My First Time at AHR
Written by: Tito Melendez
Upon entering my first AHR Expo, I was blown away by the grand scale of it all. The annual HVAC/R Expo is the largest in the industry. This year it was held in the happiest place on earth. Sunny Orlando, Florida in the Orange County Convention Center. With over 500 thousand sq. ft. devoted to this event there was not a blank space on the convention floor. The 2020 show welcomed over 1,900 exhibitors and crowds upward of 50,000 professionals from every state in the US and 165 countries worldwide. With that many exhibitors and thousands of products and services being offered; my eyes could not stop wandering in awe. The amenities available were incredible; Live demonstrations, educational courses, podcasts, new technology, awards, and networking opportunities were all accessible at one’s fingertips, a Disneyland for the HVAC techie.
There were over 200 educational programs available at the 2020 expo, all highlighted hot topics in the industry. Some of the course’s available focus on global issues like climate change and other's targeted business owners by hosting courses on strengthening business relationships through emotional intelligence and overcoming the skilled labor shortage. Even though education was available most attendees seemed eager to test the newest products and new concepts in available the HVAC/R industry. The products displayed by the various manufacturers had a broad range from residential to heavy industrial. It was interesting as I took a tour of the floor, how many professionals stood around booths in crowds and asked questions during demonstrations of products. Although the booths got crowed, I can relate to the eagerness of finding something that can make your job easier. With new tools and products, being viewed online doesn’t do them any justice. When the tool is in person, it is assuring to know what you’re getting for an upcoming project.
Another highlight that stood out to me was the podcast pavilion that featured some of the most influential people in the industry. This was the first year the expo had this available and I saw it as a huge success. The podcast booths were located inside and outside of the convention doors and had chairs lined up so people could watch and be a part of the production. Triangle Tube’s National Sales Manager, Mark Avron, had the opportunity of sitting in with PHC News and talking about our company’s progression into the future.
Companies pulled out all the bells and whistles for this Expo. Some booths had two levels and meeting rooms. Others had continuous product demos built into them. With our booth, I felt the Triangle Tube’s was very cohesive with our new branding, it had a bright, clean and fresh appearance to the displays. It echoed the qualities Triangle Tube is putting forth in our product lines. It was an enjoyable experience to walk people through the booth showing off our current products as well as gauge interests in products displayed in the GROUPE ATLANTIC section. So many people stopped by to peep their eyes into the backlit Instinct and Prestige boiler cut-a-ways.
It was great to have a functioning control, it made it so much easier to go through the menu to show the controls functions and boiler capabilities. I received great feedback on the Product Guide booklet. Another great tool was the Product touch screen, I found it useful to talk to interested parties about the cascade piping stand, many people were amazed by the BTU capabilities of our products. I must not forget to mention the ingenious way our marketing people lured so many to our booth using the aroma of fresh-baked cookies. There were so many people waiting for a bite, they could not be made fast enough so many people took out their frustration on our Instinct stress ball.
Overall, this expo was a great experience. I had the opportunity to meet people from around the world. That was easy to relate to when they visited the Triangle Tube booth since we already had something in common. It was also fun to see as large as our industry is, how many people from different companies knew each other. I made a plethora of new connections I hope to utilize in the future. I also found a bunch of new products I’d like to try one day out in the field. If you're in the HVAC/R field, I’d highly recommend attending the AHR Expo next year in Chicago.