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Tilt-Up Education, Products and Technology

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It was in Houston in 2013 that the Tilt-Up Convention and Expo hit its tipping point. The Houston event brought together a crowd that shattered previous records and introduced several new elements to the show that have continued to play an important role in the prominence of the Tilt-Up Convention and Expo. The Awards Gala and Outdoor Demo as we know them today were introduced in Houston. The invaluable host committee was first established in Houston, and the reintroduction of the design track was also done in 2013. That event ignited a series of events that have grown each year in size, importance, opportunity and impact. San Jose (2014), New Jersey (2015), Denver (2016), Miami (2017) and Dallas (2018) incrementally built upon the successes of Houston. 

At the Tilt-Up Convention and Expo in Miami, architects, engineers and contractors in attendance represented 113 million square feet of tilt-up buildings for 2016, equaling one-third of all tilt-up buildings completed that year in the U.S. and Canada. Our return to Texas last year did not disappoint, as both the industry and the event continued their growth. According to our market study, the industry grew 16 percent in 2017, and the Dallas convention continued the long trend of growth, outperforming the 2017 event in Miami by 34 percent. In 2018 the tilt-up market grew another 11 percent and the Atlanta convention again outpaced impressive market growth by eclipsing the Dallas event by 15 percent, setting yet another record.

The event, hosted at the iconic Atlanta Marriott Marquis and presented by HD Supply Construction & Industrial White Cap, Martin Concrete Construction Inc., and Meadow Burke, featured 60 exhibitors, more than 32 hours of tilt-up specific education, and various tours and networking opportunities. 

“The Tilt-Up Convention and Expo creates an extremely valuable and eye-opening educational event where one attains a great deal of knowledge about the tilt-up building system through various seminars and case studies,” said Karym Rodriguez, education department manager at TAS Commercial Concrete Construction, LLC. “Having the opportunity to become a Certified Tilt-Up Supervisor – in addition to having so many architects, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors and suppliers interacting, answering questions and demonstrating new technology – is priceless.”

As always, this year’s education program was designed to provide attendees with valuable education that can be applied directly to their next tilt-up job. With general sessions, a construction track and a design track, the program ranged from Tilt-Up 101 (connecting those new to the industry or the construction method), to more advanced topics and case studies on tilt-up’s architectural, engineering, and construction capabilities. 

“The educational tracks and seminars are of a quality that keeps the attendees around,” said Gary Hayden of HD Supply Construction & Industrial White Cap. “They come to learn and remain fully engaged throughout the event.”

Post-event surveys show 92 percent of attendees estimate they will save their company or clients at least $2,000 on their next project as a direct result of their attendance. Thirty-five percent of respondents say they will save at least $5,000, and 17 percent say they will save more than $10,000 on their next project. Most importantly, well over 90 percent of attendees say they learned something at the convention that will make their jobsite, or that of their clients, safer. 

“What impresses me most about the convention every year is the ability to reach people within our industry on all different levels,” said Nicole Laiho, vice president of Peak Engineering Inc. “Whether you have 20-plus years designing tilt-up or zero years, there will be something new to learn,” said Laiho. “The presenters are our peers, and they are actually using the technology everyday, which always inspires me to try new things and push the boundaries of what we are doing with tilt-up design. Just because we’ve detailed our designs the same way for a dozen years or more doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way, and the TCA conference always brings those ideas to the forefront.”

In addition to the invaluable education offered at the event, the exhibit hall at the Tilt-Up Convention and Expo showcases the industry’s newest products and technology available today. These products not only offer attendees hands-on experience, but they provide means and methods to save time and money on (and even to improve the look of) their next projects. Companies represented in the exhibit hall assist in the advanced technological, design, and construction capabilities that are available today, and they play a vital role in the growth and development of the industry. 

“The TCA is laser-focused on one industry: tilt-up construction,” said Bob Foley, co-founder of Connect-EZ. “The concurrent schedules of education sessions and exhibits stimulate a unique sharing of innovation and best practices, and the continuing growth of our company can be traced directly to the participation in these annual, laser-focused events.”

To view the full education line-up and a list of exhibiting companies, please visit On behalf of the TCA staff and board of directors, thank you to everyone who was a part of this year’s event! We look forward to seeing you in St. Louis for the 2020 Tilt-Up Convention and Expo, Oct. 8-10.

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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.