trade show

The 2022 AHR Expo traveled to Vegas with a strong return to in-person events, a critical need in the industry as HVACR continues to be on the front lines of many major world challenges. Discussions across the industry include energy efficiency, environmental changes, air quality, and a sense that the world has undoubtedly changed in Read more

The 2022 AHR Expo traveled to Vegas with a strong return to in-person events, a critical need in the industry as HVACR continues to be on the front lines of many major world challenges. Discussions across the industry include energy efficiency, environmental changes, air quality, and a sense that the world has undoubtedly changed in recent years with HVACR being no exception.

“One of the immediate challenges in our industry is gaps in the workforce across all roles. This is a potential roadblock to the work we have in front of us. The good news is we are aware of it and the industry is in agreement that we need to work together and build career-driven experiences for all those coming into the industry,” said Mark Stevens, manager of AHR Expo.

The show is uniquely positioned to offer an introduction to HVACR that highlights how one can aspire to build a lifelong career in HVACR. Each year, professionals gather to discuss issues and create solutions, and to showcase the very best of what’s to come. It is in this spirit the AHR Expo recognized an opportunity to widen the reach and purpose of some of the show’s key elements – access to professionals, new markets, products and technology as well as the cutting-edge development via the Innovation Awards.

“We’ve felt a shift for many years as innovation in our industry grows and the world wakes up to what HVACR currently offers and what it must succeed in for the future,” continued Stevens. “Inside the industry, we understand the immense responsibility to grow our workforce to maintain the demands of the future. We have a deep understanding of the way HVACR is a part of nearly every human experience in our built environment. The show is a unique opportunity to see everything all at once and connect with a broad audience within our community. With workforce growth being a focus in every corner, we sought to add value with our unique offering.”

The Need for a Growing Workforce

One thing of rising concern among all stakeholders is the need to strengthen the future workforce across all channels to support a growing industry.

The HVACR industry, like many, was already heading into a workforce deficit, as noted in prior years’ trend reports. With the onset of the pandemic, the industry took an even bigger hit with employee burnout, early retirement decisions and those drawn to the Great Resignation.

“The changes that this industry is going to be seeing over the next several years is immense – something that we’ve never seen,” said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of AHRI while participating in a state of the industry panel at AHR Expo 2022. “Number one is just getting people into the industry. We’re going to be seeing a huge amount of retirements like we have already. Just getting people into the workforce and trained and ready to go.”

What’s more, HVACR became a vital effort in the return to normal after COVID19. Today, indoor air quality is discussed mainstream as an important mitigation factor for health and safety inside our built environment – something the industry has been raising awareness of for years. With this new spotlight, demand for HVACR solutions has increased tremendously. Likewise, the need for a motivated workforce to sustain and continue to grow the industry to meet demands.

Innovating the Innovation Awards

The AHR Expo introduced a workforce development initiative to expose potential industry professionals to HVACR in a moment when the industry shines brightest – all together under one roof with miles and miles of products and tech on display. The program is a means to honor the innovation that our professionals are bringing to market through the Innovation Awards while simultaneously supporting future innovators through mentorship and leadership.

In its inaugural year, AHR Expo invited Western High School, a local area high school with a dual academic program that graduates students certified and ready for hire as technicians in HVAC. The soon to graduate class was invited for a special field trip at the 2022 AHR Expo.

“We are humbled by the warm welcome from the surrounding communities that host our industry for the AHR Expo, and it is always our goal to give back in as many positive ways as we can during our visit,” stated Stevens. “Coming into Vegas, we married the initiatives of strengthening our industry as well as the hosting city community by supporting the growth of the local Las Vegas workforce.”

The AHR Expo set the goals of showcasing what the industry has to offer and how an individual can build a strong lifelong career in HVACR. The manufacturing community, industry associations, and training-focused professionals were eager to share in this experience. Manufacturers curated experiences in their booths for the students to ask questions, interact with experts and demo products; associations offered mentorship; and individuals offered personal experience and insight into the possibilities offered in the industry.

“While all the booths and presentations were amazing, I was most taken by how personally invested each of the presenters was in our students as the future of the HVAC industry. They genuinely wanted to support our students and direct them to a sustainable career,” Michelle Dillmann, Counselor, Western High School.

Welcoming the next generation

During their visit, students were welcomed by ambassadors eager to guide them on a planned tour through the show floor. Colleen Keyworth and Angie Snow from Women in HVACR, and Bob Rohr and Mary Olsen from Caleffi North America guided 23 students – 6 women and 17 men– for in-booth visits, Q&A sessions and a scavenger hunt/trivia of HVACR knowledge.

The students had time to meet with members of the Podcast Pavilion, including a group discussion led by Rich and Kevin of The HVAC Jerks where they answered questions about career development, how to be more involved in the industry and general advice to begin their career.

“The AHR Expo was definitely inspirational and gave me more courage to continue in this field,” Geraldine Avila, an 11th-grade student.

After spending a few hours on the floor, the students were hosted by Mike Mayberry (hvac_refer_guy) for a special presentation on resume building and expectations for joining the workforce. Mike covered topics such as skills and qualities employers look for in their team and how to market yourself as an attractive employee candidate. Mike also shared practical tips and advice to sustain a successful career, and the many ways one can grow a career through experiential gain and networking. Mike, a well-known industry champion of HVAC and the trades, extended his mentorship to each student in attendance, and in doing so demonstrated the strong community that HVACR offers to its professionals.

The students were engaged in his presentation, eagerly participating in the conversation, and enthralled with the practicality of information being presented. Lunch service chatter revealed excitement in having met so many professionals dedicated to introducing them to the real HVACR experience and the warm welcome that was not expected but enthusiastically welcomed.

“The AHR Expo was a tremendous experience for the HVAC students of Western High School. Not only was the red carpet rolled out for our students, but they made great connections and now have a deeper understanding of industry opportunities. To be sure, this experience has greatly enhanced their career trajectory,” said Antonio Rael, Principal of Western High.

Looking to the future

At the close of their visit, students were surprised by a wealth of generosity from industry manufacturers and exhibitors of the AHR Expo.

  • Veto Pro Pac gifted the students with their MB3 meter bag.
  • Ridgid gifted each student with a custom hat and a heavy-duty pipe wrench, as well as many items collected in the booth demonstration.
  • Klein Tools prepared a package with a full brim hardhat, their Pro Pack 6-piece apprentice toolset and an HVAC clamp meter.
  • Fluke, a 2022 Innovation Award Winner, gifted each student a VoltAlert 1ACII non-contact voltage tester.
  • DiversiTech equipped each student with a hilmor tool package consisting of a tool bag, a quick-engage flare & swage kit, a tube bender, a 2-valve aluminum manifold, a dual readout thermometer, and various items to complete an apprentice toolset.

The well-rounded experience was a highlight of the AHR Expo’s return. It served as an empowering addition to all the show aims to offer.

“The AHR Expo was a great place to see what HVAC students will do and achieve in the future,” Jose Cortez, an 11th-grade student.

AHR Expo offers a unique opportunity for the full industry to come together and experience HVACR by seeing what’s new, what’s to come and what is needed. Inviting career candidates at the student level sets the stage for a true understanding of their potential and to see themselves as a part of the industry with realistic expectations and experiences, rather than a cold introduction. What’s more, it gifts awareness to the size of the community available to them, as opposed to only networking with a small set of members on their team.

“We are continuously looking to evolve the best experience for the industry and the professionals that work within it,” continued Stevens. “We observe the trends and needs of the industry and build strong partnerships to strengthen the foundation not only of the AHR Expo experience but also for a thriving industry for years to come. We are privileged to have made the connection with the Western High School community and we look forward to supporting HVACR in more exciting ways such as this experience in the future.”

The industry is poised to thrive but will require dedication to building and maintaining a strong workforce. Curating experiences that showcase career opportunities, the inspiring and dedicated community and the ability to fulfill purpose can support this. The AHR Expo is honored to play its part.

“To recruit people, we need them to see not only a career but also an impact. Because that’s what most humans are looking for. They want to make a difference. They want to make things better. They want to be good stewards, whatever it happens to be. Most people come wanting to make things better. Let’s share what we do to make things better.” Mick Schwedler, 2021-2022 ASHRAE president.

The AHR Expo plans to continue the expansion of this initiative in the years to come, working to develop similar experiences for engineering students, sales and marketing within the supply chain and anyone looking to build a lifelong career in HVACR.

“We are so inspired by the nurturing support of our industry’s community,” concluded Stevens. “The number of people who have reached out looking to help us grow and connect our next generation audiences with established professionals is inspiring. This industry is like none other and we look forward to assisting where we can to close the workforce gap by working together with our strong partnerships.”

You can view a full video recap of the 2022 AHR Expo student visit here.

To learn more about Western High School and its dual HVAC program, visit the school website. For more information on the AHR Expo and the Innovation Awards, visit the AHR Expo website.

The 2023 AHR Expo will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. Registration will open in the summer of 2022.

ABOUT THE AHR EXPO

The AHR Expo is the world’s essential HVACR event, attracting the most comprehensive gathering of industry professionals from around the globe each year. The show provides a unique forum where manufacturers of all sizes and specialties, whether a major industry brand or innovative start-up, can come together to share ideas and showcase the future of HVACR technology under one roof. Since 1930, the AHR Expo has remained the industry’s best place for OEMs, engineers, contractors, facility operators, architects, educators and other industry professionals to explore the latest trends and applications and cultivate mutually beneficial business relationships. The next show, co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI, will be held Feb.6 – Feb. 8, 2023, in Atlanta, GA, and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference.

For more information, visit ahrexpo.com and follow @ahrexpo on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Original dates of January 25-27, 2021 have been officially postponed; March 15-17, 2021 continues to be considered with a final decision expected by October 15, 2020 AHR Expo Show Management today announced the postponement of the original planned Show dates of January 25-27 for the 2021 AHR Expo in Chicago. Both McCormick Place and Choose Read more

Original dates of January 25-27, 2021 have been officially postponed; March 15-17, 2021 continues to be considered with a final decision expected by October 15, 2020

AHR Expo Show Management today announced the postponement of the original planned Show dates of January 25-27 for the 2021 AHR Expo in Chicago. Both McCormick Place and Choose Chicago , an organization dedicated to bringing visitors to Chicago, recognize how vital the Show is to the city and have offered Show Management the dates of March 15-17, 2021 to host the HVACR industry. In a survey conducted by AHR Expo, the proposed move to March is preferred by nearly 80% of exhibitors and attendees. The decision to postpone the original planned January dates was difficult, however, the AHR Expo, ASHRAE and AHRI are encouraged about hosting a live event in March and continue to explore feasibility. A final decision will be announced no later than October 15, 2020.

“We continue to exhaust all possibilities that will allow us to host a safe and successful event for all industry stakeholders,” said Mark Stevens, Show Manager. “But we have to take into account that there are barriers for allowances within the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago that we cannot control. We remain cautiously optimistic that we can meet together in Chicago in March.”

In consideration of the significant planning and preparation required to participate in the Show, AHR Expo Show Management, along with co-sponsors ASHRAE and AHRI, will make the final determination and announcement on or before October 15th. While six months remain between now and March, a decision to make a final call well in advance will allow both exhibitors and attendees to more easily plan.

Throughout the spring and summer, countless meetings have been held to explore all possible avenues in order to produce a safe and successful Show in Chicago. In partnership with Show co-sponsors and the advisory committee, Show Management has been in close contact with McCormick Place, the city of Chicago, Show vendors, and other officials to provide the best guidance to host the event. These meetings will continue throughout the month as all options are considered.

“All of us in the industry understand the vital role HVACR plays in the world. We at AHR Expo know the importance of the Show in providing a unique environment where members of the HVACR community can congregate to learn, share, and grow as professionals while experiencing all that’s new in the industry,” continued Stevens. “I think we all understand the challenges this year has presented thus far, and while HVACR has emerged as a primary player in how we can hope to combat COVID-19 and other pandemic threats of the future, there are safety, governmental, and practical considerations that have to be taken into account.”

Show Management will continue to follow updates within the state of Illinois, the Governor’s office, as well as the CDC and other advisory councils.

While we are still enjoying summer, fall will be here sooner than we wish and as we know in the industry, fall begins trade show season. This year marks the first time in ages that the ASPE Convention and Expo 2018 will not be occurring on or around Halloween. To get a better feel for the convention Read more

While we are still enjoying summer, fall will be here sooner than we wish and as we know in the industry, fall begins trade show season. This year marks the first time in ages that the ASPE Convention and Expo 2018 will not be occurring on or around Halloween. To get a better feel for the convention and expo, we chatted with Billy Smith, Executive Director/CEO of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE).

MH: Before we talk about the convention and expo, how is ASPE doing as an organization and what are some of the programs and industry resources you offer to plumbing contractors?

BS: First, I just want to express how exciting it is to be serving the ASPE membership and the plumbing industry as a whole as the Society Executive Director/CEO. Our Society’s Board of Directors and our talented staff are focused on our membership growth and improving the industry as a whole, and ASPE is continuing to advance those objectives with a positive outlook. Having had the opportunity to serve our Society on the Board of Directors for 10 years and then join the Society staff, serving as both the Executive Director/CEO and Sr. Director of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, gives me a different and effective perspective to assist our continued development and growth on a global basis. My goals and desires are to continue implementing the policies and procedures established by the ASPE Board of Directors in support of ASPE’s local Chapters and for all Society activities and programs.

ASPE would be proud to expand on the collaborative opportunities that would benefit contractors and our members alike. Most importantly, we have an entire track this year as part of our Technical Education Program specifically related to construction design, allowing for contractors to have an opportunity to address our members and vice versa. This is important to ASPE as to how we can better assist each other by discussing strategies to successfully work together in areas such as design/build and design/assist projects. Gaining a better understanding of each other’s demands would be a good collaboration. I’m sure there are other areas, and ASPE would be interested in developing additional relationship opportunities.

I feel that my role as an industry professional for well over three decades in different capacities can be an asset that brings perspective to all of our various membership groups and industry partners relating to joint venture opportunities. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve our Society by assuming a leadership role as a member of the Board of Directors as the Vice President, Affiliate, representing our manufacturers and representative agencies, which would connect with the contractors as well. ASPE would like to work with the contractor industry to increase educational opportunities. ASPE has a very successful webinar facility that we would gladly make available for joint opportunities.

As well, I will continue to build and maintain relationships with all of our industry partners to ensure that the public’s health and safety are kept at the forefront of legislation and regulations regarding plumbing system design, installation, inspection, and maintenance as we work as a team, particularly to ensure that the public’s health and safety are kept at the forefront of our respective collaborative efforts.

MH: In addition to how you’re doing, what are a few issues facing the plumbing industry and how is ASPE is taking a leadership role to address those issues and challenges?

BS: ASPE will always play an important role in addressing the largest concerns within our industry that are directly connected to our mission statement: “The American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) is the international organization for professionals skilled in the design, specification, and inspection of plumbing systems. ASPE is dedicated to the advancement of the science of plumbing engineering, to the professional growth and advancement of its members, and to the health, welfare, and safety of the public.” Just to name a few, some of the vital areas continue to be water and energy efficiency, Legionella/pathogens risk mitigation, Hunter’s curve improvements from the commercial side, legislation/regulatory/advocacy efforts, lead and copper, industry research, PERC (Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition), PILC (Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition), and flush and flow reduction issues, while always keeping our eyes and ears open to new design trends in healthcare and medical gases.

MH: Now, let’s chat about the Convention & Expo…it’s less than 100 days away. Our readers probably don’t realize the amount of time that goes into producing a show if this size, so take us behind the scenes…what has the last year been like putting the show together and address why the dates were moved from the traditional Halloween timeframe?

BS: Actually, planning for our Convention & Expo, which is a biennial event, begins several years in advance with the city/location selection. We research several cities for consideration and present the available options to the Society Board of Directors for the final decision. Once that decision has been made, the preparations begin and never really stop. However, yes, the final year leading up to the actual event is like being in the eye of the storm, if you will. Things are always moving and changing, and we have learned to be extremely flexible to address our members’ needs to ensure that we provide the best member experience possible. This includes all of our member categories as we strive to bring the most benefit to our exhibitors, our industry partners, and in general anyone who takes the time to come join our events; we want them to continue returning for the next and the next. That is our focus: consistent benefit growth to our stakeholders.

MH: The Convention & Expo is in Atlanta this year, what makes Atlanta so attractive to ASPE, attendees and exhibitors?

BS: From an attendance and participation standpoint, Atlanta is an easy city to get to from anywhere really. Being a main hub for one of the world’s largest airlines is helpful. Having the largest portion of our membership base in the eastern portion of the U.S. connects well with Atlanta and the ease of arrival. As well, Atlanta has much to offer for those who may plan to come a litte early or remain afterward for some individual or family time.

MH: Technology and innovation are often overused buzzwords, but in the case with the Convention & Expo, you have several hundred exhibitors showcasing their newest products. Can you give us some information on the number of exhibitors and why it’s so valuable for a plumbing contractor to attend and walk the expo floor?

BS: By attending the free Expo on October 1–2, participants will have the ability to connect with more than 300 exhibiting manufacturers and suppliers and network with more than 4,000 industry professionals from around the world. In addition, they will have access to complimentary education sessions in the Innovation Theater in the ASPE Pavilion as well as our co-located ARCSA Pavilion exhibitors. In addition, we offer continuing education credits for every hour spent on the show floor. Expo-Only attendees just have to pay a minor fee to receive the credits.

MH: Beyond the expo, there are a number of technical sessions, leadership programming and special events, can you provide us with a quick overview of those?

BS: The 2018 ASPE Convention & Expo features 25 technical education sessions for those who pay the full registration fee. The sessions are designed to help plumbing industry professionals at all career levels learn new skills or refresh their design repertoire. Each session offers 0.125 CEUs that can be used for license and certification continuing education requirements. Tracks on System Design; Construction Design; Equipment Exploration; Design, Selection, & Beyond; and Latest Trends are available.

MH: What do you hope attendees will be able to extract from the Convention & Expo?

BS: New relationships, new and fresh ideas, and advanced education and skills play a vital role in moving each attendee forward in their respective career. Regardless of the attendee category, engineer, contractor, rep, architect, or manufacturer, we want to improve the experience for all and give benefit to ensure the next opportunity to participate is a can’t-miss or can’t-afford-not-to-attend moment.

MH: What tidbits can you add that would entice readers who might be undecided about attending this year’s show?

BS: We feel that our Convention & Expo is so valuable to those who attend that the biggest tidbit I would offer to end our discussion would be that those who have not registered to date should consider that they may miss the opportunity to gain important information/education needed to solve the most recent design, construction, application, and implementation issues for their current employer. In most cases, it may cost more to not attend than to attend

MH: Any other items you want to share about ASPE or the Convention & Expo?

BS: Our 2018 Convention & Expo in Atlanta will be one of the best ASPE events ever. Now, to ensure it is the best ever, your attendance is needed. With that, I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in Atlanta. Kick your shoes off and stay awhile.

Combining professional development sessions designed exclusively for plumbing industry professionals with the largest plumbing product trade show in the country, the 2018 ASPE Convention & Expo is the must-attend event of the year. Join thousands of industry professionals in Atlanta, September 28 – October 3, 2018.

 

William “Billy” M. Smith, FASPE, is the Executive Director/CEO of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE). Smith is responsible for the administration, management, and financial operations of the Society, as well as implementing the policies and procedures established by the ASPE Board of Directors

Smith has been a part of the plumbing industry since 1981, joined ASPE in 1993 as an Affiliate Member and is currently a Full Member of the Society. He assumed a leadership role in 2002 when he was appointed to the ASPE Board of Directors as Society Affiliate Liaison, and during his tenure the position evolved into Vice President, Affiliate. He was elected to ASPE’s College of Fellows in 2012 and received ASPE’s Distinguished Service Award that same year.

ASPE is the only professional organization devoted to the training and certification of plumbing engineers and designers. ASPE and its 6,000 worldwide members are dedicated to protecting the health, welfare, and safety of the public through the dissemination of technical data and information to expand the base of knowledge among plumbing engineers, designers, contractors, code officials, inspectors, and manufacturers.

Oil & Energy Service Professionals Traditional Show to Return in 2015 There are three major trade shows for our industry within the Northeast, as well as several regional shows. These larger shows cover the same market, whether the emphasis is on gasoline, oil-fired appliances, or service. As a result of this, many manufacturers and attendees Read more

Oil & Energy Service Professionals Traditional Show to Return in 2015

There are three major trade shows for our industry within the Northeast, as well as several regional shows. These larger shows cover the same market, whether the emphasis is on gasoline, oil-fired appliances, or service. As a result of this, many manufacturers and attendees have suggested that we consolidate these shows. We listened to feedback, did our research, and came up with a thoughtful solution: The OESP Road Show.

For over 60 years, OESP has represented the service and installation side of our industry. We strongly believe in the need for well-qualified technicians, whether they are working with oil, gas, propane, or alternative fuels. We are committed to providing our members with the classes they need to excel as energy professionals. We, like other associations, evolve so we can continue meeting the needs of our members.

And in order to evolve, we must first listen. And this is what we did as we developed the OESP Road Show. We listened to our exhibitors, partners, and members. We examined statistics dating back several years and explored many options. And as a result of our research, we put together a strong program that focused on new products and education.

The goal of the OESP Road Show was not only to reduce the cost and time commitment for manufacturers and attendees, but also to provide an outstanding education program. The Road Show emphasized education on the trade show floor and in the classroom. Attendees could meet with manufacturers, learn about new products, and earn NATE and NORA CEU’s in the same day. It was never intended to be an enormous show. Instead, the OESP Road Show was tailored to be a more intimate event with an emphasis placed on quality interactions and top-notch education.

The first Road Show took place from May 12-13 at Mohegan Sun in CT. It came within 15% of our objectives with regards to the quality of attendees and anticipated number of participants. The quality of exhibitors and their support was excellent.

The second Road Show took place from September 22-23 in Gettysburg, PA. In terms of member attendance, the Gettysburg Road Show was a disappointment. The Wyndham Gettysburg was a great fit for this type of event, the weather was beautiful, the food was good, and the quality of classes couldn’t have been better. The problem was the lack of participation and industry support.

The Gettysburg Road Show did have some highlights, however. The Dave Nelsen Scholarship Golf Tournament and Oil Heat Cares’ Care to Ride event showcased participants’ commitment to the future of our industry and those in need.

The Dave Nelsen Scholarship Golf Tournament was held at The Links of Gettysburg. George Fantacone (Santoro Oil, OESP Vice President, and member of the Rhode Island Chapter) did a fine job putting the tournament together and securing sponsors. Thanks to George and all participants, we raised over $9,000 for the scholarship program.

Since our goal was to control costs for our partners this year, Oil Heat Cares’ Care to Ride event did not seek corporate sponsorships. Even without sponsors, the event raised an impressive $24,558.91 from individual contributors and teams. Thank you to all who participated.

Here is a list of the top fundraisers per category:

Motorcycle Division & Top Individual Fundraiser: Ralph Adams (Parker Fuel and OESP’s Mid-Atlantic Chapter)

Bicycle Division: Roger Marran (Energy Kinetics)

Running Division: Scott Vadino (Harriet’s Energy and OESP’s South Jersey Chapter)

Walking Division: Dan and Marianne Holohan (HeatingHelp.com)

Top Fundraising Team: Team Connecticut, with a check for $6,379.91

On behalf of OESP, I’d like to thank everyone who participated in or attended one or both of the Road Shows. If the second show had done as well as our first Road Show, we, along with our partners, would have been pleased and might have considered this type of format again in the future. We will, however, take what we’ve learned from these events and go back to our traditional format in 2015.

We invite you to contact us with feedback on how we can continue to support you in our mission of industry education. We hope to see you next year at our 61st Annual Convention and Trade show from May 17-21, 2015 in Hershey, PA.

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