Although crowds at last month's 2002 Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) convention in Las Vegas were up over last year's in Dallas, officials say that prior years of flagging attendance had already convinced them to combine their event with another industry show and permanently move it to Chicago in 2003 (BD&C 8/01, p. 9).
"ConstructAmerica" will be the new creation, starting next April at Chicago's McCormick Place convention center on Lake Michigan. Alexandria, Va.-based CSI will co-sponsor the joint show with Today's Facility Manager (TFM), formerly Facility Forum, operated by Group C Communications, Red Bank, N.J.
CSI this year drew 8,316 attendees to Las Vegas, up considerably from last year's 7,290 total in Dallas. Still, the group believes ConstructAmerica could bring in as many as 15,000. The 2002 show featured an inspiring talk by keynote speaker Lee Evey of the Pentagon Renovation Program (see p. 19) and a fairly hopeful business forecast from former Portland Cement Association economist Bill Toal (see p. 49).
China's $50 billion casting call
Looking even further ahead, a Chinese delegation at CSI also held a press conference in Las Vegas to announce plans for a U.S. product manufacturers expo next spring in Beijing, in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games..
Allie Chang, CEO of Pac Pacific Group International, Santa Monica, Calif., said the event will be a chance for U.S. firms to meet buyers and specifiers in China and gain a share of the $7.2 billion forecast for building materials needs.
In all, Chang says China will spend $52.3 billion on related projects, such as a 3,000-acre park with 24 stadiums and arenas. In Beijing, alone, over 800 new hotels will be built and 110 factories will be relocated. (For more Olympics details, visit: [email protected].)