The 37th Annual BCMC show took place in late October at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. It was the second time in the past four years at this location, so most of us already knew the great restaurants and bars to visit.
Every year the show just seems to get bigger and better, and this year’s event saw an increase of attendees and exhibitors. Individual attendance was up from last year and has steadily increased since 2013. This is a promising sign for continued economic growth in our industry.
This year’s BCMC schedule was a little different than in the past. Activities began Monday with the golf outing followed Tuesday morning by plant tours and a breezy bike ride. Registration took place Tuesday afternoon, after which the educational sessions began. No matter how each showgoer decided to spend the day, the evening ended with an industry roundtable, happy hour, and casino game night hosted by the Emerging Leaders Committee. It was great to see the influx of new members in the component industry.
Wednesday morning began with breakfast and a kickoff presentation, followed by educational sessions. While it’s always a time to connect and network, the BCMC educational sessions have really become a highlight of the week. Attendance at the sessions was great, and the presentations really moved to another level. This year’s presentations included everything from building teams and managing risk to unleashing your inner tyrant. There was something for everyone. At 10:45 a.m. the exhibit hall officially opened and it was the first opportunity for attendees to see what was new on the software and equipment front.
Once again, Simpson Strong-Tie partnered with Hundegger and LP to build bocce ball courts adjacent to our booths. This guaranteed a steady flow of interested attendees. Our focus this year was on software for an open industry and building relationships with industry partners. In addition to showing a video of our new Component Solutions® software, the booth featured our structural fasteners, including our Strong-Drive® SDW Truss-Ply and SDW EWP-Ply screws and our Strong-Drive SDWC Truss screw, along with our heavy girder hangers and new DG firewall hanger.
Thursday opened with a 5k run/walk along with some local chapter meetings and followed with the always popular Economic Forecast presented by Todd Tomalak from John Burns Real Estate Consulting. The economic feedback from attendees was very positive, and everyone is maintaining a positive but cautious attitude going forward. The show floor reopened at 10:15 a.m. and allowed attendees to finish their rounds meeting and talking with exhibitors. The closing celebration began at 4:00 with the bocce ball tournament and drinks to cap off another great show.
The week concluded on Friday with the SBCA Open Quarterly Board Meeting. The well-attended meeting provided the opportunity to thank the outgoing SBCA president, Jim Finkenhoefer, from Truss Systems, and welcome the incoming president, Greg Griggs, from Builders FirstSource, Kennesaw, Georgia. As a bonus follow-up, a sold-out plant tour of Windsor Building Systems took place Friday afternoon. It was a busy week, but we’re already looking forward to the next BCMC show in Columbus, Ohio, on October 22–25, 2019.
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