A recent trade show visit has me excited about the coming year. 

Could next year be the one where the sheet metal industry sees a sustained recovery?

It seems I have been asking the same question, inserting a different year each time, for quite a while.

The reason I am more optimistic this time is I recently returned from Fabtech, the machinery show that makes the Windy City its home every two years. I haven't seen official numbers, but Floor traffic for the Nov. 14-17 show seemed busy, and at least one machinery maker said he saw more interest from sheet metal and HVAC contractors than he had in a while (in recent years, Fabtech has seemed to skew more toward equipment for processing heavy metals as opposed to the types used for making ductwork.

It could just be perception, but here is hoping it bodes well for the AHR Expo, which will also be at Chicago's McCormick Place convention center in about two months.

Snips will be there; how about you?