding work out to contractors.
2. The industry is still growing.
The World of Asphalt and the National Pavement Expo are both great shows in their own sense. WOA brings together a lot of the larger-scale pavers and producers, and NPE is tailored more toward both big and small contractors that focus mainly on pavement maintenance. But both shows brought many new contractors who were either only in their first or second year or brand new to the industry. As stated above, the asphalt industry is lucrative and growing, so it would only make sense that the industry would draw newcomers.
3. Infrared repair is still gaining momentum.
As an infrared manufacturer, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t talk about the state of the infrared industry. Infrared in recent years has steadily been gaining popularity with contractors across the country. Through years of educating and perpetuating the industry, contractors have finally started to see the benefits infrared has to offer. Several contractors expressed interest in starting to offer infrared repair and felt it would add additional profits to their bottom line.
These are not the only notes to take away from the show season, but ones that were most noticeable. The asphalt industry is moving in a positive direction. Homeowners, property managers, and municipalities are finally starting to reinvest in their driveways, parking lots, and roadway system, which means good things for the asphalt industry.