Mechanical Contractors Anticipate Value in Innovation and Networking
For more than eight decades, the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) has focused on spotlighting the products, systems, technologies and ancillary services that define the ever-evolving HVACR industry.
With annual participation nearing 2,000 yearly exhibitors and more than 60,000 attendees, AHR Expo has grown to become one of the most significant annual events for contractors from across the country. The 2016 AHR Expo, which will take place January 25 to 27 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, is expected to attract attendees from across the nation and around the globe, seeking the latest in HVACR equipment, technology and skill-building.
Value derived from the three-day event, which is co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI, has resulted in longstanding loyalty from mechanical contractors who attend year after year, like president and owner Winfield Clamens of Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Solutions in Boca Raton, Fla.
“I’ve been attending AHR Expo for about 20 years and try to make it every year,” said Clamens. “It’s where I went to see the new products before I started my business, and now it’s an important venue for attending seminars and for learning and training on new technologies and products, and seeing the manufacturers that provide them.”
According to Clamens, AHR Expo streamlines his yearly planning process, particularly as he is keen on setting his schedule well in advance of attending the Show.
“I like to plan ahead on what I’m going to see and do – time is valuable when you own a company and it’s important to get everything out of it that I can,” Clamens explained. “AHR Expo is really great – especially compared to other shows – about providing access to seminar and exhibition information, before the event on their website, and during the Show with the mobile app and signage.”
For those like Calvin Shwiyat, contractor and owner of William Enterprises in Tulsa, AHR Expo has come to serve as a forum for making important new business decisions.
“I attend AHR Expo to find new products and see technologies I may possibly want to represent as a dealer,” Shwiyat said.
“AHR Expo does a good job of facilitating its attendees’ ability to see and recognize the latest and greatest in the industry,” agreed Stephen Maneggio, principal at Abbey Air Conditioning Services Inc. in Massapequa, N.Y.
“It’s not enough to have technicians just attending school – the only way to make a good technician is by experience and hands-on training,” Maneggio shared. “AHR Expo helps in this effort by showing what technicians need to train on and be familiar with in the actual field.”
Attending contractors additionally emphasize the value of networking opportunities – both at formal events and informally throughout the course of the Show – provided at AHR Expo.
“It’s great to be able to get together with people I know in the industry from around the country every year,” said Kevin Waskielewski, owner at Apollo Unlimited in Easton, PA. “No matter how technologically advanced we get, direct contact with people remains an important part of this business. Events are an important part of the networking and relationship-building process – they make contractors feel important and acknowledged for the work they do from a distance most of the year.”
According to Wakielewski, the benefits of networking at AHR Expo extend beyond relationships and into providing real-world feedback to HVACR manufacturers and technology developers.
“It is crucial for manufacturers to understand how their products really work in the field, and AHR Expo is undoubtedly the place where contractors have the opportunity to give that kind of feedback,” Wakielewski said.
With clear consensus from across the mechanical contractor community, AHR Expo is consistently viewed as a “must-attend” event for HVACR industry professionals.
“I wouldn’t dream of missing 2016 in Orlando,” shared Clamens. “I’ll be coming back from Trinidad the weekend beforehand and driving up first thing Monday morning.”
Source: International Exposition Co.