In early May, one of the largest events in the city takes place: The Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders Meeting at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha.
This year, the Omaha World-Herald reported that this year’s conference will be even larger than the last: “Between 42,000 and 44,000 shareholders are expected to celebrate Warren Buffett’s 50 years of managing Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. when the company holds its annual meeting in Omaha on May 2. That’s 3,000 to 5,000 more than last year’s record of 39,000 attendees.”
These numbers are based on requests for passes (plastic cards with lanyards) that allow admission to the meeting and related events– so the above numbers aren’t necessarily specific, but are certainly a good estimate. The CenturyLink center seats about 18,000 people, and an additional 12,000 seats are available in meeting rooms and ballrooms at the Hilton Omaha next door. One of the main conference highlights is the shopping center in the exhibition hall, where Berkshire-owned companies sell their products and services. Conference regulars love to stop by the exhibition hall for some peanut brittle from See’s Candies, a Dilly bar from Dairy Queen, or a cup of Coke from Coca-Cola. It’s a meeting, but it’s also a festival, and there’s a general air of good cheer and spirit. Especially with Buffett’s monumental anniversary with the company, this year will be sure not to disappoint. This meeting is one of the most well-attended shareholder events in the country, according to the Omaha World-Herald, just eked out from being the most so by Walmart (a meeting that has filled a 72,000-seat football stadium in Fayetteville, Arkansas).
Berkshire owns its fair share of retail and industrial businesses, but they’re also the parent company to some important and influential manufacturers. Buffett took control of the company in 1965, when Berkshire was a Massachusetts-based textile manufacturer. As he’s added companies to the massive conglomerate, manufacturing has stayed central to their portfolio and the roots of Berkshire’s history. Take IMC International Metalworking Companies, for example. Owned by Berkshire, the company has subsidiaries like Ingersoll Cutting Tools (a leading supplier of metal removal tooling, manufactured in the USA and Germany) and Metaldur (long known for their manufacturing of precision tools, some of the best in the world). For the metalworking industry, they’ve got a handle on many of the components that drive production not just in America, but throughout the world.
If you’re interested in the full list, you can check out more information here. We’re looking forward to what Buffett has to say about manufacturing and the industry during the conference, so stay tuned for more details! Questions? Comments? Want to learn more? Leave them in the section below, anytime!
photo credit: Arenanetwork.net