Amongst the dire news of a stumbling economy, the attendance at the ICUEE show in Louisville, Kentucky was refreshingly good. There was a pervading sense of overall optimism that helped keep the show upbeat. The general consensus from the vendors and contractors that we met was that the slower times are slowly getting better. The last month specifically was mentioned as being far better than the average from the last few months.
The weather was warmer but rainy on the first day, driving everyone indoors to peruse the enormous indoor display area. As the fields outside slowly turned to mud, thousands of booths displaying everything from hydraulic components to safety vests and tooling to shoe inserts (there were a lot of sore feet from all that walking!) got a lot of traffic.
We managed to network with many of our customers and vendors including (but not limited to), Underground Tools, Railhead, DCI, Melfred Borzall, Carson Underground, Benjamin Media, Underground Construction, and many more. We networked with our Australasian representatives there, along with some of our past customers from that area. Old customers seemed to turn up at every corner.
The second day was the busiest for us, as we took the opportunity to explore the acres and acres of outdoor exhibits. The ICUEE show is a "hands on" experience, and attendees are encouraged to drive, dig, smash, grind and plow everything there. Some of the highlights included Vermeer's new million pound machine, the new Astec 4045, Ditch Witch's new JT100AT, and also their ever-impressive Super Witch trencher.
It was a great exhibition, and the show of optimism was refreshing in a slow time. Better times are surely just around the corner!