The 2003 International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) is on track to become one of the largest gatherings in show history when it convenes at Chicago’s McCormick Place next Jan. 27-29. Show management reports that more than 355,000 sq ft of exhibit space has been reserved for the 2003 Expo by nearly 1,200 companies, making it significantly larger than the very successful 2002 Show in Atlantic City, NJ.

Space-wise, 2003 already ranks as the third-largest gathering in the show’s 71-year history, and it could become the largest AHR Expo ever if the current rate of new exhibitors is maintained over the next several months. The show’s international presence will also be strong, as 155 companies from 27 different countries are planning on exhibiting, and show management says they expect several thousand international attendees from more than 100 countries to visit the 2003 Expo.

“Our largest AHR Expo was in Chicago in 1999, and we could challenge those records when we return to McCormick Place next year,” said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company (Westport, CT), which produces and manages the AHR Expo. “I’m optimistic that as the economy strengthens we will continue to add exhibitors and have one of our largest international audiences in several years. The bottom line is the 2003 AHR Expo is an event that no one in the hvacr industry can afford to miss.”

The 1999 Show attracted more than 58,000 hvacr professionals (34,000 visitors and 24,000 exhibitor personnel), and occupied approximately 399,000 sq ft of exhibit space. The second-largest AHR Expo was held in Atlanta in 2001 and featured 385,000 sq ft of exhibit space, 1,297 exhibitors and 49,700 registered attendees (27,470 visitors and 22,230 exhibitor personnel).