The AHR Expo returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center Jan. 30-Feb. 1, and show organizers are predicting record-breaking attendance at the industry event.

“Although current advance registration numbers don’t provide any guarantee on final attendance totals, it’s encouraging to note (as of press time), visitor registration is running ahead of all previous shows when compared to the same number of weeks before opening,” says Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition  Co., which organizes the show. “One of the factors that generally influence the number of visitors is the overall size of the show and the 2017 event in Las Vegas will be the largest AHR Expo held in its 88-year history.”

The AHR Expo is one of the world’s largest HVACR and plumbing industry events and is held annually in key markets and major cities across the U.S., hosting close to 2,000 exhibitors and bringing in crowds of 60,000 or more industry professionals. The event is co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference.

About 80% of exhibitors have indicated they will be displaying new or enhanced products, systems and technologies at the AHR Expo. These new products will reflect numerous ongoing industry trends, including those associated with burgeoning growth across both the residential and commercial construction markets.

“It’s exciting to see such enthusiasm around the rebounding North American building and construction industry and the subsequent growth in demand for the latest evolution of products, technologies and services the HVACR industry has to offer,” Stevens says. “With this resurgence, a spirit of ingenuity and creativity has flourished among HVACR manufacturers and we’re pleased to present the venue at which the results of this will be displayed for 2017.”

The new products that manufacturers intend to unveil at this year’s expo represent several major trends driven by the growing construction market, both in North America and the world over, according to show organizers. These themes include green building as a standard of design, a rapidly returning residential construction market, a strong focus on remodeling and renovation, an increasing pre-fab/offsite construction market, and skilled labor shortages.

On the education front, John Siegenthaler, P.E., a consulting engineer and principal of Appropriate Designs in Holland Patent, N.Y., and a columnist for BNP Media’s Plumbing Group, which includes Supply House Times, will present “Common Errors in Hydronic Systems Design & Installation” during the PM Live Symposium on Jan. 31. At the event, he explains attendees can expect to learn “what goes wrong, why it’s wrong and how to avoid the error.”

Matt Michel, founder and CEO of contractor best practices group Service Nation, suggests those attending the expo do so with a plan in mind in order to get the most out of the event. “I always go in with five to 10 exhibitors in mind. I hit these displays first and let the people in the booth teach me about their product or service. Look at each encounter as an opportunity for a mini-seminar,” he says. “Once I’ve visited my top 10, I walk the show. AHR is a large show, but it’s possible to walk the entire show and still spend some time with interesting exhibitors. Often, I find these in the remote areas of the show in the 10-by-10-ft. booths. This is where some of the most innovative new companies can be found.”

Stevens says he hopes show attendees leave Vegas having learned at least one new thing on the show floor.  “We want all attendees to take away at least one unique idea, at least one new point of information, from what they will see on display at the show ― things they did not previously know about and that will contribute to the success of their businesses and their general futures in the HVACR industry,” he says.


This article was originally titled “Vegas in overdrive” in the January 2017 print edition of Supply House Times.