After the positive vibes heading into 2012 came to fruition throughout the calendar year, leaders from the first major industry trade shows of 2013 predict
increases in manufacturers exhibits and show attendees heading into the International Builders Show in Las Vegas (Jan. 22-24) and the AHR Expo in Dallas (Jan. 28-30).
“More than half the manufacturers are saying 2013 will be better or very much better than 2012,” says Clay Stevens, president of IEC, the organizer of AHR Expo. “There is an even greater degree of optimism than there was at Chicago 2012 show.”
The premier industry event for HVAC products and technologies, AHR Expo returns to the Dallas Convention Center for the first time since 2007, the last year before the Great Recession shook and continues to shake the industry and the country. According to Stevens, the size of this year’s Dallas event is up 11% over the 2007 show.
“The fact that this show continues to grow is encouraging to everyone,” he says. “A lot of people travel a long way to go to the show and they wouldn’t be doing that if they were on the edge of disaster. The more business they see coming, the more likely they’ll come and check out what’s new.”
While the focus at AHR Expo is HVAC products, plumbing products are starting to carve out a bigger niche on the floor plan. Hydronic and radiant heating products have been staples at AHR, but with the addition of a plumbing category to the show’s Innovation Awards, Stevens says the behind-the-wall basics are becoming a key attraction.
“The addition of a plumbing category to the Innovation Awards sends out a sign that we are going to emphasize plumbing more,” he says. “We offer educational sessions that deal with plumbing. It’s become more and more an integral part of the show. There is a part of plumbing that is essential to heating and air conditioning.”
Webstone has its space reserved for the event and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Fernando Mireles says the company is excited about its prospects in 2013. It helps that the company now knows who will be leading the country for the next four years.
“We’re really optimistic for 2013,” he says. “Good, bad or indifferent, we know who the president is. That brings stabilization to the market.”
Webstone is showcasing its enhanced Hydro-Core boiler piping kits for wall-hung boilers with integral pumps with the Hydro-Core Flex valve. The stainless-steel valve launched last August and has been successful in the northeast United States and in western Canada. Hydro-Core Flex includes a Hydro-Core double ball drain manifold and flexible stainless-steel supply/return lines outfitted with connections for a specific boiler.
Mireles says AHR Expo always provides Webstone a great opportunity to get in front of its distributors and many other potential customers.
“We’re always excited about the event, it’s a big industry show,” he says. “We usually get our fair share of the audience in attendance.”