By Kevin Juhasz
For Huskie Tools
The International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition is gearing up for its next show, which opens up Oct. 1 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. The three-day event, commonly known as the Demo Expo, will feature indoor and outdoor exhibits set up over 28 acres. The ICUEE is forecasting more than 18,000 attendees in a variety of industries, including electric transmission and distribution, natural gas, waste and wastewater, and more.
Huskie Tools will be in Booth 5114 near the main entrance of the South Hall. For 2019, Huskie plans to offer a look at its extensive lines of lineman tools, including compression tools, cutting tools, and more.
ICUEE Show Director John Rozum said for 2019 the show remains focused on its core goal of presenting the latest technology in the utility industry, as well as providing a place for manufacturers, utility companies, and industry workers to come together.
“We’re very proud that this show is the place where people are looking to bring out the big guns,” he added.
In addition to the offerings by Huskie Tools, attendees can visit the Emerging Technologies Pavilion, a new feature at the Demo Expo that allows attendees to find the newest technology. ICUEE has also expanded its Safety and Fleet Management pavilions to make those items easier to find.
Attendees will also be able to head outside to experience the above-ground, underground, and lift and haul demo lots, as well as the new UTV Test Track, where they’ll be able to try out several models of utility terrain vehicles.
Besides equipment and demos, ICUEE is offering a heavy focus on education this year, with a variety of classes, simulation labs, and more.
“We’ve done away with the traditional classroom setting,” Rozum said, adding that this type of teaching has fallen out of favor with many show attendees.
ICUEE 2019 will have new disaster simulation labs led by Desi Matel-Anderson, former chief innovation advisor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The three different labs are designed to help attendees address the needs they may face during disaster response and help them be better prepared to address those needs.
“Participants are going to be given a disaster scenario, and everyone in that room will be given a role in that scenario to figure out how to keep the lights on and how to best react in that disaster situation,” Rozum explained. “The experience is going to be different for all three groups. We’re really excited to be able to bring this to ICUEE.”
The expo will also feature its walking classrooms, which travel around the show floor offering information to attendees who are new to their particular industry or a chance to boost the knowledge of those who feel they may need it. These field classrooms will cover topics such as electrical hazards and equipment, safety, fleet management and more.
“The group goes out walking and looks at specific types of equipment,” Rozum said. “They’re not looking at it from a sales standpoint, like this piece of equipment is better than this piece. They’re looking at it from a technical standpoint – safety and how to get the best use out of this type of equipment.”
Rozum added that this type of class setting is wildly successful. All the slots for these classes sold out in 2017, and they are selling well for 2019 also.
There will also be several workshops that allow you to get an education while you dine. The Lunch & Learn Workshop on opening day will focus on building and maintaining smart utility infrastructure. The second day offers a pair of workshops, one at breakfast and another at lunch, that cover workforce development and the use of drones in utility work, respectively. If you just want to eat, the venue has a number of dining options, including a new Food Court Patio that will feature a variety of food trucks from the Louisville area.
For students who are getting ready to enter the workforce, the last day of the show will offer an opportunity to help boost their entry into the industry. The Career Skills Event will allow students to rotate between six stations that offer simulations and a look at career opportunities. This is part of ICUEE, the Association of Equipment Managers, and Bridging America’s Gap working together to help replace the 20 million industry workers that are predicted to retire in the next few years.
“One of the biggest complaints we hear from our members is that just can’t find enough skilled labor,” Rozum said. “We’re trying to help expose to these students that this is what it’s like in construction and what it’s like in utilities. Bring them early and let them see the ICUEE family because it really is a community that comes together.”
The show won’t be all work and no play. Attendees will also have the chance for a little fun (and additional networking). On Oct.2, the second night of the expo, musical groups The Louisville Crashers and Soul Circus will play free shows at Fourth Street Live, the entertainment and dining district in downtown Louisville. The final day of the show will feature the Bourbon, Beer & Bites reception. Expo goers can sample bourbon and beer from Kentucky distillers and brewers, as well as small bites of Kentucky-inspired cuisine, starting at 2:00 p.m. after the show floor closes.
Anyone interested in attending the show can register at ICUEE.com. General attendees badges are a $49 and Deluxe badges are $349 until Sept. 30. For those registering the day of the show, those prices increase by $30. General badges include admission and hotel shuttle to the expo. Deluxe badges add on the dine and learn sessions and the disaster demos.
The site also has a schedule of events, list and location of exhibitors, and a way to help you plan your approach to the 1.3 million square feet of booths and demos. Rozum said the ICUEE has worked on improving signage to help with navigation, and added more ambassadors and golf carts to help attendees find their way around and move around.
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