WTC2016 comes to San Francisco.

An epic trade show in review.

 

As the year slowly faded into the second quarter, Amix Systems was welcomed to beautiful downtown San Francisco for the start of the World Tunneling Congress-2016. This gathering of industry professionals was well anticipated by many as this was the first visit of the WTC to North America in 20 years! In all, 2319 people flooded the halls of the Moscone Center over the course of the show to set a new attendance record!

WTC 2016.jpg

“In all, 2319 people from 54 countries flooded the halls of the Moscone Center over the course of the show!”

Day 1 of the trade show was as hectic as we expected it to be with almost 300 booths exhibited from a wide range of companies such as contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, consultants and engineers. Amix Systems were fortunate to get a corner booth to maximize our potential floor traffic and had a blast handing off our promotional footballs to unsuspecting “players”. If you were paying attention at all, there were people all over the floor carrying our easy to spot, orange footballs and fortunately there were plenty available so no one needed to be tackled to the ground in hopes of creating a fumble recovery! After a long day of the Amix Systems team standing on our feet, it was time for a little fun and a trip to AT&T Park for a regional show down between the host city Giants and the San Diego Padres (the home team won, in case you were wondering). If you have never had a chance to visit this beautiful park, I suggest you put it on your bucket list…baseball fan or not. The food is fantastic and the gorgeous view of McCovey Cove from the outfield stands is something to behold.

AT&T Park

“If you’ve never been to this park, I suggest you put it on your bucket list…baseball fan or not”

Day 2 began with the sun shining on the downtown core and the mix of the glare off of the glass buildings along with the shadows cast, made for an eerily beautiful scene. Our hotel was a within a couple of blocks of the Moscone Center and we welcomed the site of as many as 3 Starbucks locations on our walk to “fuel the machines” for the day. There was the typical trade show traffic and many great conversations were had at our booth but we all took turns taking attending some of the many great technical discussions provided. The WTC conference assembles some of the most intelligent tunneling professionals to encourage industry learning and growth and we made sure to take full advantage of their shared knowledge. Among my favorite was a discussion about a local challenge faced by a company tunneling under the Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver, B.C. for a water supply tunnel whereby their Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) needed some assistance to complete some maintenance approximately 30m below the river floor where soils were deemed to be liquefiable. Ground freezing to the rescue! Interesting stuff to say the least.

 

“The WTC conference assembles some of the most intelligent tunneling professionals to encourage industry learning and growth”

As day 3 of the trade show came about, the Amix team was feeling the usual pains that come with standing on your feet for hours/days at a time but our collective spirits would not be broken. Overall the foot traffic seemed to decrease from previous days but we found it much easier to have more involved discussions with our potential clients/suppliers without feeling so rushed. By late afternoon, the show had come to an end and after we had packed up our belongings, we were off to California’s oldest restaurant, the Tadich Grill, for some well deserved steaks. Again, this is a must visit place for any first time SF visitors. The staff is very friendly and are happy to share some stories of the original days of the establishment with you over a nice cold adult beverage!

The sign outside of the Tadich Grill, California’s oldest restaurant.

As we flew out of San Francisco Airport, we reflected on the past few days in this great city and the history that is a part of one of North America’s most densely populated cities (second only to New York) and all of the blood, sweat, tears and concrete that went into its construction. This was a productive trip for our group as we met many interesting people over the course of the 3 day exhibition and had a great experience in historic San Francisco. Now we just need to find an excuse to go back!

Scott Pretty, Amix Systems.