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2019 AHR Expo Draws Big Crowds

Inventive, International, Iconic: 2019 AHR Expo Draws Big Crowds

From AHR Today, 2019

ATLANTA—The opening of the 2019 AHR Expo Monday morning unofficially started a new year of innovation in the HVAC&R industry with products making their debuts throughout the Show floor.

This year, 1,824 exhibitors have filled 493,000 net ft2 (45 801.2 net m2) of exhibit space at the Georgia World Congress Center. There are 116 first-time exhibitors this year.

The Show has considerably grown since 2001—the last time Atlanta acted as the Show’s host city. The 2019 Show is 27.8% larger in terms of exhibit space than the 2001 Show, which had 1,292 exhibitors who filled 385,745 net ft2 (35 836.9 net m2) of exhibit space.

Mark Stevens, CEO of International Exposition Company, which manages the AHR Expo, said he is optimistic about this year’s Show’s success and attendance, based on its preregistration numbers that were on par with numbers from last year’s Show in Chicago. About 35,000 people preregistered to attend this year’s Show, according to Stevens.

“The proof is really done Day 2 when they’ve come again,” he said.

International Exposure

The number of international exhibitors has increased from the 2001 Show. This year, 27.2%—497 of the 1,824 exhibitors—are international and are representing 35 countries, said Stevens. The 2001 Show had 184 international exhibitors.

Of the 35,000 people who pre-registered to attend this year’s Show, more than 7,800 registrants—about 22.8%—are international, Stevens said. Attendees are representing more than 100 countries.

“It’s a good number because a lot of shows don’t have that. Our attendance and our exhibitors are very international,” he said, adding the Show’s large international presence has been a trend for some time.

“That’s what we’re always excited about. It’s such a global show even though it’s always located in the United States,” he said.

Stevens credits co-sponsor ASHRAE’s international presence and the U.S.’ strength in manufacturing, innovation and standards development for the Show’s sizeable international draw.

Constant Innovation

Regardless of who and how many people attend the Show, one aspect for the AHR Expo is constant: innovation.

Stevens said throughout the Show’s existence, he always finds the industry’s talk about technology and how it has changed interesting, as evident in the exhibitor booths on the Show floor.

“There’s an idea, and then five years later, it’s on that Show floor. I think that has always been a case,” he said.

A good number of exhibitors debut new products at the AHR Expo. While walking on the Show floor, not only are attendees surrounded by their colleagues, they are also surrounded by the HVAC&R industry’s latest products and innovations.

“I think that’s one of the important things about this Show. This is the opportunity for the exhibitors now to show off and not just talk about something. They’ve actually produced it and made it. I think that’s always for us to be the exciting part of the Show, to see new technology come out.”