My week at #Construct 2016 was filled with education, friends, culture, and FUN. CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) is a great organization because of the people, staff and members. The show is always a great event. However, the most important reason to go to this educational conference each year is to attend outstanding educational events and meet the leaders of the construction industry.
This year the #Construct Show was held in Austin, Texas. This was my first trip to Austin, a city that has adopted the slogan KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD. The slogan is used to promote local business and inspired by Red Wassenich in 2000 while giving a pledge to an Austin radio station.
The education sessions this year were exceptional. I attended topics on flashing, virtual reality, 3-D printing, leadership, smart wearables, and pro-bono design.
The hands-on session that Tiffany Coppock with Owens Corning put on was incredible. Learning how to flash the various holes in our buildings was invaluable. Being able to touch the materials and install the flashing allowed me to have a more comprehensive understanding of systems we specify.
Sixth street was a unique experience filled with locally owned businesses. Maggie Mae’s is a local legend and has the largest rooftop on sixth street. The music was solid, the drinks were cold, and the humidity was off the charts. Sixth street was young, vibrant, and filled with lots of energy.
The signs on sixth street and the business names were creative. From the tattoo shop to the local bars and restaurants, each had a unique personality and decor.
Gus’s chicken was my favorite hang out in Austin, but not a unique Austin business. The chicken was spicy and fried – a different twist on southern fried.
While sixth street was filled with young energy, Rainey Street was my kind of place. The bars were diverse and food trucks were plentiful. The historic homes that line the street offer shade, small spaces for hanging out, and plenty of culture.
No trip can be complete without a visit to see the bats fly. Each summer night, hundreds of people gather to see 1.5 million bats fly from under the Congress Avenue Bridge. This is a must see for anyone that appreciates nature’s beauty.
A new friend I made at the show sent the following email to me, I think it sums up the show.
“Thank you for pulling me aside and talking to me during CSI. I’m going to confess that I’ve been bragging about you. Imagine, showing up to a convention, and a STRANGER walks right up as if we are already friends, because a mutual friend said that we should talk. You demonstrated one of the big reasons that CSI is still valuable – you connected with me – in a different city – different region of our country. We had a reason to talk – and we now have a reason to keep up the camaraderie”
This is what the Construction Specifications Institute is about – communication, mentoring, and most important – friendships.