UCT Attendance Soars

April 2013, Vol. 68 No. 4

The 2013 Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition (UCT) posted the highest attendance for the annual event since the 2002 event. The official attendance count for 2013 was more than 2,600, said Karen Francis, show manager.

“Advance registration indicated that we could anticipate a strong turnout in 2013,” said Francis. “But the final number exceeded our expectations. Exhibit sales have already far surpassed last year’s pace.”

The show was Jan. 29-31, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. The large exhibition also included the 12,000-square-foot RehabZone, the unique “no selling” area focusing on underground infrastructure rehabilitation methods and services.

In addition to exhibits, UCT’s primary educational program offered almost 100 sessions that included tutorials, engaging panel discussions, interactive presentations and detailed case histories covering underground utility construction and rehabilitation methods and technologies.

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A first in 2013 was a two-hour HDD Focus Group bringing together directional drilling contractors representing all regions of the country to discuss issues and exchange ideas about the industry. Manufacturers and suppliers were invited to attend to hear first-hand comments and concerns of the companies who buy their equipment

Francis said exhibitors and attendees overwhelmingly approved of the changes to the show hours which have been modified to reduce time conflicts between hours of educational sessions and times the exhibitors are open.

Happy campers
Vernie Santos, vice president of marketing at Apex Directional Drilling, Portland, OR, said his company’s first trip to UCT was exciting. “It’s even more impressive than we anticipated,” he said. “We’re here to interact with others primarily to look for opportunities for work.”

Mike Hogan, president of Duke’s Root Control, Syracuse, NY, said 2013 UCT had a strong representation from the municipal market. “That’s our arena,” he said. “So we’re very pleased to come away from the show with leads for new business. UCT also provides the opportunity for us to meet with clients we already serve.”

UCT was the first time Rig Source, Elburn, IL, has shown its new Terramac RT9 North American-made rubber track carrier.