The Lift and Access Showcase event, held recently in Scottsdale, Ariz., was essentially the first trade show in North America exclusively devoted to aerial equipment. I don't know if event organizer Guy Ramsey and his staff necessarily thought of it in those terms, but it was really unlike any event I've ever been to and fills a unique market niche.
For two days a couple of dozen aerial equipment manufacturers exhibited their equipment, ranging from the leading players such as JLG and Genie, to Skyjack and Snorkel and Haulotte, and smaller niche manufacturers as well. Also present were telehandler manufacturers such as Gehl and Manitou. For two days there were equipment “walkarounds” where the manufacturers would present their equipment with detailed overviews, about 15 minutes at a time for the benefit of the attendees. Various sizes of booms and scissors, compact telehandlers, track-mounted lifts, boom trucks and mini-cranes were presented in fascinating detail and there was plenty of time for attendees to walk around the exhibit area for private demos. A variety of exhibitors that supply the aerial industry with batteries, hydraulic systems, software and other services also had booths, and several interesting symposiums were held.
The Showcase has been held for years, always in November in the Phoenix area. In the past generally the primary attendees were the Lift & Access staff, who had the opportunity to take a look at the equipment and compare it and expand in depth about the various units. In recent years, other members of the media, such as myself with RER, attended as well. This was the first year the event was open to the public, which, in this case, primarily represented rental companies, mostly national rental companies and aerial equipment specialists. I would think any rental company or distributor interested in aerial equipment would enjoy attending this event, presented in a casual, collegial friendly atmosphere.
Since Europe has an aerial show held in The Netherlands every fall, I'm glad to see an aerial equipment-related show develop here in the U.S., even though the format is a bit different.
Next year the Showcase will move to Orlando where it will be held at the Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers permanent auction site, co-located with the auction.