TORONTO — The weather was a lot better two years ago, but colder — and admittedly more seasonal — temperatures were no hindrance for this year’s CMPX show.  Formerly known as CMX-CIPHEX, the biennial Canadian HVAC, plumbing, piping, mechanical, refrigeration and hydronics show dropped some letters, but kept the wide product focus.

The exhibit floor of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s north building was sold out March 19-21, with over 500 exhibitors using 200,000 square feet to display their products, according to organizers.

Ralph Suppa, president and general manager of show sponsor the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating, said exhibitors he spoke with were happy.

“The exhibitors (are) delighted with the turnout, the caliber and the quality of the people who have come into their booth,” Suppa said in an interview during the show. “We have many people from right across Canada and the United States, and we think we have fulfilled their marketing strategy opportunities to meet the people that they wanted to meet at the show.”

Attendance was close to levels seen at the 2012 show, officials said. About 15,000 people were predicted; exact figures were not released.

Warren Heely, president of Canadian trade association the Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Institute, said the trade show’s sellout was not a surprise.

“It is the major event for the mechanicals industry in Canada,” he said. “We have got the largest attendance, the largest subscription from the standpoint of exhibitors and it is literally the focus of the industry for a three-day period.”

Heely said CMPX is still a valuable event for the Canadian HVAC industry.

“The face-to-face value of coming to a trade show, seeing all the new products and talking to the people is huge,” he added. “We’re a practical industry. People want answers, one-on-one. Wholesalers and the contractors, and all the other people who attend the show, want to be able to meet the people who can solve their problems.”

Sessions

Besides the trade show, organizers booked a number of educational seminars on issues ranging from indoor air quality to social media marketing. One of the sessions explored the Legionnaires’ disease that hit a Quebec City neighborhood in 2012. Alain Trahan of H2O Biotech in Montreal explained what happened and what scientists have learned in the two years since.

In July 2012, an estimated 180 people were sickened — and 14 died — when legionella bacteria grew in the stagnant water of an office cooling tower in Quebec City. Water droplets spread through the building’s HVAC system, where they were inhaled by many occupants.

The disease, whose symptoms include fever, chills and breathing problems, was first identified in 1976 when it struck an American Legion convention in Philadelphia.

In the Quebec City case, published reports said the province had not followed up on recommendations made after earlier outbreaks to minimize future cases. One suggestion that Trahan made was more closely monitoring cooling tower water.

“An approach that is being talked about more and more is lowering the temperature of your cooling tower,” he said. Legionella bacteria breed at around 30°C or 86°F or above.

Cooling towers are vulnerable in part because the temperatures of the water they contain can change due to season or the environments where they are constructed, Trahan added.

For reprints of this article, contact Renee Schuett at (248) 786-1661 or email schuettr@bnpmedia.com.