The Top Construction Events and Tradeshows You Should Be Attending
2021 is an exciting year for world class construction conferences and events. Whether you are attending virtual or in-person events, it’s an incredible opportunity to remain engaged in the industry, advance your skill and knowledge, and learn about up and coming technology.
Below we have a list of the top construction conferences and events for you to look forward to in 2021-2022.
Top 2021 Construction Conferences and Events
World of Modular (March 8-12, 2021, San Diego, California)
Hosted annually by the Modular Building Institute, World of Modular returns to Orlando, Florida, in March. It’s the definitive event to learn about opportunities where buildings—or parts of a building—can be constructed off-site and transported to the jobsite for more affordable and more streamlined construction. Stay tuned, as the event venue is still to be determined for this event.
ABC Convention (March 9-10, 2021, Grapevine, Texas)
The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) next convention is coming to Grapevine, Texas. According to the website, “From four engaging keynote speakers to top industry insights, the Excellence in Construction® Awards Gala, and a golf tournament to benefit the Trimmer Construction Education Fund at Cowboys Golf Club, we are planning an event that will inspire and energize the merit shop for the year ahead.”
London Build Online (March 15-24, 2021, virtual)
London Build Online is the UK’s largest online construction event in 2021 London Build is the leading and largest construction and built environment show for London. With 100+ speakers and 1000s of attendees, this event is a must-attend for contractors in EMEA. The event even features a well-known Women in Construction networking event – all virtual this year.
CMAA Focus21 (April 12-15, 2021, virtual)
CMAA Focus21 is an all virtual event for students, young professionals, professional CM and CCM teams, and senior executive leaders. This year, the event has four separate tracks to participate in. Mark your calendar for the can’t miss construction management event today.
NASCC: The Steel Conference (April 14-16, 2021, virtual)
Hosted annually by the American Institute of Steel, The Steel Conference will be completely virtual this year. Designed to connect professionals in the steel industry, more than 150 sessions drop during the event, including topics such as structural stability, connected design, and more. More than 2,000 industry professionals attend this annual event.
Groundbreaking Women in Construction (GWIC) (May 4-6, 2021, virtual)
Hosted by ENR, GWIC is all virtual once again this year. Expect over 1100 attendees and countless insightful discussions on critical topics to advance the entire construction industry. Join the event for networking and learning opportunities for construction industry professionals.
World of Concrete (June 8-10, 2021, Las Vegas, Nevada)
Attended annually by concrete and masonry professionals across the globe, World of Concrete is the top event for staying on top of all the trends, technologies and equipment in the construction trade. The event annually attracts more than 60,000 professionals and features a New Product Zone, demonstration areas, a packed exhibition floor and networking opportunities. If you’re serious about concrete and masonry, World of Concrete should be on your shortlist of events to attend in 2021.
ENR FutureTech (June 9-11, 2021, virtual)
Another annual event hosted by ENR magazine, FutureTech explores the future technologies coming to a construction site near you. An ideal show for everyone in architecture, construction and engineering, the event is known as the industry’s leading technology construction event. This virtual event will contain a series of thought-provoking and interactive sessions and what’s coming next for the future of the industry.
AIA Conference on Architecture 2021 (June 2021, virtual)
Photo courtesy: The American Institute of Architects
What’s new and now in architecture? Find out at AIA Conference on Architecture, coming to virtually in June 2021. Stay tuned for more updates and details as the architecture event draws nearer.
CMAA National Conference & Trade Show (September 12-14, 2021, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Ideal for construction management and project management professionals, the 2021 event is coming to Philadelphia. Stay tuned for the agenda and registration information in the coming months.
The Big 5 (September 12-15, 2021, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE))
Dubai has one of the biggest construction markets in the world. It makes sense that the Big 5 acts as a global hub for the construction industry. The top construction event is also known as the International Building & Construction Show and takes place in the Dubai World Trade Centre. If you’re in the region or can justify the expense to visit, be prepared to be inspired by some of the biggest projects in the Middle East. Featuring 68,000+ attendees, this event is an international construction show you surely won’t forget.
AGC National Convention (September 21-23, 2021, Orlando, Florida)
The Associated General Contractors of America, or AGC, have held this construction conference for more than 100 years—and it’s still going strong today. Coming to the Marriott World Center in September, the AGC National Convention is expected to attract more than 2,500 attendees throughout the three-day conference. Its highlights include a mix of breakout sessions, exhibitors showcasing the latest products to the AEC market, networking, entertainment and more.
Greenbuild International Conference & Expo (September 21-23, in-person and virtual)
Presented by The U.S. Green Building Council (USGCG), Greenbuild is the largest gathering of industry professionals focused on sustainability, design, and green building. This year, the event will hold both in-person and virtual components. Stay tuned for more details, coming soon.
Advancing Preconstruction & Estimating (September, 2021)
This is an all-encompassing precon event for general contractors, trades, clients, and design firms. The event will cover design, estimating, forecasting and bidding, data, and technology, subcontractor dedicated sessions, and project set up. The 2021 edition will mark the sixth year of the show, and new additions will include case studies from all sizes of firms, comprehensive networking sessions based by region, step-by-step project details, and more.
Lean Construction Institute Congress: Virtual Congress (October 19-22, 2021, Phoenix, Arizona)
“Lean” is a common buzzword that’s getting thrown around a lot in the construction industry these days, but do you really know what it means to transform a jobsite to a lean built environment? That’s the goal of the Lean Construction Institute, or LCI, Congress. Join more than 1,000 of your peers and lean leaders in Phoenix, AZ for the premier Lean event of the year! Developed for the design and construction industry, LCI’s 23rd Annual Congress in 2021 will offer continuous education credits, cutting-edge Lean methods and countless networking opportunities — all digitally.
SMACNA Annual Convention (October 24-27, 2021, Maui, Hawaii)
Trade Show at SMACNA (Sheet Metal, Air Conditioning National Association) Annual Convention is its premier event that blends exceptional education with world-class networking and social event. This year is no different as we journey to Maui, HI.
Details on the 2021 construction event should be released soon.
Design-Build Conference & Expo Virtual Conference (November 1-3, 2021, Denver, Colorado)
Design-Build Conference & Expo, where the who’s who in the design-build world will come to network and learn. Hosted annually by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). There will be several tracks of education, federal sector pre-conference sessions, access to the best design-build exhibitors in the nation, and creative networking opportunities to bring our annual Conference & Expo directly to you.
London Build (November 17-18, 2021, Olympia, London)
For those in Europe, there is a range of excellent construction conferences available. London Build is the leading and largest construction and built environment show for London. With 500+ speakers, 350+ exhibitors and over 25,000 attendees, this event is a must-attend for contractors in EMEA. The event even features a well-known Women in Construction networking event.
The Buildings Show (December 1-3, 2021, Toronto, Canada)
The Buildings Show will take place in December in Toronto. Attend interactive panel discussions, hear from industry thought leaders, discover leading product innovations, connect with old friends and much more.
Autodesk University (Fall, 2021)
At AU 2021, you’ll learn alongside your peers in architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, and media and entertainment. AU 2021 is a global event that brings together innovators from around the world—designers, engineers, builders, creators—to explore new ways of imagining, creating, and collaborating. Discover emerging technologies and trends to help you achieve your new possible. Dates for 2021 AU will be announced soon! In the meantime, you can check out past year construction sessions here.
Construct Virtual Experience (TBD, 2021)
Described as “the event for construction professionals,” details on the 2021 edition of Construct have not been announced yet. It’s annually attended by architects and designers, engineers, estimators, consultants, contractors, and project managers. During the three-day educational program and two-day expo, industry leaders converge with a common goal of educating and inspiring for the betterment of the industry. Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned construction veteran, there’s something for everyone at Construct.
Construction Conferences in 2022
NAHB International Builders Show, or IBS (February 8-10, 2022, Orlando, Florida)
Known as the homebuilder’s premier industry event, IBS is an ideal stop for any builder involved in commercial construction. It mixes industry experts with builders with product vendors to create an immersive, engaging experience that’s certain to deliver many key takeaways for those who attend. More than 130 education sessions are planned, more than 1,400 exhibitors are expected and there are demonstrations and networking events to attend as well.
CI & CRC Joint Conference (March 9-12, 2022, Arlington, Virginia)
In 2022, join the first-ever, CI & CRC Joint Conference. ASCE’s Construction Institute (CI) and Construction Research Council (CRC) are joining forces to bring you this joint conference for the latest in construction insights, from the academic community and industry professionals.
New York Build (May 11-12, 2021, New York, New York)
New York’s largest construction and design show returns to the Javits Center in May 2021. The event is free to attend and features more 200 leading industry speakers, an expansive show floor, industry-approved workshops and more. If you’re in or around New York next March, make sure this show is on your list. Being that it’s free, you don’t have anything to lose.
CMAA National Conference & Trade Show (October 9-11, 2022, San Diego, California)
Ideal for construction management and project management professionals, the 2022 event is coming to San Diego. Stay tuned for the agenda and registration information in the coming months.
Construction Events in 2023
CONEXPO-CON/AGG (March 14-18, 2023, Las Vegas, Nevada)
Save the date for CONEXPO 2023! The biggest construction tradeshow, one thing notable about the triennial CONEXPO-CON/AGG show is that it happens almost all outdoors. That means the likes of the heavy-duty equipment that you see on jobsites are a common staple at this event. With nearly 3,000 exhibitors across about 2.5 million square feet of space, CONEXPO-CON/AGG is by far the biggest construction show exhibitor-wise that the industry has to offer.
How to Make the Case to Your Employer to Attend Construction Conferences and Tradeshows
As an employee at small and large construction firms alike, you might encounter roadblocks when it comes to convincing your boss or upper management on why you should attend construction events in 2021 and 2022. Here are a few tips that will help you to build a solid case for you attending the event(s) of your choosing — whether that’s virtual or in-person in the future.
Choose the Right Event
This might seem obvious, but it’s not always as easy as it seems. Make sure you understand the full scope of the event that you wish to attend. For instance, if it’s a construction event aimed at C-level executives, as a superintendent or project manager, there might be other events to spend your time.
Create a Sample Agenda
Sometimes just a note or email with a link isn’t enough to showcase the value of the event. Be explicit, but brief (after all we all are busy!), on what exactly you want to attend at a particular construction tradeshow or event, and why it’s important to your current job role or career path.
Outline the Reasons for Attending
In addition to a sample schedule or agenda, also make the case back to the specific outcomes you hope to achieve by attending the construction conference. This could be learning something new about a particular technology you’re trying to implement, seeing a specific expert on a delivery method you’re beginning to roll out or nurturing a very niche trade skill you’re hoping to bring to your company.
Crunch the Numbers
Ultimately, many employees get turned down for events because of the cost impact. The good thing about the vast majority of virtual construction events is that they are free or at a very reasonable price point.
But if you are looking to make the case for an in-person construction event in the future, it’s essential for you to first estimate all the costs you would incur by attending the event. This should include the price of the event pass you want (note: many construction tradeshows have several levels of tickets), travel costs (i.e., plane rides, gas, rental cars, taxis), meal costs (do your best to estimate this unless you have a set per diem) and hotels prices if overnight stays are required.
For both virtual and in-person events, you should also try to monetize the return on investment your company would get if you attended the event. Examples include, “We would save X hours a week if we were able to adopt this process,” or “We would save $X/year if we were to adopt this technology successfully.”
Send a Formal Email
Sending employees to an industry event is a significant investment decision for most construction companies. While it is usually worth the money, they may have to mull over the details. You should formalize your proposal in an email containing your sample agenda, reasons for attending and cost analysis.
Construction Conferences and Events Are More Important Than Ever
As the world deals with COVID-19, we all look for a little bit of normalcy in our lives. This is something that is a priority for every business, including those in the construction industry. However, the construction projects have not come to a complete stop. The industry is striving to find new ways to stay productive and mitigate delays in production, while still social distancing and staying healthy.
By embracing virtual opportunities as much as possible, the construction industry too can continue to innovate while staying productive. If continuous improvement is one of your company’s long-term goals, there’s no better way to do it than to encourage your employees to take time to attend upcoming virtual events. It’s an investment that’s likely to pay off big time in your company’s future.
What construction events do you plan to attend in the next year?