NRC at APTA Rail with Andrew Strumolo

APTA Rail 2019

We’re in Toronto at the APTA 2019 Rail Conference with Andrew Strumolo, our US Business Development and Marketing Manager.

What is APTA Rail and why does it matter to NRC?  

APTA is the American Public Transport Association and the APTA Rail Conference is North America’s biggest forum for discussing all things rail related. This year we were in Toronto, which is ideal for NRC as our office is just around the corner. The conference has become a staple of our industry outreach, it’s a great opportunity for us to touch base with existing clients, raise brand awareness and take note of what’s happening in our industry. 

What’s your first take on APTA RAIL 2019?

I think 2019 was a real bumper year for APTA Rail, I certainly got the impression that attendance was up on last year. Toronto plays a part in that for sure, the beautiful city that it is, but I think it’s more to do with the greater emphasis on information sharing that we’re seeing across our industry. In the past year, agencies have started to sit up and realise that they’re facing a lot of the same challenges and are now seeing events like the APTA Rail Conference as opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences. 

Who was making up the new numbers? 

As I mentioned, there was an increased presence of consultants, quite a few that would complement NRC’s core offerings. On the client side there was a lot of local contacts, Metrolinx had a strong presence, there was also a strong public sector presence from agencies in US in the regions we are currently focused. 

What did NRC bring to APTA Rail 2019? 

We had a presence on both the tradeshow floor and the speaker’s stage at this year’s conference. Laurie Ball represented NRC as part of the Operations Control Centre Technical Forum; his presentation was really well received and has already generated some interest for us to follow-up on in the coming weeks. 

How has NRC’s APTA Rail Conference experience changed over the years? 

Brand recognition is way up; there’s a general awareness of our offer and reputation that simply did not exist two or three years ago. We’re getting asked a lot of questions about projects that we’re currently working on, our work in Boston and New York are clearly making waves across the industry, so naturally there’s a lot of interest there. Finally, I think that this was the first year that we started to explore the role that the conference can play in talent recruitment. The timing couldn’t be better because we’ve got some big projects on the horizon. 

What can NRC take forward from APTA Rail 2019? 

We had quite a few conversations with existing clients and partners about future developments, so we’ll be looking to follow those up in the coming weeks and months. More generally I think we can take a lot of confidence going forward, knowing that the we’re making a tangible impact on the rail industry in North America.