The AHR Expo is returning to Atlanta this month for the first time since 2001, and show organizers and exhibitors are anticipating a show chock-full of the newest innovations in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, radiant and hydronics, building automation, and more.
“We are thrilled to be back in this great city for the first time in 17 years,” says Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., which produces AHR Expo. “We are looking forward to seeing it all unfold and to celebrate those success stories that come out of the show each year.”
The AHR Expo takes place Jan. 14-16 at the Georgia World Congress Center, which Stevens says is appropriate.
“HVACR accounts for billions of dollars in revenue and is a key economic driver for the state of Georgia, with U.S. Department of Labor projections indicating it will see nearly 20% growth in the coming years,” he adds. “With this booming HVACR market, the region is a top location to host the next AHR Expo.”
The AHR Expo brings together more than 60,000 attendees and 2,100 exhibitors from 35 represented countries. Manufacturers will preview the future of the HVACR and plumbing industries with exhibitors from around the globe coming together to showcase new and upgraded products, technologies and innovations.
“The AHR Expo has become the industry's best place to see the latest in products and technology across the entire HVACR industry,” Stevens says. “Every year, the show attracts professionals from around the globe to share things they've been working on throughout the year and to discover new ways to move the industry forward. You can expect to see an influx of new technologies, materials and whole-building systems that continue to challenge the work happening today.”
Ken Watson, vice president of corporate marketing for Taco Comfort Solutions, says the company plans to showcase new connectivity solutions that provide the data and control needed to make systems smarter, more responsive and more energy efficient.
“Taco Tags features eLink and is a 2019 AHR Expo Innovation Award winner,” Watson says. “It provides users with critical product-specific information right on their mobile devices, such as model numbers, replacement parts, instruction sheets, and more.”
The benefits of attending the expo are numerous, Watson adds, and attendees can expect to receive significant hands-on experience on the show floor.
“Plumbing contractors are able to learn about the latest in high-efficiency hot water recirculation and leak detection products at the Taco Comfort Solutions booth, B2239,” he adds.
Ann Woodard, senior marketing manager for Navien, says the company will be introducing two new energy-efficient condensing boilers, a fire tube combi boiler and a commercial boiler at this year’s expo.
“Additionally, we have revamped our booth to feature the commercial capabilities of many of our tried-and-true market-leading energy-efficient condensing boilers and tankless water heaters.”
“We will be showcasing a range of products, controls and customer-driven innovation,” Raypak’s Augusta Gohil says. “This is the event where new technologies are seen and where a contractor has a chance to interact with and provide input to vendors.”
Reliance Worldwide Corp. Director of Marketing Chris Carrier says they are planning to showcase plumbing products from all of their brands and will have live product demonstrations at their booth during the show.
“We are really excited about showcasing our many new products as well as a new look for our brands that will be shown for the first time at AHR," Carrier says. "We also have a lot of new technology in our booth to show our customers, not to mention the exciting launch of our Holdrite fire-stopping accessories and showcasing some new smart home water technology from Streamlabs.”
“The AHR Expo is the heartbeat of the industry,” says Kevin Bergin, director of Aspen Pumps, told show organizers during the 2018 AHR Expo.
“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.”
Jay Vath, product manager, tekmar Control Systems, a Watts company, says their display will feature social media integration along with new innovations.
“Customers visiting the Watts booth can see the latest control solutions from tekmar including integration with Alexa and Google Home voice assistants for thermostats and BACnet for snow-melting controls,” he adds.
Every year, the AHR Expo donates the entry fees from its Innovation Awards competition to a worthy cause in the region where the show will be held that year. This year, show organizers have chosen to donate the $20,500 in entry fees to the Atlanta Police Athletic League (PAL), an organization that aims to provide a safe environment for youth to reach their full potential through partnership with police and the community.
PAL was founded in 1983 and utilizes athletics, activities and other programming geared toward improving the quality of life of area youth and promoting confidence, self-esteem, civic engagement, academic achievement and social principles. PAL’S goal is to help these youths become nurturing, productive members of society.
“Each year the AHR Expo travels to a different city and we are always so humbled by the warm welcome from the surrounding community,” Stevens says. “It means so much that we are able to work closely with these cities to give something back while we are in town. We are thrilled to lend our support through the donation of our Innovation Awards entry fees to strong programs such as PAL that are serving their communities for a vibrant future. We look forward to seeing PAL improve their HVAC systems as they continue to provide invaluable services to so many at-risk youths in the Atlanta community.”
Getting the most out of the Expo
This list has been compiled over the years by International Expo Co. (IEC) staff and regular annual attendees and is courtesy of IEC. Visit bit.ly/AHRExpoTips and www.ahrexpo.com for additional information and links.
Register in advance. Registration prior to the show is free until Jan. 9, and your badge will be mailed directly to you. This allows you to skip the lines that cut into your time on the show floor.
Prioritize your goals ahead of time. Think through the most important things you would like to accomplish and make a plan that helps you stay focused on the critical items.
Research exhibitors. Search the online directory of exhibitors (by product category or company name) and compile a list of all the booths you intend to visit.
Explore the show’s education sessions. Consider taking a class or two to further your industry expertise, learn about industry trends, keep up with best practices, and earn credits.
Create an agenda. It’s a good idea to map out how you will spend your time at the show. Consider using the MyShow Planner tool (which can be accessed on the AHR Expo app or website). Registered attendees can log in and put exhibitor appointments and education sessions on their agenda and then access it at the Show.
Follow AHR Expo on social media. Engage in pre-show conversations and keep up-to-date with show news and info. AHR Expo is on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
Let people know you’ll be attending the show. Post to your personal and company social media pages so that exhibitors and other attendees are aware you’ll be at the show and can arrange to connect with you. Promoting your attendance will help you prevent missed opportunities.
Pick up a show directory at the show. The directory will contain a complete listing of the educational opportunities and the exhibitors you will find at the show. It is designed to help you stay on schedule and maximize your itinerary. You will find a detailed breakdown of exhibitors organized alphabetically and by product categories.
Get the app. Use the AHR Expo app to navigate the show floor.
Wear comfortable shoes. It’s a big show — come prepared for a lot of walking.
Take advantage of less busy times at the show. These are typically in the late afternoon or on the last day of the show. During these times, you can avoid crowds that may slow your pace as well as spend more time with experts at each booth.
Visit the special sections on the show floor. The Building Automation & Control Showcase and Software Center can be found on the show floor map in the AHR Expo app, website or directory.
Follow up with new contacts after the show. This is a simple but often overlooked way to get the most out of your investment in attending the show.
This year’s show features nearly 75 free sessions presented by industry experts from leading organizations. The sessions, ranging from one to two hours, provide attendees with potential solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the industry. Attendees can listen in on general HVACR industry subjects as well as attend sessions specific to their own line of practice.
“The AHR Expo packs all the industry knowledge under one roof,” says Bob “Hot Rod” Rohr of Caleffi North America and a featured speaker at the 2019 show. “This is the one big event that all in the HVAC industry need to attend. It’s the one place where you can see, meet and touch all the latest cutting-edge technology, equipment and training available today.”
For a full list of all available AHR Expo education sessions, visit bit.ly/2019AHRschedule.