In 2005, the AHR Expo continued its trend of attracting a growing number of international exhibitors and attendees. A total of 311 international companies from 31 countries, including exhibitors in several country-specific pavilions, showcased their products at the event. Solid representation from around the globe included more than 34 companies from Europe, 86 from Pacific Rim countries, and 123 Canadian companies.
More than 5,300 international visitors from 117 countries registered to attend the show. AHR Expo generally attracts some 20% of its attendance from over 100 countries outside the U.S. as many HVACR professionals travel thousands of miles to see the best the industry's manufacturers have to offer. The 2005 show included a larger presence of visitors from Mexico and Central and South American countries.
Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, which produces and manages the AHR Expo, attributes much of the show's success to its continuing effort to meet the changing needs of the industries it serves. "The total of 1,871 exhibiting companies is a new all-time record for the show and it tells us that we are providing a valuable service to the industry. With growing participation from the international community, it's clear that the impact of the Show reaches into every corner of the world."
The winning companies of the third annual AHR Expo Innovation Awards were honored at a special ceremony during the show. This year's awards were given in eight specific categories and were judged for innovation, application, value to user, and market impact. The awards are intended to promote and encourage product innovation by recognizing exceptional achievements.
"We are very pleased with the wide range and high quality of product submissions we received for the third year of the award program," said Stevens. "It is a pleasure to recognize and honor manufacturers that have excelled through exceptional creativity in turning technology into useful and efficient products."
Highlights of the 2005 AHR Expo included a special 75th anniversary photo gallery in the registration area illustrating how the show and the industry have progressed since the AHR Expo first started in 1930.
For those who came to the show looking for educational opportunities, many of the AHR Expo Endorsing Associations conducted free sessions that presented practical information ranging from principles of business management to a variety of current technical developments including building automation. As always, ASHRAE produced a large variety of sessions in conjunction with their annual Winter Meeting, which is held concurrently with the show. These included numerous short courses with a nominal tuition charge and a free public session on "Battling Humidity in Southern Climates."
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) presented information on how proper equipment operation and maintenance effects energy efficiency and the finals of the 2005 SkillsUSA competition were held at the show to determine who would represent the USA in the World Skills Competition in Helsinki.