My first trade show
Overwhelmed and exhausted would have been an understatement in terms of how I felt returning home after the AHR Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta Jan. 14-16. Like many other visitors to North America’s largest HVAC/R show, my feet and back were killing me after walking around that very large convention centre.
The entire size of the AHR Expo in Atlanta blew me away once I descended those escalators towards the show floor. There were over 1,800 exhibitors. The size of some of the booths that I saw was insane, many of which, if rumours are true, cost hundred of thousands of dollars to design and build. It wasn’t something I had ever expected to see, and each booth made me realize how complex this industry is.
I saw the latest technology in air conditioning, boilers, tools, plumbing products, valves, cooling towers, pumps, dampers, heat pumps, and radiant heating. And that is only scratching the surface.
I am a recent graduate from university and college to put an idea of how young I am. Computers and technology have always been a part of my life. This industry has started to make the shift towards some of this technology with the use of Bluetooth, smart technology and Wi-Fi compatible products all in the hopes of increasing the level of comfort and satisfaction in the eyes of the consumer or homeowner. And this was something that I saw throughout the show in Atlanta.
One such piece of equipment that stood out for me was a feature on a DeWalt tool that allows the tool to be tracked and monitored from a phone app, even going as far as allowing someone to remotely shut off the tool. Our phones are becoming an operating system that can control almost every aspect of our homes. It has been something that has taken a while to get into our industry. But now changes are happening, and this type of smart equipment is becoming more common.
What I also found quite interesting at the show was that each manufacturer within the same niche of the industry are each trying to solve one problem with their own solution. One general product that I came across solved the question: how do you help prevent a flood in a home? The answer came in the form of sensors added to water tanks or locations where leaks tend to happen, or even a piece of equipment that can be installed on the water line into a house that can shut off the entire water supply.
Innovation and energy-saving products seemed to be the highlight of this year’s expo. My walkaway from the show is that our industry is ever evolving, Sand I cannot wait to see what is next for our industry. I am looking forward to attending next year’s AHR Expo in Orlando, Florida.