WOC Education Comes Back Strong As Does the Economy


Each year in May, a group of industry experts reviews the proposals submitted for new educational seminars at the next World of Concrete. No recession here, with 74 proposals for new business programs and 61 proposals for new technical seminars. That’s on top of the popular returning seminars from last year, although Bonnie King and the educational team at WOC always plan to have a high percentage of new topics for attendees to choose from.

Once the Educational Advisory Committee reviews the new proposals, we get together and hash out which topics to present for next year. Of course, this year’s meeting happened by Zoom rather than face-to-face, although the plan is that WOC 2021 will be held in person but with cautions in place to maintain social distancing. That could mean smaller class sizes in some cases, so if you have a particular seminar you want to attend, better sign up early to save your space since I, for one, believe that the construction industry will be back strong by next January.

In a recent ASCC webinar, economist Anirban Basu predicted that the recession will be “short and vicious.” Here’s why he believes there will be a fast turnaround:

  • That’s what happened following previous pandemics (SARS, H1N1)
  • There will be a pent-up demand for goods of all types
  • There will be a need to rebuild inventories
  • Interest rates will remain very low
  • Oil prices are very low
  • Air travel is cheap
  • And finally, that the global pharmaceutical companies will come up with a vaccine or at least a good treatment for COVID-19

This doesn’t mean that the recovery will be equal for everyone. In-person retail is going to suffer, meaning fewer shopping centers, but that means that online sales will grow requiring more distribution centers, more data centers. Since many have adjusted well to working from home, office space will not be in high demand. And the big question remains infrastructure spending—it’s essential to the long-term well being of this country and everyone knows that. After the fall election, there could be an opportunity to push through an infrastructure funding package.

So put it on your calendar now: World of Concrete 2021, January 19 to 22; Education January 18 to 22 in the new Las Vegas Convention Center!