Say Goodbye to the Printed Directory for ConExpo 2014

ConExpo-Con/Agg, one of the world’s largest trade shows for construction industries, will be be here before your know it!  Held only every 3 years, the next one is scheduled for March 8-12, 2014,– and some changes are in store for attendees.

ConExpo 2014 printed show materials

At ConExpo 2011, attendees had to pay $10 in advance and $20 on-site for a printed show directory. This may have been a test run to decrease the number of directories printed and help reduce the cost and waste generated by this hefty book, weighing in at nearly a pound and a half. The directory listed educational programming at ConExpo, but primarily consisted of exhibitor company profiles, contact information, and of course, booth numbers. With no advertising allowed in the directory, the move away from printing it isn’t really a surprise. This cost-savings change will be a be a “green” direction that will reduce waste, but is also likely in response our growing use of online information.

The decision to discontinue the printed directory is a reflection of the changing habits of show attendees and society as a whole. Look at the incredibly fast rate of smartphone adoption in the the US and beyond. Currently about 55% of adult Americans are walking around with smarphones, with 80% predicted to own smartphones by the end of 2014.  To accommodate this trend, three new charging stations are planned at South Hall Level 1, South Hall Level 2 and near Registration in the Platinum Lot. The combination of growing smartphone adoption and the as yet unreleased ConExpo 2014 mobile phone application (App) will mean less reliance on printed materials.  I’ve been told that the printed Show Daily is going away too.  The Mapbook, however, might survive — the last I heard it’s fate hadn’t been decided.

In 2011, the ConExpo online events and exhibitor directory synced up nicely with the show’s mobile App so you could transfer your lists of preferred exhibitors to visit and events to attend to your smartphone. I expect this same functionality again for 2014. I also predict ConExpo 2014 website visitors will see a significant increase in exhibitor online advertising and sponsorships as we grow closer to the show dates. I expect we’ll also see an increase use of social media at ConExpo by exhibitors and attendees, as well.

Exhibitors are currently in the process of reserving hotel rooms and registering for the show. ConExpo 2014 attendee hotel reservations and trade show registrations begin in July. In the meantime, you can sign up for 2014 show alerts to stay informed via email. With over 2,400 exhibitors and 130,000 attendees expected at ConExpo, it will be the must-attend show for those in the construction industries. And, if you happen to use crusher wear parts, make sure to see Columbia Steel at ConExpo 2014.

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MINExpo 2012 Preview

MINExpo By the Numbers:

MINExpo 2012Every 4 years
3 days
9 to 5
12 Halls
20 educational sessions
850,000 square feet of exhibits
1,800 exhibitors
Over 43,000 attendees (and climbing)

The mining universe turns its eyes to MINExpo International every 4 years. As the worldwide mining industry continues to rise above the economic doldrums, people will amass at the Las Vegas Convention Center for this important trade show. The organizers of MINExpo, the National Mining Association, has accommodated a 40% growth in exhibit booth space from 2008 by adding the second floor of the South Hall to the show.


If you’re not registered yet, do it now. It cost $200 for those of you who waited this long. This price does include access to 20 educational sessions without additional cost. The educational sessions are held in concurrent times Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.


Hopefully, you have already reserved your hotel room for MINExpo. As of August 17, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has turned hotel reservations over directly to the hotels. Unfortunately, the 16 hotels on the MINExpo hotel list are not honoring the show rates. In order to find a good rate on a hotel now, I’d suggest looking at, or a comparison hotel shopping site of your choice, find the best price at the hotel you want to stay, then call the hotel directly and ask them to match the price you found online. Staying at one of these 16 hotels offers you the benefit of catching a free shuttle bus to the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Biggest Exhibitor at Largest Mining Show?

Catepillar will be the largest exhibitor at MINExpo with a whopping 52,000 square feet of exhibit space in the Central Hall.  After ogling CAT’s giant haul truck, visit Columbia Steel’s nearby booth (# 6075) –– our largest ever at MINExpo.  If you operate crushers or draglines, make sure to stop by the Columbia Steel booth at MINExpo and check out the latest in mining wear parts.

Exhibitor Directory

MINExpo 2012 brings forth a significant improvement in their online exhibitor directory. Despite its lack of social media sharing tools, it’s a significant update from the online directory four years ago. Exhibitors who opted to pay a little extra have included marketing materials, video and/or a photo gallery as part of their listings. If you choose to create an account within the online directory, you can utilize the “My Exhibitors” and “Map My Exhibitors” tools that help you make a list of exhibitors you want to visit at MINExpo, then print out that list and maps that indicate where they are located.

The print edition of the MINExpo directory still exists, too. You can pick one up when you stop by registration for your name badge and/or plastic name badge holder and lanyard.

Mobile App

A MINExpo 2012 mobile app was released in early September – available for free from your mobile phone app store.  I’ve tried the one for iPhone and found it useful, but it also crashed and had to be restarted several times during my trial run. However, give it a try, hopefully they’re working out the bugs.

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Updates to our Australian website are now online.

Columbia Steel Australian site

Our Australian homepage

We’ve recently done some housekeeping on Columbia Steel’s Australian website, including:

  • Product listings for some of our popular dragline and crusher wear parts;
  • Quick links to our Australian Dealer, 2MT Mining Products, and to our Customer Service Specialists in the U.S.;
  • Social media links for our friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn;

…And more new content to be coming soon.

You’ll also notice a link to information about Columbia’s booth at the upcoming MINExpo International tradeshow in Las Vegas, NV, September 24-25. We’re excited about the 2012 show and will be sharing news and tips for attendees on this blog, so revisit us here soon to learn more.

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Limited edition poster celebrates Columbia Steel’s 110 Year Anniversary

110 Year Anniversary Poster

110 Year Anniversary Poster

To commemorate this special year for us, we commissioned renowned Northwest illustrator Paul A. Lanquist to capture the spirit of Columbia Steel, our people and our home here in Portland, Oregon. After visiting our facility and learning about our history, Paul created the poster artwork shown here. It’s already become very popular with our employees, and now we’d like to make it available to you.

Email us and get your own copy

Posters are sized 15.75 inches wide by 24 inches tall and are printed in color on heavy paper. Shipped in cardboard mailing tube, one per address, while supplies last.

Please email us your name, mailing address, city, state, postal code and country to:

Find out more about our 110 years of history

Beginning with our origins at the turn of the century, through WWI and WWII… from the 50s to the digital age… Columbia Steel has evolved and grown. Click here to read more about our history.

Were you there at our celebration?

If you were one of the nearly 500 attendees who enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob at our 110 Year Anniversary — or if you missed the fun — you might enjoy our photo gallery of the event. Click here to see pictures from our celebration BBQ.

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Tools to Help You Make the Most of ConExpo

ConExpo Online Show Planner

I’d like to share some handy online tools for attendees to make it easier to navigate this huge (and sometimes overwhelming) trade show.

Once you’ve registered for ConExpo, take a look at the Show Planner & Map on the ConExpo website. Once you land on the Show Planner welcome page, click on “My Show Planner” and fill out the required blanks. If you do not want exhibitors to know that you’ve added them to your itinerary, simply uncheck the “Please share my information with exhibitors I add to MyShow”.

Plan which booths to visit

Through MyShow you can add an exhibitor to your My Exhibitors list by clicking the check box next to the exhibitor’s name. You can “Search the Show” by exhibitors, products or featured exhibitors in order to find exhibitors you want to add to your must-see list.  Creating a list of exhibitors to visit before you leave for Las Vegas is a great idea! ConExpo is SO BIG, with over 2,000 exhibitors, that it is difficult to make it to every exhibit hall or outdoor space, let alone visit all of the exhibitors you intend to see. Another way to approach finding the products you’re interested in at ConExpo is to use the Profile Wizard which allows you to pull up all exhibitors who manufacture or sell a specific product, like Cone Crushers, for example.  Then you can select just the ones you want — or select them all, then eliminate the ones you’re not interested in through further investigation of the exhibitor profiles on the ConExpo site or company’s websites.

Take advantage of educational workshops

By exploring the Session Catalog you’ll be able to find many educational sessions, workshops and certification courses. The educational Sessions cost $80 each, with a discount if you want to attend 3 or more. Most workshops and certification classes cost more. Here are two Sessions that I think might interest those in the aggregate industry:
• Managing Quarry Operations in Tough Financial Times with Ran Tamir, a quarry manager with Lafarge; and
• Automating the Quality Control Process with Jim Cox, Director of Quality Support Services at CEMEX.
Although you can check a box and add the sessions, workshops and/or certification classes of your choice to your itinerary within MyShow, you must register and pay for the classes in order to attend. You cannot do this through MyShow. You must do this through the registration process. If you have already registered, then simply click the Add or Update button within the registration process to register for educational events.

The educational sessions you choose, with a check mark, will show up in My Events. You can also add your own appointments and meetings to My Events. This tool even becomes more helpful when you realize you can download the events to Microsoft Outlook on your computer; however, you have to add events to your Outlook one event at a time.

Print your own personal “to-do” list to bring to the show

If you want to print your itinerary of sessions and events, simply click the printer icon in the upper right-hand corner while you’re within one of the My Show Planner pages. You will also have the option to print My Exhibitors list as well. The list of exhibitors prints out with a separate list and map for each exhibit hall or outside lot. The exhibitors you’ve chosen are highlighted and numbered on the map and the numbers match the list print-out. This is an especially nice feature that should make finding the exhibitors you want to visit much easier – IF you plan ahead.

ConExpo iPhone App

ConExpo Apps are available for mobile devices.

Tools for mobile devices

New to the 2011 show are smart phone applications (Apps) available for free download. Find out more about the iPhone App here, or visit this link with your mobile device to download the right App for your phone. The application has been created by Core Apps, the same company that has created a show app for the Consumer Electronic Show, among other shows. Rather than printing out the information from MyShow, you can upload it to your smart phone via this App. It gives you the basic items you expect — all scheduled educational events, exhibit floor maps and lists of exhibitors. But the App goes further and supplies a list of your events (synced from My Events on the website), ConExpo Twitter feed, ability to download handouts from exhibitors, connect with friends, and eventually receive alerts from show management. New features and tweaks to this application are still in the works. This is a fantastic new tool if you have a smart phone and choose not to purchase the printed show directory. Buy a show directory? Yep – keep reading…

Haven’t registered yet? Good deals on rooms are still available.

If you haven’t yet registered to attend ConExpo-Con/Agg in March — good news, there are still good discount pricing at about 13 of the official 52 ConExpo hotels.  Take a look at the current hotel list, then register to attend and book your hotel.  Two registered ConExpo attendees will be randomly chosen to each receive a $250 prepaid MasterCard every week through March 14, 2011. The earlier you register to attend ConExpo, the more weeks you’ll be entered to win $250.  Advanced online registration is $50 ($80 onsite).  A show directory is an extra $10 if ordered in advance by Feb. 21 (available through the registration process) or $20 onsite. Yes paying extra for a directory is new this time around — the reason given is to reduce waste by printing less directories. Once you register, I’d recommend booking your hotel through the ConExpo website right away so that you don’t forget, miss out on available discounts, or find out too late that the room block at your favorite hotel is full.

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ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011 Allows Discounted Hotel Rates

Just like last month, you can still choose from 52 Las Vegas hotels when booking rooms through the ConExpo-Con/Agg website. Much like the “Early Bird” discount offered on hotel rooms through the ConExpo website that ended August 31 from my last blog entry, they have opened up the same discounts on 13 of the previously 17 discounted hotels.  Take a look at the most recent list of ConExpo hotels, including the 13 with discounts.  Then book your hotel of choice by Sept. 29 if you want to take advantage of any of the reduced pricing. Here’s the current list of ConExpo hotels.

Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Photo courtesy of the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

Will ConExpo offer discounted hotel rooms again next month? I don’t know. I wouldn’t recommend waiting to book rooms, especially if one of the 13 discounted hotels interests you.  Pricing will not be going down and your options will become less and less as March 22nd draws closer.

One of the discounted hotels is my new favorite Las Vegas hotel …that I’ve never stayed at before.  Neither has anyone else. Opening December 15, the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas will offer nearly 3,000 rooms in two 50 floor towers within a 8.7 acre space on the strip between Bellagio and the new City Center.  Many of the residential style rooms, about 60% I believe, have terraces, or what I would call balconies.  High-rise hotel towers with private balconies on the strip – now that is unique, especially considering you can get a studio room with a balcony, not just suites.  The Terrace Studio rooms have 620 sq. feet of space with a 110 sq. foot balcony; and kitchenette with microwave and refrigerator.  Not bad.

Wraparound Terrance Suite at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Wraparound Terrace Suite at the Cosmopolitan. Photo courtesy of the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

The Cosmopolitan is packing a lot into this property: 100,000 sq. ft. casino, 150,000 sq. ft. convention center, shops, large spa, nightclubs and 3 pools. I especially like the pool which is about 4 stories directly above Las Vegas Blvd. – yet again a unique addition to the strip.  Also notable is how this property has been built around the Jockey Club. Look at the photo below to see how the Cosmopolitan wraps around the small time share and dwarfs it!  I’ve heard that the builders were unable to locate the Jockey Club owner quickly enough to offer to purchase the property, so built around it instead.

The Jockey Club as seen from the Bellagio, Las Vegas.

The Jockey Club as seen from the Bellagio.

Late in August, a partnership was announced where the Cosmopolitan has become part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection of upscale and luxury independent hotels and resorts. This means you now get the added benefit of collecting (or using) Marriott Reward points while staying at the Cosmopolitan.  Although you were once able to receive Starwood Preferred Guest points at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino, just across the street, that is no longer so — it was taken over by Harrah’s Entertainment in February of this year.

With Harrah’s operating 8 and MGM Resorts International operating 14 Las Vegas hotels, Cosmopolitan will stand out as a more independent property (owned by Deutsche Bank) in the middle of the strip.  Don’t expect to find yet another Wolfgang Puck restaurant in the new hotel, or other commonly found eateries you see over and over again in the Harrah’s and MGM hotels.

After the Cosmopolitan opens there are supposed to be over 151,000 hotels rooms available in Las Vegas.  Over 144,000 people attended ConExpo-Con/Agg in 2008 (over 5 days).  If you add up the potential ConExpo 2011 attendance, visitors to 5 other smaller, non-related tradeshows, plus the normal mix of tourists, you can see how the demand of hotel rooms will rise substantially as the show approaches. So, do yourself a favor and don’t wait too long to book your room(s).

One thing I’ve found missing from this otherwise great list of 52 ConExpo hotels is which hotels have Monorail stops.  If you don’t know already, let me tell you – you can’t drive yourself the ConExpo tradeshow because there is virtually nowhere to park. I’d recommend not renting a car.  Plan on using the ConExpo supplied shuttle buses.  However, traffic, especially around 5 p.m. when the show ends each day, is truly terrible.  This is when the Monorail can save you.  Although there are long lines, once you board the Monorail at the Las Vegas Convention Center you will fly above the gridlock to your destination. Check out the Monorail website to determine which hotels have stations, and which hotels are nearby.  The Monorail is also a great option for exhibitors who arrive many days early to set up their company’s booth, like me, because the ConExpo shuttle buses aren’t running, yet.

Check out the list of hotels, then register and book your hotel on the ConExpo-Con/Agg website, and beat the rush and limited selection that will occur later.

Oh, one more thing. Once you’ve registered and booked your hotel room, make plans to visit Columbia Steel at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011.

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ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011 – Early Bird Hotel Discounts

Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, under construction

ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011 may seem like a long way off, but it will be here before you know it.  I recently found out some interesting information about “Early Bird” hotel pricing that I wanted to share with exhibitors and attendees alike.

First, if you don’t know about ConExpo, let me tell you; it’s the largest tradeshow for the construction industries in North America.  ConExpo-Con/Agg is held every 3 years in Las Vegas.  The last time it was held there were over 144,000 people registered for this 5-day tradeshow.  The next one is scheduled for March 22-26, 2011 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Alright, back to “Early Bird” hotel pricing.  There are 52 hotels to choose from when making hotel reservations through ConExpo’s website and 17 of those are offering discounted Early Bird pricing through the end of August.  It is hard to find a list of all of the hotels and prices without going through the step-by-step registration process.  So, let me make your life easier – check out this list of ConExpo hotels, showing amenities, regular prices and early bird prices.

Aria Resort and Casino

Some of the hotels offering Early Bird pricing are new ones, including some in the new City Center group of hotels located between Bellagio and Monte Carlo on the strip.  Aria Resort and Casino and Vdara Las Vegas are part of City Center, which both opened late last year.  Between Bellagio and City Center is another new property, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, which is scheduled to open in December. Possibly setting a new trend, both Vdara and Cosmopolitan have only non-smoking guest rooms.

Admittedly, there are lots of good reasons to go to ConExpo regardless of where you are going to stay, but staying there for a little less money isn’t a bad idea.  Of course, there are some strings attached to obtain the Early Bird discount pricing, but as long as you are certain you are going to ConExpo, they are reasonable.  Here are the restrictions as supplied by ConExpo’s housing bureau:

“Paid registration for CONEXPO-CON/AGG and/or IFPE 2011 is required to qualify for Early Bird hotel discounts. Unique names must be supplied; “placeholder names” (names that are recognizably false or made up in effort to hold a room) or reservations noted TBA will be cancelled. Changes made to a reservation after August 31, 2010 may result in the higher room rate being charged.”

It’s my understanding that these restrictions apply to both exhibitors and attendees equally and that substitutions are allowed (i.e., someone you know taking your place if you can’t go).

Suite dining at the Aria

There are many things to consider when choosing a hotel to stay at while attending ConExpo-Con/Agg – proximity to the Convention Center and Monorail, ConExpo shuttle bus availability, hotel amenities, and, of course, personal preference.  Price too is a factor.  If you think you can get a better price by booking directly from one of the 52 hotels on the list, that’s extremely unlikely; don’t waste your time.  If would like to stay at any of the 17 hotels offering the discounted Early Bird pricing, make sure to take action before August 31.  Go here for: attendee registration and hotel reservations for ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011.

See you in Las Vegas!

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