trade show

The kitchen sink being attendees, that is. PHCC CONNECT, this past October 25-27, was set up for one of those “best-ever” shows. Beautiful downtown Cleveland was the backdrop to very a good week of meetings, connections, site visits and much more. Oh, and the weather didn’t hurt either, with temps lingering in the mid-70s. RIDGID Read more

The kitchen sink being attendees, that is. PHCC CONNECT, this past October 25-27, was set up for one of those “best-ever” shows. Beautiful downtown Cleveland was the backdrop to very a good week of meetings, connections, site visits and much more. Oh, and the weather didn’t hurt either, with temps lingering in the mid-70s.

PHCC CONNECT, RIDGID, Oatey, trade show, Cleveland, product showcase, Coach Carter, plumbing, heating, heating and cooling, PHCC

Mechanical Hub’s John Mesenbrink and The Family Plumber owner, Mike Prencavage, Jr. take the RIDGID tour.

RIDGID, Oatey, Moen and Merit Brass all call the “City that Rocks” home, or close to it anyway, and they each offered a bus trip to visit their respective HQs. Contractors visited their location of choice and all benefitted from their site visits.

The opening keynote, “Growth Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone,” was presented by a compelling Ken Carter whose story blew up on the big screen as “Coach Carter,” played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson. The story of his 1999 season as coach at Richmond High School is the basis for the film. Throughout his life and tenure as a coach, he has inspired and guided numerous lives of young men to reach their highest potential. His “no non-sense” approach to getting things done is the force that has sustained him to have the tremendous positive influence that he currently possesses.

PHCC CONNECT, RIDGID, Oatey, trade show, Cleveland, product showcase, Coach Carter, plumbing, heating, heating and cooling, PHCC

One of the contestants of the Plumbing Apprentice Contest.

One of our favorite annual events at PHCC CONNECT is the Plumbing and HVAC Apprentice Contest. A total of 21 plumbing and 11 HVAC apprentices from across the U.S. competed for top billing. The Plumbing Apprentice Contest winner was Cody McDonald of Van Contracting, Inc. in Columbia City, Ind. He was sponsored by the International Code Council.

The HVAC counterpart apprentice winner was Jacob Lee of P1 Service in Lenexa, Kan. He was sponsored by RIDGID.

The plumbing apprentices were required rough-in a bathroom system. The set-up includes a toilet, sink and shower, complete with supply, waste and vent lines, plus cleanouts and extra features designed to test the contestants’ knowledge and skills. The test set-up includes a variety of pipe materials—cast iron, copper and PVC and corresponding joining methods.

PHCC CONNECT, RIDGID, Oatey, trade show, Cleveland, product showcase, Coach Carter, plumbing, heating, heating and cooling, PHCC

A Bradford White AeroTherm heat pump water heater was on display during the Product & Technology Showcase.

The HVAC competitors were required to complete a written test, demonstrate proper brazing techniques and perform a hands-on diagnostic on an HVAC package unit, with system errors created by the Foundation’s contractor volunteers for the competition. The competitors also had to perform a pressure and leak test, demonstrate proper refrigerant recovery procedures and the ability to accurately take a variety of instrument readings.

Adjacent to these apprentices diligently working on their assignment, a Product & Technology Showcase buzzed with activity surrounding the lates in tool technology, kitchen and bath, and water heating and heat pump tech.

PHCC CONNECT, RIDGID, Oatey, trade show, Cleveland, product showcase, Coach Carter, plumbing, heating, heating and cooling, PHCC

The kitchen sink.

Seminars and breakout sessions included a Government Affairs Update, Private Equity’s Interest in Plumbing Industries, DOE Standards for Water Heating Products and an Open Roundtable with Union Affiliated Contractors.

A strong session on Women in Industry: “Unlocking Potential and Breaking Barriers: Fostering Success for Women in the Trades through Gender-Inclusive Practices in Recruitment, Retention, and Engagement,” featured some of our personal friends, including Linda Hudek, LH Plumbing Services, Fairfield, Ohio; Ashley Martin, Executive Vice President, NIBCO; and Cassie Pound, co-owner of Quality Heating, Cooling & Plumbing in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

PHCC CONNECT, RIDGID, Oatey, trade show, Cleveland, product showcase, Coach Carter, plumbing, heating, heating and cooling, PHCC

Linda Hudek addresses a question from moderator Susan Frew.

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, strengthening the contractor/wholesaler channel is critical to survival. A recent general session at PHCC CONNECT drilled deep into the conversation. This session, “Collaborative Connections: Strengthening Supplier-Contractor Relationships for Success,” featured RobertGrim, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, InSinkErator, Mount Pleasant, Wis.; Scott Robertson, President, Robertson Heating Supply Co., Alliance, Ohio; Dan Callies, President, Oak Creek Plumbing, Inc., Oak Creek, Wis.; Kathryn Poehling-Seymour, President and CEO, First Supply LLC, Madison, Wis.; and JasonPritchard, Co-Founder, PriCor Technologies, Seattle.

PHCC CONNECT, RIDGID, Oatey, trade show, Cleveland, product showcase, Coach Carter, plumbing, heating, heating and cooling, PHCC

From l to r: Robert Grim, Scott Robertson, Dan Callies, Kathryn Poehling-Seymour, and Scott Pritchard.

And many, many more worthwhile seminars were offered. In fact, PHCCCONNECT2023 education sessions had been approved by OCILB (Ohio Construction Industry Licensing Board) for 19 CEUs.

PHCC CONNECT, RIDGID, Oatey, trade show, Cleveland, product showcase, Coach Carter, plumbing, heating, heating and cooling, PHCC

A RIDGID afterparty at a brewery on the river in downtown Cleveland with some American Plumber Story stickers? Yes, Please! Here with RIDGID’s Becky Brotherton, the Hub’s John Mesenbrink (l) and Tim Ward (r) from the Appetite for Construction podcast, recorded a series of podcasts from the event.

So, mix in some fun nights out with Oatey, RIDGID and PHCC’s receptions “Ohio Night House of Blues” and its closing event at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, and, of course, connecting with industry peers, and you had the recipe for one kick-ass event.

Next year’s PHCC CONNECT will be held in Birmingham, Ala. Of all places, I sure hope that words gets around about the event. It’s worth the time, but more people need to come experience it, Birmingham or not.

 

 

 

The 2022 AHR Expo traveled to Vegas with a strong return to in-person events, a critical need in the industry as HVACR continues to be on the front lines of many major world challenges. Discussions across the industry include energy efficiency, environmental changes, air quality, and a sense that the world has undoubtedly changed in Read more

The 2022 AHR Expo traveled to Vegas with a strong return to in-person events, a critical need in the industry as HVACR continues to be on the front lines of many major world challenges. Discussions across the industry include energy efficiency, environmental changes, air quality, and a sense that the world has undoubtedly changed in recent years with HVACR being no exception.

“One of the immediate challenges in our industry is gaps in the workforce across all roles. This is a potential roadblock to the work we have in front of us. The good news is we are aware of it and the industry is in agreement that we need to work together and build career-driven experiences for all those coming into the industry,” said Mark Stevens, manager of AHR Expo.

The show is uniquely positioned to offer an introduction to HVACR that highlights how one can aspire to build a lifelong career in HVACR. Each year, professionals gather to discuss issues and create solutions, and to showcase the very best of what’s to come. It is in this spirit the AHR Expo recognized an opportunity to widen the reach and purpose of some of the show’s key elements – access to professionals, new markets, products and technology as well as the cutting-edge development via the Innovation Awards.

“We’ve felt a shift for many years as innovation in our industry grows and the world wakes up to what HVACR currently offers and what it must succeed in for the future,” continued Stevens. “Inside the industry, we understand the immense responsibility to grow our workforce to maintain the demands of the future. We have a deep understanding of the way HVACR is a part of nearly every human experience in our built environment. The show is a unique opportunity to see everything all at once and connect with a broad audience within our community. With workforce growth being a focus in every corner, we sought to add value with our unique offering.”

The Need for a Growing Workforce

One thing of rising concern among all stakeholders is the need to strengthen the future workforce across all channels to support a growing industry.

The HVACR industry, like many, was already heading into a workforce deficit, as noted in prior years’ trend reports. With the onset of the pandemic, the industry took an even bigger hit with employee burnout, early retirement decisions and those drawn to the Great Resignation.

“The changes that this industry is going to be seeing over the next several years is immense – something that we’ve never seen,” said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of AHRI while participating in a state of the industry panel at AHR Expo 2022. “Number one is just getting people into the industry. We’re going to be seeing a huge amount of retirements like we have already. Just getting people into the workforce and trained and ready to go.”

What’s more, HVACR became a vital effort in the return to normal after COVID19. Today, indoor air quality is discussed mainstream as an important mitigation factor for health and safety inside our built environment – something the industry has been raising awareness of for years. With this new spotlight, demand for HVACR solutions has increased tremendously. Likewise, the need for a motivated workforce to sustain and continue to grow the industry to meet demands.

Innovating the Innovation Awards

The AHR Expo introduced a workforce development initiative to expose potential industry professionals to HVACR in a moment when the industry shines brightest – all together under one roof with miles and miles of products and tech on display. The program is a means to honor the innovation that our professionals are bringing to market through the Innovation Awards while simultaneously supporting future innovators through mentorship and leadership.

In its inaugural year, AHR Expo invited Western High School, a local area high school with a dual academic program that graduates students certified and ready for hire as technicians in HVAC. The soon to graduate class was invited for a special field trip at the 2022 AHR Expo.

“We are humbled by the warm welcome from the surrounding communities that host our industry for the AHR Expo, and it is always our goal to give back in as many positive ways as we can during our visit,” stated Stevens. “Coming into Vegas, we married the initiatives of strengthening our industry as well as the hosting city community by supporting the growth of the local Las Vegas workforce.”

The AHR Expo set the goals of showcasing what the industry has to offer and how an individual can build a strong lifelong career in HVACR. The manufacturing community, industry associations, and training-focused professionals were eager to share in this experience. Manufacturers curated experiences in their booths for the students to ask questions, interact with experts and demo products; associations offered mentorship; and individuals offered personal experience and insight into the possibilities offered in the industry.

“While all the booths and presentations were amazing, I was most taken by how personally invested each of the presenters was in our students as the future of the HVAC industry. They genuinely wanted to support our students and direct them to a sustainable career,” Michelle Dillmann, Counselor, Western High School.

Welcoming the next generation

During their visit, students were welcomed by ambassadors eager to guide them on a planned tour through the show floor. Colleen Keyworth and Angie Snow from Women in HVACR, and Bob Rohr and Mary Olsen from Caleffi North America guided 23 students – 6 women and 17 men– for in-booth visits, Q&A sessions and a scavenger hunt/trivia of HVACR knowledge.

The students had time to meet with members of the Podcast Pavilion, including a group discussion led by Rich and Kevin of The HVAC Jerks where they answered questions about career development, how to be more involved in the industry and general advice to begin their career.

“The AHR Expo was definitely inspirational and gave me more courage to continue in this field,” Geraldine Avila, an 11th-grade student.

After spending a few hours on the floor, the students were hosted by Mike Mayberry (hvac_refer_guy) for a special presentation on resume building and expectations for joining the workforce. Mike covered topics such as skills and qualities employers look for in their team and how to market yourself as an attractive employee candidate. Mike also shared practical tips and advice to sustain a successful career, and the many ways one can grow a career through experiential gain and networking. Mike, a well-known industry champion of HVAC and the trades, extended his mentorship to each student in attendance, and in doing so demonstrated the strong community that HVACR offers to its professionals.

The students were engaged in his presentation, eagerly participating in the conversation, and enthralled with the practicality of information being presented. Lunch service chatter revealed excitement in having met so many professionals dedicated to introducing them to the real HVACR experience and the warm welcome that was not expected but enthusiastically welcomed.

“The AHR Expo was a tremendous experience for the HVAC students of Western High School. Not only was the red carpet rolled out for our students, but they made great connections and now have a deeper understanding of industry opportunities. To be sure, this experience has greatly enhanced their career trajectory,” said Antonio Rael, Principal of Western High.

Looking to the future

At the close of their visit, students were surprised by a wealth of generosity from industry manufacturers and exhibitors of the AHR Expo.

  • Veto Pro Pac gifted the students with their MB3 meter bag.
  • Ridgid gifted each student with a custom hat and a heavy-duty pipe wrench, as well as many items collected in the booth demonstration.
  • Klein Tools prepared a package with a full brim hardhat, their Pro Pack 6-piece apprentice toolset and an HVAC clamp meter.
  • Fluke, a 2022 Innovation Award Winner, gifted each student a VoltAlert 1ACII non-contact voltage tester.
  • DiversiTech equipped each student with a hilmor tool package consisting of a tool bag, a quick-engage flare & swage kit, a tube bender, a 2-valve aluminum manifold, a dual readout thermometer, and various items to complete an apprentice toolset.

The well-rounded experience was a highlight of the AHR Expo’s return. It served as an empowering addition to all the show aims to offer.

“The AHR Expo was a great place to see what HVAC students will do and achieve in the future,” Jose Cortez, an 11th-grade student.

AHR Expo offers a unique opportunity for the full industry to come together and experience HVACR by seeing what’s new, what’s to come and what is needed. Inviting career candidates at the student level sets the stage for a true understanding of their potential and to see themselves as a part of the industry with realistic expectations and experiences, rather than a cold introduction. What’s more, it gifts awareness to the size of the community available to them, as opposed to only networking with a small set of members on their team.

“We are continuously looking to evolve the best experience for the industry and the professionals that work within it,” continued Stevens. “We observe the trends and needs of the industry and build strong partnerships to strengthen the foundation not only of the AHR Expo experience but also for a thriving industry for years to come. We are privileged to have made the connection with the Western High School community and we look forward to supporting HVACR in more exciting ways such as this experience in the future.”

The industry is poised to thrive but will require dedication to building and maintaining a strong workforce. Curating experiences that showcase career opportunities, the inspiring and dedicated community and the ability to fulfill purpose can support this. The AHR Expo is honored to play its part.

“To recruit people, we need them to see not only a career but also an impact. Because that’s what most humans are looking for. They want to make a difference. They want to make things better. They want to be good stewards, whatever it happens to be. Most people come wanting to make things better. Let’s share what we do to make things better.” Mick Schwedler, 2021-2022 ASHRAE president.

The AHR Expo plans to continue the expansion of this initiative in the years to come, working to develop similar experiences for engineering students, sales and marketing within the supply chain and anyone looking to build a lifelong career in HVACR.

“We are so inspired by the nurturing support of our industry’s community,” concluded Stevens. “The number of people who have reached out looking to help us grow and connect our next generation audiences with established professionals is inspiring. This industry is like none other and we look forward to assisting where we can to close the workforce gap by working together with our strong partnerships.”

You can view a full video recap of the 2022 AHR Expo student visit here.

To learn more about Western High School and its dual HVAC program, visit the school website. For more information on the AHR Expo and the Innovation Awards, visit the AHR Expo website.

The 2023 AHR Expo will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. Registration will open in the summer of 2022.

ABOUT THE AHR EXPO

The AHR Expo is the world’s essential HVACR event, attracting the most comprehensive gathering of industry professionals from around the globe each year. The show provides a unique forum where manufacturers of all sizes and specialties, whether a major industry brand or innovative start-up, can come together to share ideas and showcase the future of HVACR technology under one roof. Since 1930, the AHR Expo has remained the industry’s best place for OEMs, engineers, contractors, facility operators, architects, educators and other industry professionals to explore the latest trends and applications and cultivate mutually beneficial business relationships. The next show, co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI, will be held Feb.6 – Feb. 8, 2023, in Atlanta, GA, and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference.

For more information, visit ahrexpo.com and follow @ahrexpo on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Original dates of January 25-27, 2021 have been officially postponed; March 15-17, 2021 continues to be considered with a final decision expected by October 15, 2020 AHR Expo Show Management today announced the postponement of the original planned Show dates of January 25-27 for the 2021 AHR Expo in Chicago. Both McCormick Place and Choose Read more

Original dates of January 25-27, 2021 have been officially postponed; March 15-17, 2021 continues to be considered with a final decision expected by October 15, 2020

AHR Expo Show Management today announced the postponement of the original planned Show dates of January 25-27 for the 2021 AHR Expo in Chicago. Both McCormick Place and Choose Chicago , an organization dedicated to bringing visitors to Chicago, recognize how vital the Show is to the city and have offered Show Management the dates of March 15-17, 2021 to host the HVACR industry. In a survey conducted by AHR Expo, the proposed move to March is preferred by nearly 80% of exhibitors and attendees. The decision to postpone the original planned January dates was difficult, however, the AHR Expo, ASHRAE and AHRI are encouraged about hosting a live event in March and continue to explore feasibility. A final decision will be announced no later than October 15, 2020.

“We continue to exhaust all possibilities that will allow us to host a safe and successful event for all industry stakeholders,” said Mark Stevens, Show Manager. “But we have to take into account that there are barriers for allowances within the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago that we cannot control. We remain cautiously optimistic that we can meet together in Chicago in March.”

In consideration of the significant planning and preparation required to participate in the Show, AHR Expo Show Management, along with co-sponsors ASHRAE and AHRI, will make the final determination and announcement on or before October 15th. While six months remain between now and March, a decision to make a final call well in advance will allow both exhibitors and attendees to more easily plan.

Throughout the spring and summer, countless meetings have been held to explore all possible avenues in order to produce a safe and successful Show in Chicago. In partnership with Show co-sponsors and the advisory committee, Show Management has been in close contact with McCormick Place, the city of Chicago, Show vendors, and other officials to provide the best guidance to host the event. These meetings will continue throughout the month as all options are considered.

“All of us in the industry understand the vital role HVACR plays in the world. We at AHR Expo know the importance of the Show in providing a unique environment where members of the HVACR community can congregate to learn, share, and grow as professionals while experiencing all that’s new in the industry,” continued Stevens. “I think we all understand the challenges this year has presented thus far, and while HVACR has emerged as a primary player in how we can hope to combat COVID-19 and other pandemic threats of the future, there are safety, governmental, and practical considerations that have to be taken into account.”

Show Management will continue to follow updates within the state of Illinois, the Governor’s office, as well as the CDC and other advisory councils.

From February 17-20, 2020, the WWETT Show – Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show, will take over the Indiana Convention Center for the world’s largest annual trade show within the wastewater & environmental services industry. With new dates for 2020, the four-day trade show packs over 100 world-class education sessions, business opportunities, collaboration Read more

From February 17-20, 2020, the WWETT Show – Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport Show, will take over the Indiana Convention Center for the world’s largest annual trade show within the wastewater & environmental services industry. With new dates for 2020, the four-day trade show packs over 100 world-class education sessions, business opportunities, collaboration with industry professionals, a slate of live demonstrations, exposure to cutting-edge technology trends and the latest product launches across multiple industry segments.

“Over the years, the WWETT Show continues to demonstrate why it is the number one trade show event within the wastewater & environmental services industry,” said Douglas Lugo, director of the WWETT Show. “We recognize the importance of providing a space where professionals can connect and grow their business, as well as sharpen their skills all in one place. Knowing that people walk away from our show with new ideas, connections and equipment, lets us know the WWETT Show is making an impact in the industry.”

Known as the premier global wastewater event of the year, the WWETT Show is home to municipalities, plumbers, portable sanitation professionals, septic contractors, sewer contractors and wastewater professionals. Connecting manufacturers with representatives, highlights the importance of seeking ideas and solutions from respected leaders in the industry, and creates a customized trade show experience all under one roof.

WWETT Show 2020 Key Highlights

Smart Wastewater Initiative
In a time where shrinking water sources and massive flooding are affecting us globally, it is important to discuss how crucial this is to our future’s sustainability. Oliver Grievson, chairman of Wastewater Education 501(c)3, will explore the topic of the smart wastewater industry in three action packed sessions.

Marketplace Expo
The WWETT Show Marketplace will feature over 600 exhibitors, 50 of which are new, looking to expand their business and maximize their buying potential. 6 in 10 attendees place purchase orders at the show and two-thirds of attendees will purchase within the year. On the expo floor, attendees will find thousands of products on display, meet directly with product representatives, as well as see, touch, and feel products and equipment. Top exhibitors to see include:

  • Federal Signal Environmental Solutions Group
  • Satellite Industries
  • Super Products, LLC
    Sewer Equipment Co. of America
  • Imperial Industries, Inc.
  • Hi-Vac Corporation
  • Spartan Tool, LLC
  • GapVax, Inc.
  • CUES
  • Vermeer Corporation
  • JAG Mobile Solutions, Inc.
  • PolyJohn Enterprises, Inc.

World-Class Education
The WWETT Show offers an unparalleled, best-in-value education program led by top industry experts and professionals from respected associations, businesses, and manufacturers. Choose from an array of sessions, obtain continuing education units (CEUs) from approved states, provinces and organizations, or just up your game to gain knowledge on the latest industry trends. With a Full Education Package (FEP), attendees will have access to all sessions listed on the WWETT Show website.

WWETT Live!
The WWETT Show provides up close and personal experiences through live demos. Show attendees can watch leading industry manufacturers in action as they show off their latest products and equipment. Held in Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts, WWETT Live! creates a fun and engaging experience everyone will enjoy. Companies to see include: GapVax, Inc., Hammerhead® Trenchless and NozzTeq® Inc.

Industry Appreciation Party
New to 2020, show attendees will have the opportunity to participate in the WWETT Show Industry Appreciation Party powered by Spartan Tool and Picote. The event will feature live entertainment from Cornfield Mafia and an opportunity for photos with the Indianapolis Colts Cheerleaders. Admission is free to all attendees with a registration badge.

To learn more about the WWETT Show and to register, visit www.wwettshow.com.

The Water Expo is taking place on August 28 and 29 at the Miami Airport Convention Center in Miami, Florida. The expo will highlight equipment, technologies, products & know-how for the wastewater, sewer infrastructure, plumbing, environmental services, portable sanitation, water quality and high pressure industries. Who attends: Plumbing Contractors and Installers Water & Sewer Organizations Read more

The Water Expo is taking place on August 28 and 29 at the Miami Airport Convention Center in Miami, Florida.

The expo will highlight equipment, technologies, products & know-how for the wastewater, sewer infrastructure, plumbing, environmental services, portable sanitation, water quality and high pressure industries.

Who attends:

  • Plumbing Contractors and Installers
  • Water & Sewer Organizations & Contractors: Public/Private
  • Engineers & Consultants 
  • Environmental Service Professionals
  • Underground Utility Contractors
  • Septic Systems/Portable Sanitation Operator
  • Water Treatment Facility/Plant Operators
  • Water Utilities/Plants
  • Decentralized Water Systems Installers/Operators
  • Water Filtration & Purification Wholesalers, Retailers & Users
  • Water Testing Laboratories & Professionals
  • Specifiers & Managers for Residential/Commercial Applications
  • Manufacturers/Distributors/Dealers/Retailers
  • Government/Municipalities
  • Exporters & Importers

The show will have over 150 Exhibits (indoor & outdoor), 50+ Educational Sessions and courses, live demos, happy hour party and more. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend one of the fastest growing shows in the industry! Register Now with discounted rates valid until August 15.

For more information visit www.TheWaterExpo.com or call us at (305) 412-3976.