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When it comes to attitudes toward change or learning new things, most people fall into one of two groups: Resistors and Adapters. Some careers can survive sticking to an old way of doing it. After all, it seems all of the Great Wonders of the World involve masonry work, and they were built before smartphone apps for the construction trade or even power tools existed. 

On the other calloused hand, you have the group that sees that technological advances have arrived and continue to evolve in our trade as much as any out there. If you’re the type to embrace the challenge of change, please read on.

If you look at the innovations of today with wonder and look ahead at those on the horizon with optimism, then you’re probably the type to continually strive to perfect your craft. 

There’s a chance to learn more in the craft of working with block and other masonry products at ICON EXPO 2018, February 9-10, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) is hosting the first annual expo, the only tradeshow solely dedicated to manufactured-concrete masonry products.

Educational programs, hands-on demonstrations of some of the latest technology (including smartphone apps for the trade), plant tours and social events will be features of the expo.

Some of the educational materials and links to video from the virtual plant tours featured at the event should be available through the NCMA after it takes place, for those who couldn’t make the trip.

The event should be a great experience for those who can make it and enjoy learning about the latest changes to construction codes, manufactured-concrete products, procedures and predictions for where the industry is headed.

If you’re looking specifically for the latest technology in concrete equipment [LINK to equipment page], masonry tools [LINK to IQ360XR] & supplies or supplies] or even the latest and greatest diamond blades [LINK] and diamond coring and drilling bits [LINK], has you covered as the one-stop shop.

To learn about the latest innovations in block and other manufactured-concrete designs and systems integration, check out the Product Development & Creative Concepts Forum at ICON EXPO 2018.

Are you an independent contractor or owner of a family-owned concrete business? The event will also have a Family Business/Small Business Forum. A panel and National Concrete Masonry Association members will be discussing issues affecting family-owned and small businesses and exchanging resource information.

If you’d like to learn about new software for modeling masonry, check out the event’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) classes. It will feature MasonryIQ, a software program that facilitates masonry design, cost analysis, job hazard analysis and more.

Other classes available at the “Knowledge Garden” located on the ICON EXPO 2018 show floor will include:

  • Crystalline Silica Regulation & Compliance
  • General OSHA Safety Regulations with a presentation by David Ayers, Approved Safety and Environmental Management
  • Segmental Retaining Wall Best Practices
  • International Building Code & Making Masonry More Competitive –

The changes to the code will be discussed with ways it can increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness of using concrete masonry.

  • Construction Cost Comparison Study
  • Job Hazard Analysis
  • Improving Freeze-Thaw Durability
  • Research Study: Wet-Cast vs. Dry-Cast Concrete

ICON EXPO 2018 will be held in conjunction with two other events: the National Concrete Masonry Association Convention and the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute’s Annual Meeting.