A growing economy and the promise of hundreds of new products, helped the 2004 AHR Expo to set new records for a West Coast Show. With more than 22,000 registered visitors (not including exhibitor personnel), the 2004 event set a new attendance record while the number of exhibiting companies (1,652), and net square feet of exhibit space (324,590) also topped previous West Coast records established by the 1998 AHR EXPO in San Francisco. Counting exhibitor personnel, more than 38,000 HVAC professionals registered for the Anaheim Show.

Held January 26 through 28 at the Anaheim Convention Center, the show attracted exhibitors and attendees from every segment of the industry and from all around the world. Visitors came from more than 100 countries and international exhibitors (277) came from 34 countries. Those who regularly attend the AHR Expo were able to see products in Anaheim from 225 companies that had never before exhibited in the show.

Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, said that returning to Anaheim provided thousands of HVACR professionals in the Western United States with a convenient opportunity to get a firsthand look at a huge number of new products and technologies on display from around the world. "The majority of exhibitors we spoke to were pleased with their presence at the show and were able to make contacts that would lead to a positive start for their new year."

Many exhibitors felt that the show was a success for their companies. Andy Rowland of York International Corporation said, "The show was phenomenal! We planned a major new product launch at the AHR Expo and this is the perfect place to introduce a new product." Dick Shul from Emerson Climate Technologies added, "The quality of attendees has been excellent. The reception and feedback has been very good and this is the best West Coast AHR Expo we've been to."

A special attraction on the show floor was the presentation of the second annual AHR Expo Innovation Awards to companies in eight different HVACR product categories. The competition is jointly sponsored by ASHRAE; ARI; and International Exposition Company (IEC), producers and organizers of the AHR Expo. In addition to encouraging product innovation throughout the industry, the proceeds from the entry fee will go to an HVACR scholarship fund at a Southern California-area vocational school.

As an added value for show attendees, in addition to ASHRAE's winter meeting and short course programs, AHR Expo, ASHRAE and eight endorsing associations offered free educational sessions. These sessions, many offered for the first time, were geared to engineers, contractors, managers, and other HVACR professionals. The presentations featured a range of topics dealing with the most important industry issues impacting the HVACR industry, providing them with an opportunity to find practical solutions to the challenges they face.

"We're excited that the associations that sponsor and endorse the show offered these popular educational sessions," said Stevens. "It was a great opportunity for AHR Expo attendees to gain some valuable knowledge while at the show in Anaheim." In 2005, the AHR Expo moves to Orlando, FL at the Orange County Convention Center, February 7-9, 2005.