OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. — The sheet metal industry may still be having tough times, but attendees of SMACNA Chicago’s March 26 trade show didn’t show it.

Hundreds of area sheet metal workers came to the Drury Lane theater complex in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. for the 36th annual event sponsored by Windy City’s Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association chapter.

The crowd was happy and talkative, encouraged by the number of bars selling beer and cocktails and the new HVAC equipment on display.  

Tony Adolfs, the association’s executive director, said his members are hopeful about a turnaround.

“They’re getting geared back up,” he said. “I think there’s going to be a slow increase in the marketplace so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

And with the economy on the minds of so many members, Adolfs brought in construction analyst Thomas Schleifer, Ph.D., to discuss prospects for the sheet metal industry. The doctor’s opinion? It will be slow, but the industry is recovering from the downturn.

Here are some pictures from this year’s event. More are available at www.Snipsmag.com and on Snips’ Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/SnipsMag.