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Message From the Director: Convention Wrap-Up — Tips, Tweets, and Twittering

We can now close the books on the 2009 Tilt-Up Convention. It was the poorest attended convention or symposium in my 16 years of managing the TCA. After attrition (the money we pay for unused rooms that are booked 3 years in advanced) it was the first time we have ever posted a loss on a major event.

Economic times are the culprit. That was evident from our telemarketing campaign. Members and exhibitors are looking to cut costs at every turn and education is something people feel can wait — but can it?

Given the tight budgets, why should you still attend events like this? To put it in the words of one experienced contractor attendee: “One presenter, in less than a minute of his 45 minute presentation, passed along a technique with embed plated that can save us the cost of attending on every panel we build.” Even if you aren’t very busy, that can translate to enough savings on one job to send several people to our annual convention. What was that tip? You have have been there!

Sustainability was again on the agenda and it will likely be on the program in one form or another for the foreseeable future. Sustainability as it related to concrete, is a topic in which everyone must be conversant. You shouldn’t rely on others to educate your clients or the public — we all must do our part and that includes understanding the facts, issues, and the benefits of what concrete has to offer and the ability communicating them. The concrete industry is banding together to address this issue and the next edition of this column will outline those efforts.

Another topic that will surely see more play in the future is Social Networking — communication via the Internet in its many forms. The way the world communicates is changing every day and you need to get on the bandwagon or you will be left out (that includes me)! Our children were the early users of social networking. It was a way they could keep their friends informed of every thought and nuance in their lives. It has, however, evolved well beyond that.

Twitter and text messaging are now the quickest way of keeping associates abreast of everything from low bidder on a job (or receiving that last minute bid) to advising someone you might be late for a meeting — without the hassle of calling. The messages are instantaneous, but responses, if needed, can be at your convenience.

I consider myself an early adopter of new technology, but I have been reluctant when it comes to social networking — and I still am. I have a Facebook pages, a LinkedIn account, and by the time you read this, I will have a Twitter account. I have found that you must use restraint and common sense in the establishment and use of these resources or you will find your phone, PDA, and computer full of messages from people you don’t necessarily want to hear from.

We are now looking forward to the 2010 convention. Some changes are in the making but this is still your event. If you have topics you would like to see presented or ideas we should consider, get in touch with Jim Baty or myself.


Ed Sauter, Executive Director

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TILT-UP TODAY, a publication of the Tilt-Up Concrete Association, is THE source for Tilt-Up industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the Tilt-Up industry. A subscription to TILT-UP TODAY is included in a TCA membership. Subscriptions for potential TCA members are also available. If you would like to receive a complimentary subscription to the publication, please contact the TCA.