The 2006 AHR Expo broke records in exhibitions and attendees this January at its Chicago show. Now the largest event in the show's 75-year history, more than 1,900 companies exhibited (400 international) covering over 411,000 sq. ft. of space at McCormick Place on Lake Michigan. Total number of attendees at the show was 58,031, with 39 countries represented.

“The growth of the show can be traced to many factors, including the new industry segments and show features that have been added during the last couple of years,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., the show's producer. A new “green” emphasis and an increase in participating associations, coupled with new educational sessions, had built a strong show that focused strictly on heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration.

New government regulations, such as SEER 13, and the movement toward green building and LEED certification continues to impact the industry. International Exposition Co. will seek new ways to bring attendees a well-rounded event filled with growing exhibits, hands-on installation and product theaters, as well as informative courses and speakers, Stevens said.

Health, conservation and efficiency were certainly featured in Chicago with the new products and systems displayed by vendors. In other words, “green” was gold at this show. From having attendees breathe filtered air or drink filtered water, to “quiet” booths where visitors could experience hushed appliances.

The PM-sponsored Radiant House from the Radiant Panel Association was also a hit with attendees, who could see real-time installation of radiant products.

The next AHR Expo takes place at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Jan. 29-31, 2007.