As the HVACR world continues to grow and evolve, so does the AHR Expo; we are constantly looking for ways to make the experience better for our visitors and exhibitors. One thing that’s incredibly important to us is making the show worthwhile for all attendees. For mechanical contactors specifically, our goal is to make the expo a valuable place for facilitating networking and innovation.
We typically see about 60,000 attendees at each year’s show, a large percentage of whom are contractors. In fact, we’re proud to say that AHR Expo has grown to become the most significant annual event for contractors. They come from every corner of the country seeking exposure to the latest in HVACR equipment, technology and skill building.
I feel the show is successful when I see familiar faces return year after year. Some business owners started coming decades ago, before they even opened their doors, solely to be introduced to innovative products and learn from seminars and demonstrations. I’ve spoken with contractors who make it a point to attend each year so they don’t miss the opportunity to see and recognize the latest and greatest in the industry. Off of the show floor, we try to cover and give recognition to as many best practices, notable products and innovative technologies as possible through our educational programs and annual Innovation Awards and encourage all show attendees, especially contractors, to attend all of these free bonus facets of the show.
As imperative as it is for contractors to know their products, and know them well, the networking aspect of the show is perhaps equally important. No matter how much technology has advanced in any given year, face-to-face contact is crucial to business success. We are happy to provide a platform where contractors can connect and strengthen relationships with manufacturers, as well as provide direct, real-world feedback.
The show provides opportunity to cultivate these relationships year after year. We all know the more time spent meeting and building rapport with business contacts, the more likely they are to respond when a call is made or an email is sent. And so many contractors in this industry depend on the AHR Expo to give them this chance.
Whatever industry a person chooses, whether it be HVACR contracting or trade show production like myself, real-world feedback truly is one of the best ways to learn and grow. Of course we all enjoy positive feedback, but constructive critical responses and reactions to products, write-ups, or marketing strategies, for example, can mean a world of difference in how we structure our business model. Manufacturers need to understand how their products really work in the field. We gladly enable this by giving contractors a place to voice their opinions, both good and bad, to the companies they work with.
We are constantly striving to create an atmosphere at the show that facilitates professional development for all of our attendees. We work really hard to provide the most comprehensive tools possible for contractors to make it worth the trip. And we always welcome your feedback whether it be a pat on the back or a suggestion for improvement. We want to continue the tradition of the past 68 years by producing the best show we can while always keeping our eyes open to the future and the needs of our attendees.
Clay Stevens is President of the International Exposition Company.