The 2018 AHR Expo set six all-time highs, including more than 72,000 in total attendance and 49,995 registered visitors — both records.

When the 70th edition of the world’s largest HVACR marketplace convened in Chicago in January, four additional records were set, including the number of exhibitors, square feet of exhibit space and countries represented.

Next year’s show will be held Jan. 14-16, 2019, in Atlanta. With exhibit space already sold out and 90 percent of this year’s attendees forecasting excellent or good business conditions in the coming year according to ASHRAE Journal research, the 2019 AHR Expo is also poised for success.

“The excitement generated by this year’s record crowds of attendees and exhibitors was palpable from the show floor to the training sessions,” said Clay Stevens, manager of the AHR Expo. “Whether you are designing a building’s HVACR system from the ground up, or want to make your existing spaces warmer, cooler, quieter, smarter, safer or more comfortable and efficient, the AHR Expo is the only place where you can see and experience it all, learn from the industry’s top experts and stay at the forefront of innovation.”

2018 AHR Expo by the numbers

  • Total Attendance (including exhibitor personnel) — 72,075, up from 68,615 (2017)
  • Total Visitor Attendance — 49,995, up from 48,568 (2017)
  • Exhibiting Companies — 2,155, up from 2,118 (2015)
  • Exhibit Space (SF) — 534,080, versus 500,159 (2017)
  • Countries Represented — 169, compared to 165 (2017)

Highlights from Chicago

Innovation was pervasive at the Show, and leading the field were the 10 winners of the coveted 2018 AHR Expo Innovation Awards, recognized in a ceremony honoring their achievements.

Selected from this elite group and announced at the event as the 2018 Product of the Year was the green building category innovation winner Danfoss for its Turbocor TTH/TGH High Lift Compressor. Optimized for air-cooled chiller and heat recovery applications, Danfoss Turbocor models feature oil-free, variable speed, magnetic bearing operation for outstanding full- and part-load efficiency, low vibration and sound, a small footprint, and reduced maintenance.

Comments from AHR Expo 2018 attendees

“The AHR Expo is the heartbeat of the industry," said Kevin Bergin, director of Aspen Pumps. "Everybody that’s anybody is here, either exhibiting or attending. We come to the Show to check the pulse of the industry and to get an opportunity to build relationships with new and existing customers in the U.S. This Show lets us see how people are thinking about the year ahead. Based on the Show so far, we’re seeing a lot of confidence, and in our product category, the industry is still growing and that’s a big opportunity for us in the U.S."

“The AHR Expo is the only major trade show that our company attends because it is a complete Show. A lot of other conventions touch only on certain aspects, like sheet metal or plumbing, but at the AHR Expo we get everything we want all in one place,” said Elton Vega, vice president of JV Mechanical Contractors. “This Show is a huge opportunity for us to meet face-to-face with suppliers and customers, and to make sales in the U.S. We get more sales leads at the AHR Expo than we do at any other show.”

“I come to AHR Expo for the education, looking for sessions that break it down to a fundamental level, so you understand it and can explain it to others without having to be an expert yourself," said Steven Thunberg, senior facility manager of Allstate Insurance. "There's a real need for education sessions to help us more effectively communicate with others and manage our building automation systems and networks."

Comments from AHR Expo 2018 exhibitors

“AHR has been pivotal for our company," said Tony Petrosian, marketing director for Rossi Hardware. "It's where we began when we launched, and we continue to exhibit here every year. We always walk away with valuable new relationships and we are very grateful for the opportunity because our products are really well-received here. The AHR Expo has been tremendous for our company's growth."

“For designers and specifiers, talking with experts from our product design teams and the consulting engineers they will actually be working with while the products are right there in front of them is huge," said Katie Steward, marketing coordinator of Fulton Management. "They can open them up, look at our cutaways, and see the build quality, size and connections. It gives them confidence that when they actually build it, it will match exactly what they designed. You can’t get that anywhere else."

“We have a large booth so that we can show the breadth and depth of our product line," said Tim Stapula, director of marketing at Wilo. "And with our product managers and engineering design teams here, we not only can answer questions, but we also get direct feedback from clients that helps to shape our next generation of products."

For information on the 2019 AHR Expo, visit