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2021 Convention Success, the Big Box Market, and Keeping an Architectural Focus

Español | Translation Sponsored by TCA

Despite being in a global pandemic, we just had an in-person, SAFE, and successful 2021 TCA convention in September in my hometown, in the great “show me” state of Missouri! It was a pleasure and an honor of a lifetime for Concrete Strategies to host this year’s TCA convention! 

These are the highlights that came out of the 2021 TCA convention: The largest support—financially and logistically—from the architecture, engineering, and construction community, resulting in raising the highest amount ever of convention-sponsorship dollars in the history of the TCA. The largest number of people ever (600+) attended the convention’s outdoor demo. The second-highest attendance ever (following 2019 in Atlanta) at the convention. And all of this occurred amidst a global pandemic!

Another big highlight is that we learned that everyone in the tilt-up industry is having their best year by volume, or close to it, that they have ever had in their career. There are a ton of great tilt-up opportunities in the marketplace for everyone to grow and prosper right now! Also, due to the demand, precast plants are having the longest lead time ever, which opens tilt-up construction to convention precast markets. The “big box” market is on fire right now, which may be one of the only positive things that came from the global pandemic. Everyone in the world figured out how easy it is to order and buy products online because we were isolated in our homes.  Now, almost every manufacturing and retail business needs more e-commerce distribution space and tilt-up construction is the best method to build these projects! The “big box” distribution space has always been, and will always be, the lion’s share of our market.

One of the low lights of the 2021 TCA convention is that we received the least amount of TCA award submissions this year from the past five-plus years. In 2021, we only received 79 project award submissions.  From 2015 thru 2020 we received 81–115 project-award submissions. A lot of this is due to the global pandemic, but we all need to do our part to get this TCA award submission back on track and improving.  

Lastly, we all must stay focused and do our part to keep the architectural focus on our product! We must keep innovation moving forward or we will quickly lose everything we have gained from an architectural standpoint. We could easily lose ground on this front if we are all too busy working on warehouse projects only. It is really easy to take a pass on a highly architectural project when you can barely meet the demands of distribution projects. We all must continue to push ourselves to do new architectural building, and continue to pursue and build great architectural projects! The TCA has worked very hard over its history to promote architectural tilt-up advancement and to remove the “label” that tilt-up construction is only good for “big box” warehouse project applications.

The TCA is committed to not lose any ground on this very important architectural front! There is no better time than now to join the TCA and get involved in this great industry!

Barclay Gebel

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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.