While an abundance of modern business is now done over video chat, email, or conference call, attending in-person events is a strategic way to meet new people in the HVACR industry, and make your business known among potential partners, competitors, and industry leaders. 

One particularly impactful way to get your business’s name on the map is by attending well-known HVAC trade shows, conferences, and conventions in the HVACR space. 

Whether you’re attending as an exhibitor or a viewer, one of the biggest reasons to attend is for the potential connections you can make. You can meet other like-minded business people who are looking to network and learn within the HVACR industry. These connections can ultimately lead to pivotal partnerships in the future and make lead generation more viable than in the past.

But choosing which trade shows, conferences, and conventions that you want to attend can be overwhelming—attending trade shows involves buying plane tickets, paying for hotel rooms, the cost of attending the show itself, and more. So you want to make sure that the trade show you’re choosing is a credible, rewarding option. Plus, many of these trade shows, conferences, and conventions rotate locations, which give you a unique opportunity to travel to some amazing destinations.

Here are 10 annual trade shows, conferences, and conventions that you don’t want to miss: 

01. AHR Expo 

The AHR Expo is the world’s largest HVACR event. Because of that, it attracts the most comprehensive gathering of industry professionals from around the globe each year in January and February. The show provides a unique forum where manufacturers of all sizes and specialties can come together to share ideas and showcase the future of HVACR technology under one roof. Whether businesses are a major industry brand or innovative start-up, business owners meet and connect to explore ideas, innovations, and partnerships. 

AHR Website Home page

Since 1930, the AHR Expo has remained one a top HVAC trade show for original equipment manufacturers, contractors, technicians, engineers, facility operators, educators, and architects to explore the latest trends and applications and to cultivate meaningful business partnerships.

02. ACCA Conference and Expo

ACCA Conference and Expo is an HVAC trade show hosted by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America in March and April.

ACCA Conference and Expo Website Home Page

ACCA is one of the best conferences that promotes contractor optimization for business growth and success by learning from the industry’s most successful owners, top consultants, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

As a national trade association, the ACCA focuses on furthering the interests of HVACR contracting businesses and the broader HVACR industry.

03. Associated Builders and Contractors Convention 

While the trade show was previously on pause, the ABC Convention relaunched in May of 2018. The Associated Builders and Contractors Convention provides industry leaders, experts, and newcomers alike the ability to connect. The ABC convention is a continually growing one,  and it offers attendees educational opportunities, workshops and more are smaller and more hands-on while still delivering an exceptional experience.

Associated Builders and Contractors Convention Website Home Page

The show offers keynote speakers, networking opportunities, and unique, tailored experiences that help business owners gain valuable industry insights while making new connections and learning more about the HVAC industry simultaneously. 

04. HPC National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show 

HPC National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show is an inclusive opportunity for HVAC professionals and industry colleagues to gather in April at a top-notch convention center and engage in formal and informal learning experiences that support career development, increase individual and organizational productivity, and lead programs, businesses, and organizations to achieve superior results. The conference agenda aims to provide meaningful, engaging education and dialogue for both the entry-level field staff and the seasoned professional in the residential energy management, and the home performance field.

HPC National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show website home page

05. Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute Spring Meeting 

Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute Spring Meeting takes place in May and was created for industry leaders in search of an opportunity to meet for a conference in the spring to discuss and work together on industry-wide issues in a premier convention center.

Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute Spring Meeting  website home page

As one of the top spring conferences, the AHRI Spring Meeting focuses on water heating equipment within the global field. One unique thing about the AHRI is that it advocates on behalf of its attendees at all levels of government, working to ensure that members’ interests are included in final drafts of legislation. They also offer a certification program that is relied upon heavily by regulators for an accurate and unbiased evaluation of heating, water heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and commercial refrigeration equipment.

06. HARDI Conference

The HARDI Conference is an annual conference in December and is hosted by The Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) in a premier convention center. It’s the single voice of wholesale distribution within the HVACR trade. HARDI members market, distribute, and support heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration equipment, parts, and supplies. Additionally, HARDI Distributor members serve installation and service/replacement contractors in residential and commercial markets, as well as commercial/industrial and institutional maintenance staff. 

HARDI Conference Website Home Page

HARDI’s annual conference is organized to help strengthen the HVACR wholesale industry in its entirety. By examining all contributors involved in the industry, the organization is able to discover areas in need of improvement and highlight those areas during the show. While at the conference, attendees have the chance to grow their professional networks and expand their trade knowledge from top experts who provide relevant and unique perspectives. 

07. ASHRAE Winter Conference

The ASHRAE Winter Conference is hosted in February in a convention center and is geared towards HVAC professionals and is hosted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The Winter Conference offers a technical program that consists of eight tracks, each selected to represent areas to focus on that are common among the ASHRAE members. The track focus areas include HVACR fundamentals and applications, refrigeration and refrigerants, systems and equipment, and other topics such as unique approaches to HVACR systems, buildings for contemporary concerns, and analytical techniques to economically automate buildings. 

ASHRAE Winter Conference Web Site Home page

Additionally, as one of the premier winter conferences, it also features a technical program that includes presentations and discussions on best design practices and standards, incorporation of innovative energy management, and cutting-edge approaches.

08. NAHB International Builders’ Show

NAHB International Builders’ Show takes place in February and is hosted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show (IBS) and it’s the largest annual light construction show in the world. This show offers an abundance of events and features multiple keynote speakers who address various topics, such as best practices for home builders and the myths versus realities of millennial home-buyers. 

NAHB International Builders’ Show Website Home Page

09. HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference

The HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference usually takes place in March and is held in a convention center and is one of the premier HVAC conferences for HVACR industry educators and trainers, which makes this event incredibly unique. And at this conference, educators and trainers have the chance to learn about using up-and-coming technologies in the classroom, developing better student outcomes, and incorporating the latest technology and regulatory updates into the curriculum. This conference is open to all teachers and trainers in the industry who are interested in learning from industry-leading experts about the latest in instructional techniques and HVACR technologies. 

HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference Website Home page

10. MCAA Annual Convention

The MCAA Annual Convention is typically hosted in March at a convention center by the Annual Convention of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) and typically focuses on company principals, middle and upper management, and local association executives. This convention hosts a number of highly qualified and inspirational speakers, networking opportunities, educational seminars, entertainment, and social events that will allow attendees to experience the latest technology and products. Attendees can also gain new insights and knowledge from the convention about how their businesses can grow with products and services that cut costs, reduce errors, and save time.

MCAA Annual Convention website home page

So is it really worth it?

The short answer is yes. HVAC trade shows, conferences, and conventions are an impactful way to learn and grow your business in the HVACR industry, but only if you’re attending shows that are hosted by dependable associations in the HVACR space. And once you’ve made these connections as HVAC professionals, it’s important to make sure that you have an effective way to manage them all. Implementing a business communication tool like Podium is a great way to organize your new contacts in a convenient all-in-one platform. You can even try out Podium for free today.

Ultimately, if you choose to attend a noteworthy trade show, conference, or convention, you could walk away with more impactful partnerships, contacts, and relations with HVAC industry experts than you could have by browsing LinkedIn.

Jennifer Wilson
Jennifer Wilson Strategic Home Services Account Executive

Jennifer Wilson is a home services professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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