Over 50,000 people attended the 2020 AHR Expo, held at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida, Feb. 3 to 5. The largest HVAC/R trade show in North America, this year’s event featured 1,900 companies exhibiting their latest products across the 506,090 sq. ft. show floor.
“The energy on the show floor this year was hard to miss. From corner to corner, in every booth, education session, event program, everywhere, it’s clear that this industry is alive and thriving,” said Mark Stevens, show manager.
“Leading into this show we knew there were some big changes happening across the industry and we saw that reflected in Orlando. It is truly an exciting time to be a part of the HVAC/R community and, if 2020 is any indication, it is just getting started.” The number of attendees at this year’s show was higher than last year which saw 45,078 attendees.
The 2020 show featured more than 200 educational sessions, covering topics such as Private Equity 101: What HVACR Founders Need to Know, Skilled Labour – Overcome the Shortage to Protect Your Business, and Building for a Climate Emergency.
In addition to the educational sessions, this year was the first year that the show hosted sessions led by an expert council. Topics included Obstacles and Opportunities for HVAC/R in the Next Decade, 2020 – Pivoting Towards a Post Carbon World and Impacts to the HVAC Industry, and Update on Refrigerants: Past, Present and Future.
“It’s all about connection and being in the room. If you don’t show up, you will not meet people, you will not learn and you cannot exchange expertise with people that are working in either the same or different role as you,” said Karine Leblanc, sales engineer with US Air Conditioning Distributors and a founding member of the AHR Expo Expert Council.
The show also featured for the first time a podcast pavilion and more than 100 product and technology presentations by exhibitors.
Danfoss won the 2020 Product of the Year for its CO2 Adaptive Liquid Management Solution. Danfoss was an innovation award winner in the Cooling, Green Building, and Refrigeration categories. The full list of winners at the show was: Building Automation – Delta Controls Inc., for their O3 Sensor Hub 2.0; Cooling – Danfoss for their Interlaced Micro Channel Heat Exchanger (IMCHE); Green Building – Danfoss for their Turbocor Tg490 Compressor; Heating – York for their LX Series Tl9e Ultra-Low NOx Gas Furnace; IAQ – Fresh-Aire UV for their Purity Low Profile Led 1-inch Polarized Filter/LED Disinfection System; Plumbing – LG Electronics USA, Inc., for their Hydro Kit; Refrigeration – Danfoss for their Co2 Adaptive Liquid Management Solution; Software – Interplay Learning for their Skillmill Skilled Trades Course Catalog; Tools and Instruments – Matelex for their DNI (Détecteur De Niveau Intelligent/Smart Level Detector); and Ventilation – Infinitum Electric for their HVAC Motor.
“It was an honour to win Product of the Year for our Danfoss CO2 Adaptive Liquid Management (CALM) at the AHR Expo in Orlando considering all of the other category winners,” said Peter Dee, sales director of food retail for North America at Danfoss. “It exemplifies the Danfoss culture, people, and commitment to innovation. We continue to strive through innovation to help our customers and the industry meet their sustainability requirements and it is an honour to be recognized by the industry for these achievements.”
The 10 innovation award categories received the most entries ever since the program began 17 years ago. Entry fees are returned to the local community. This year $26,300 was presented to the Orange County Police Athletic League.
“The videos of this show online don’t do it justice. When you’re here you get to pick up the tool and feel how it actually works,” said Victor Grasso, an HVAC Service Technician from New Jersey says of his first AHR Expo. “It really assures me that if I purchase the tool in the future, I’ll know that I’m getting the right tool for the job. For a young person like me who is new to the trade, the show introduced me to a whole other aspect of the industry. I found so many products and companies I would have never known existed. This definitely won’t be my last show— I’ll be here for Chicago, Vegas, I’ll be here for life.”