April 2022 Vol. 77 No. 4


UCT 2022 Hosts Flood of Re-Engaging Attendees

After battling through more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the underground infrastructure industry took another significant step towards normality in January as a strong crowd of interested attendees packed educational sessions and the exhibit hall at the annual Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition. 

People attended the event for a variety of reasons. “It was my first time attending the UCT,” said Tim Sorensen of Aquasol Corporation. “I think the exhibitors and the people attending is what made it a good show. Everyone was very friendly and willing to share their comments and information … and were looking at ways to move the industry forward.” 

Held at the Fort Worth Convention Center in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, a host of municipal and other utility personnel, along with contractors and consulting engineers, sought updated information from both speakers and exhibit hall personnel. 

UCT Convention Director Karen Francis explained, “UCT is the first major show of the industry, attracting attendees who don’t always have the opportunity to learn and network later in the year. It was great to see so many new people and experience the buzz in the exhibit hall after the hiatus. 

“Attendees were excited to see equipment and technologies represented in the booths and in the RehabZone™ and exhibitors expressed how pleased they were with this past show and overall attendance,” she added. 

Motivated attendee 

“In my conversations with many of the attendees, it was obvious they were at UCT to re-engage within the underground infrastructure markets,” said UCT Program Director Robert Carpenter. “Most felt like they had been on a two-year hiatus from active work because of COVID prevention protocols. 

“Others had money in their pockets – or believe there is a good chance they will have additional funds soon – due to the infrastructure bill finally sending many billions for water, sewer, fiber and electric power applications. 

“Attendees were motivated and excited to learn and network, and UCT was the perfect place to kick off what most expect to be the first of several strong construction and rehabilitation years to come,” Carpenter pointed out. 

“A tremendous amount of effort went into making this year’s UCT Educational Program highly beneficial and maintain its status as the benchmark educational opportunity each year. We were thrilled that 88 percent of attendees reported that they felt the information they received from those sessions was good to very good and 100 percent believe the sessions were beneficial,” he stressed. 

As for the exhibition, Francis reported that more than 81percent of post survey respondents said the right people visited their booths and that has led to greatly increasing re-bookings over UCT 2022. 

Attendance soared 60 percent over the previous UCT, again reflecting the steady recovery from the pandemic years and a busy marketplace. The exhibit hall was full of new equipment and product developments. The RehabZone also returned with its technology exhibits, demonstrations and interactive events. 

UCT attendee Rod Thornhill, president of White Rock Consultants, said UCT meets his essential needs. “UCT provides the three things I want to receive from any technical conference: networking with people in my industry, relevant presentations and CEUs. The Ethics course is particularly useful for me.”

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