The 2019 AHR Expo is the industry’s largest HVACR event, hosting thousands of industry professionals and more than 2,100 exhibiting companies each year. The 2019 Show will return to Atlanta for the first time since 2001, with Show dates set for January 14-16.
Spread over two halls of impressive floor real estate, the Show will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center and is poised to be an eventful year for HVACR with technological advancements in IoT and automation, as well building standards for indoor air quality. Existing exhibitors are set to return with new debuts and add-ons to existing products and services, and many new exhibitors are filtering in from crossover markets helping to advance the HVACR industry.
With so much to see, use these tips to take full advantage of your time at the Show.
Register Early for Attendance and Accommodation
Registering early has many advantages. Aside from allowing you to prepare in advance for your experience, registration prior to Show arrival is free. Plus, we’ll mail your badge ahead of the event so you can skip the lines and get you onto the Show floor faster.
Once you’ve registered, book your stay at one of the recommended affiliate hotels supporting the Show. Many offer special rates and provide a shuttle to take you to and from the Show each day, saving you time and money.
Attending a trade show can be of tremendous value to your professional growth as well as a great way to guide your company’s progress in the industry. But getting the most out of your experience means more than just attending: it’s important to make a plan and be intentional. You can do this by preparing in the months leading up to the Show; set goals for yourself as an attendee, or for your company if you’re attending as a representative. Make a list of all the things you’d like to take away and areas of specific interest for meeting your goals.
Once you have goals in mind, make a specific plan for each day of the Show you plan to attend. Use the Map Your Show planner tool on the AHR Expo website to help guide you. The Show planner lets you save exhibitor profiles, calendar entries and any agenda items you may need as quick reference while at the Show. You can even add personal events and see a full listing of education and speaker sessions that can help you make the best plan to meet all the goals on your list.
Make a Plan that Best Meets Your Goals
Setting goals has no purpose if you don’t follow through on plans that help you meet them. Spend some time on the Show website exploring exhibitors to pinpoint those that provide answers to your goals. Once you’ve compiled a list of exhibitors you’d like to connect with, spend some time drafting questions that help you get the answers you’re looking for.
Make sure to explore the Show’s education series and take advantage of sessions and classes that further your expertise. The Show’s education program amasses over 120 sessions featuring the latest industry trends and best practices, and feature professionals from the industry’s leading HVACR organizations. This is a valuable opportunity to hear firsthand what’s in the industry pipeline for the year ahead. This is a great way to uncover new technologies for your company, or to discover new partnership opportunities or potential leads.
In addition to the free sessions, there will be many opportunities for continuing education through ALI courses. All courses hosted in this series are approved for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and are a great way to maintain P.E. licensure. For these sessions, advanced registration and fee payment are required prior to the Show. You can register on the ASHRAE registration website.
Engage in Pre-Show Conversations
If you’re not doing so already, make sure you’re following the AHR Expo social media pages (find the Show on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram). Here you’ll find real-time updates of announcements and tips that may assist in your planning. It’s also a good idea to post on your personal or company social media pages while at the Show; be sure to use Show-related hashtags (#AHRexpo, #HVACR, or specific names of exhibiting companies or speakers) so others in attendance can follow your experience and stay connected.
You should also engage in conversation with your current customers prior to the Show to lay the foundation for mutual expectations. Trade Shows are a vibrant atmosphere to meet customers in a supportive environment. This is a great way to open the conversation to new partnerships or ways you can enhance your existing relationship.
Promote your Attendance
It’s a good idea to promote your attendance at the 2019 AHR Expo on your personal social media pages so that exhibitors and other attendees can be sure to connect with you on the Show floor. You can do this by joining the leaderboard. The Show welcomes thousands of attendees, so planning ahead can prevent missed opportunities. This is also another opportunity to engage in conversations prior to the Show about industry trends that you may want to follow up on in person at the Show.
You can also connect with AHR Expo staff prior to the Show and set up a time to be interviewed about your experience from the Show floor. This will be shared on the Show social media pages with your consent and can help you with networking connections following the Show. Spots are limited, and you must be a registered attendee to be eligible. Contact Nicole Bush if you’re interested in booking a limited spot.
Tips for Show Days
Wear comfortable shoes. Don’t underestimate the size of the Show floor. With over 2,100 booths of varying sizes spread over two halls, a day on the floor can lead to tired feet! Plan for a long day on your feet walking lots of real estate.
Pick up a Show directory when you arrive. The directory is organized with a detailed breakdown of product categories and ordered by booth number. This will help you stay on schedule with your itinerary and maximize your time at each targeted booth. This simple tip can save you a surprising amount of time during the Show. You can also pick up a paper floor plan that can be used to mark up with the booths you want to visit. This way you can stay on track without missing opportunities, and stop in to any booths on your path that may be of interest.
Take advantage of less busy times on the Show floor. Typically this is the later afternoon or on Wednesday, the last day of the Show. During these times you can avoid crowds that slow down your pace when navigating from booth to booth. What’s more, this is valuable time spent with experts at each booth since there will be less competition for their time and you’re less likely to waste time waiting for a representative to be available to answer questions.
Make sure you build time into your schedule to explore the special Show sections: Building Automation & Control, the Software Center, and the Indoor Air Quality Association Pavilion. Here you’ll be able to see all the latest industry trends and follow along with upcoming and expected advancement. Each of these sections encompasses build out products and technologies that support a growing trend in HVACR and provide a quick snapshot of the industry in the coming year.
Follow up Post-Show
Collect and organize business cards or contacts you encounter on the Show floor so you can easily follow up after the Show. It’s helpful if you make notes or reminders that will clue you in to conversations you’ve had at the Show. Allow for a little time for exhibitors to close up the Show and arrive back to routine and then reach out per your arrangement.
Evaluate your pre-Show goals with your post-Show discoveries and make note of what you’ve learned that can be applied to your business. From this, you can build a plan for the year.
For More Information
For more information on the 2019 AHR Expo, please visit: www.ahrexpo.com