Final preparations are underway for next year’s AHR Expo, organizers say, and they’re expecting a big show and big crowds as the event returns to Las Vegas for the first time since 2011.  

“With an audience that spans the continent and crosses international borders, we want to make sure AHR Expo remains, year after year, an accessible, not-to-be-missed experience for as many exhibitors and attendees as possible,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Co., which owns and manages the show. “We track the number of attendees, exhibitors, media and other personnel at every show, in addition to conducting in-depth research of venues, accommodations and travel to and from potential cities, and use this information to plan the locations for AHR Expo years in advance.”

Picking a host city for one of the largest HVAC construction events in the world is not a simple decision, Stevens said. There are only a handful of cities in the U.S. that can meet the criteria needed to hold an event of such a size. Besides having enough convention space and nearby hotel rooms, a city has to be conducive to both business and fun.

“The team is always thinking about which locations will be as enjoyable as they are of value for doing business, making sure that we are ‘mixing it up’ and keeping it interesting each and every year,” he said.  “We know that this is a big part of companies’ annual investments, and in many cases a destination event for our exhibitors and attendees.  It’s important that the business value of AHR Expo is supplemented by the overall appealing nature of the selected venue.”

While the venue may change — organizers like to visit all major sections of the country in addition to holding an event in Chicago every three years — one thing that’s unlikely to be altered is the wintertime schedule of the expo.

The 2017 AHR Expo will take place Jan. 30-Feb. 1.

“We have found that this time — after the heating season is well underway and before the air-conditioning season commences — is the time when we have an ability to cast the widest net for attendance at AHR Expo,” Stevens said.  “At the end of the day, the show’s core value is in cultivating the product knowledge and networking opportunities that translate to business — hard dollars and cents — for our exhibitors and attendees alike.  We want to make sure the timing of the show capitalizes on the HVACR industry’s least busy season for both exhibitors and visitors.”