In October I had the privilege of attending my first World Demolition Summit. After seven successful European events, the organizers, the U.K.-based KHL Group, decided to move the event across the Atlantic for the first time. That decision certainly seemed be a smart one.

Not only did Miami serve as a gorgeous backdrop for the event, hosting it in the U.S. was meaningful on many fronts. For one, it may have marked the first time the global demolition industry has ever converged on American soil. At a time when it can feel like the whole word is divided, the demolition industry united and listened to the stories and approaches other firms in other countries have taken with open ears and open minds.

Ten speakers, each with different backgrounds and experiences, took the stage. Some discussed disaster response, some talked safety, some shared predictive computer models used in demolition, while others shared how they tackled massive projects or how they overcame challenges such as a failed implosion.

By anyone’s account, the presentations were interesting. But they were more than that. It was welcome to hear that a demolition contractor in the U.K. faced the same safety concerns as someone in the U.S., but it was just as valuable to hear why a demolition contractor in Japan had to demolish a building from the middle rather than from the top because it wasn’t possible for a longer-reach, heavier machine to get to the building.

Demolition contractors know that no two demolitions are the same. No projects are identical. The unknowns are often great, which increases the risks. You can only be so prepared when going into a project where a building has stood for decades with history hidden within its walls or under its foundation. But by sharing internationally the scenarios that contractors have encountered, those who attended the World Demolition Summit have gained a fresh perspective of the industry that they can take back to their offices and job sites and be reenergized by.

A different way of looking at things and new ideas are positive takeaways that will only serve to better the industry overall.

I want to thank KHL for having Construction & Demolition Recycling as a media partner. The summit and awards banquet that followed have certainly left a lasting impression on me. As well, the warm reception the National Demolition Association gave attendees as an event partner, was ever present. I hope this positive experience means future summits will return to this side of the globe.