Association President Jack Baer of member company Air Comfort Corp. (left) and Tony Adolfs, CSMCA executive director. Photo courtesy of Larry Dermody Photography.

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. - The crowds were smaller at this year’s Chicagoland Sheet Metal Contractors Association trade show, but the 2,300 who did come out for the March 25 event still found the booths packed with products.

Even though attendance was lower, the number of exhibitors was not: Matching last year’s record, 176 booths were filled with products from almost 100 manufacturers.

The popular show, one of the largest regional industry events in the nation, attracts contractors, suppliers, wholesalers and apprentice school students who spend the afternoon and evening browsing products, sipping beer and enjoying a buffet dinner included with show admission.

Held at the Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace, an ornate theater complex not far from fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp.’s world headquarters, the event has attracted thousands for more than a decade.

Association President Jack Baer of member company Air Comfort Corp. in Broadview, Ill., said his group’s show offers a unique opportunity for area sheet metal and HVAC contractors.

“Contractors and suppliers alike appreciate the opportunity to meet face-to-face, giving people an opportunity to see and ask questions about a wide variety of products,” Baer said.

Next year’s show takes place March 31.

For reprints of this article, contact Jill DeVries at (248) 244-1726 or e-mail