A look beyond the edge of the formwork

Traveling educates. That is something that the participants in the study trips of the various educational institutions of the European concrete industry will surely confirm. In May, a technical study trip conducted by the non-profit Vocational Training Promotion Organization of German Concrete and Precast Concrete Manufacturers (bbf), in Ostfildern, Germany, led to Slovenia, Austria, and Croatia. Aside from the cultural stops, tours of concrete and precast plants were on the agenda.

The participants profited from the trip in several ways. First, they were given insights into the organization and the production processes in the plants of neighboring European countries. Even if the visitors did not receive deep views into all secrets of production, they were still able to take one or more ideas back home with them.

Secondly, they learned many things about various national markets, salary structures, products in demand, and the distribution channels. This kind of knowledge and the initial contacts may well soon stand the participants in good stead for common, cross-border projects.

Technical study trips and other international events permit participants a view beyond their own shuttering tables. They show the great variety of exciting work across the borders in the concrete industry.

I, too, have been able to gain deeper insights into different cultures and into an important growth market. From 2004 to 2012 in Moscow, I represented a German technical trade journal for the construction industry.

I can now apply the experience gained during that time to my work for the editorial office of BFT International. Since the beginning of this year I have already experienced many pleasant encounters in the concrete industry and I am looking forward to continued work together with you.

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