The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Exposition (AHR Expo) blew into Chicago on Jan. 23 and provided big crowds, hot topics, and a plethora of new products.
The expo set an all-time attendance record with nearly 40,000 registered visitors at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The previous record for visitors was 38,534 in New York City in 2008. For the 2012 expo, when you add in the exhibitor personnel and other attendees, more than 58,000 HVACR professionals participated in the event.
The 2012 show was also the largest in terms of space as nearly 430,000 square feet of exhibit space was used for display. That made the show 5% bigger than the 2006
“We are delighted that we have established new all-time records for both the size of event and the best visitor attendance,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., which produces and manages the AHR Expo. “We hope this is an indication that the economy is on the upswing and will continue to approve.”
Stevens also attributed the new records to the many new energy-efficient technologies and products in the marketplace, as well as pent-up demand for new equipment. In addition to seeing the new products that were on display at every turn, attendees spent a great deal of time at the show discussing news that broke as the industry as the industry was in Chicago. Recent developments with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considering a faster phase-out of HCFC’s got a lot of attention from contractors and manufacturers alike.
But the greatest amount of talk centered around the size of the expo and the number of new products being showcased.
A total of 1,968 exhibitors from 35 countries showcased their products and technologies, nearly tying the record of 1,989 companies that exhibited at the 2006 Chicago show. In addition to the thousands of new products and technologies exhibited on the show floor, more than 100 educational sessions were offered by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and many other industry associations.