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Day 3: The UCT Experience—Attendance and Results
Sewer and Water: Tight Markets, Tight Relationships
Still, with municipal budgets tightening, some observers noted fewer than usual water and sewer engineers and public works employees in the exhibition aisles. Keith Hanks, senior engineer for the City of Los Angeles, explained that revenues were down in L.A., just like everywhere else, and the city was having to make choices. He was primarily “chasing down CIPP people” at the show, with the next year’s priorities focusing on small pipe rehabilitation and replacement and only a few larger rehab projects.
Still, there were happy endings to quite a few stories in the sewer and water segment. Pipe rehabilitation company AP/M Permaform hit a home run, despite the trepidation among municipalities. “A single contact made the show worthwhile for us,” said Steve Henning of AP/M. “There was more than one, though,” added his colleague Ed Brown. The company garnered goodwill in the education sessions, too. Henning’s Wednesday class, “Structural Rehabilitation of Storm and Sewer Pipe by the Centrifugally Cast Concrete Pipe Process,” drew on research from the company’s newest offering and was mentioned as a highlight of the education sessions by attendees.
Aware of the market conditions, sewer maintenance company Carylon’s Bill Kriedler and Andew Costa were not chasing new business, but taking good care of the old. Said Costa, “I kind of equate trade shows to weddings and funerals. You have a whole big family out there, but it’s only at the major events that everyone gets together.” With that kind of proximity, Carylon meets suppliers and deals with vendor issues. “We throw together a couple lunches and dinners. [Our] people come a couple hours to the exhibit hall, but then the priority is relationships.”
It Isn’t Over Until Someone Wins $500
With the Stay to the Last Day program in its second year, it was certain that the show would end on a high note. Sponsors donated prizes of cash cards worth between $250 and $500 dollars, and for winners Daniel Monteros of Asus, April Cloutier of Lymtech, Joseph Moreno of Brown and Caldwell and Abhay Jain of the University of Texas at Arlington, sticking around until the close of the exhibit hall paid off. Of course, with next year’s UCT a highly anticipated return to Houston for the first time in three years, many are already planning for 2011.
A safe and successful 2010 to all of you, and see you next year!