When one thinks of the annual AHR Expo, a.k.a. ASHRAE Show, one thinks of the giant product exposition that showcases thousands of exhibitors showcasing new products, technologies and ideas. All of that certainly is true, and this year’s Expo is no exception. The ASHRAE Show this year will be at McCormick Place in Chicago, from January 22-24. If you have never been to McCormick Place and are planning to attend this year’s event, bring your most comfortable pair of walking shoes! McCormick Place is the nation’s largest convention center with over 2,600,000 ft.² of exhibit space. Fortunately for your tired feet however, the AHR exhibition will only consume 500,000 ft.² of that.
What many contractors may not realize however is that the product Expo, massive as it is, is not the only reason to attend the ASHRAE Show. There are a lot of educational opportunities at the show which one should not miss. These educational opportunities are not just for engineers, there are many seminars of interest for contractors as well. In all, there are 201 separate seminars being offered at this year’s show, and they typically fall into one of four categories. These include, New Product and Technology Theater seminars, Free Seminars, ASHRAE Learning Institute Courses and Certifications & Other Exams. Each of these segments is examined briefly below.
New Product & Technology Theater
No advance registration is necessary for these sessions, all of which are held in either Theater A,B or C. These are not just for commercial contractors either, these are presentations by exhibitors at the show, each lasting approximately 20 minutes. Diverse topics range from Dramatically Improved Flaring of Copper and Aluminum Tubing to Motor Solutions for Low-Speed Direct Drive HVAC Systems to The Latest Innovation in Home/Building Thermostats and much, much more.
There are more than 50 free seminars on a range of topics, conducted by top industry experts lasting from 1 to 2 hours. Again, the seminars are wide ranging and include diverse topics such as Solve Your Tech and Marketing Problems with One Metric to Global Trends in HVAC to Solve Hidden Maintenance Issues Using Testing and Balancing and much more. Advance registration is not required for these courses.
ASHRAE Learning Institute Courses
The Institute will offer continuing education courses at the convention center, and these do require advance registration and payment. Each full day course will earn attendees 6 Professional Development Hours/Learning Units, or 0.6 CEU’s, and half-day courses earn 3 professional development hours. Topics include The Fundamentals of the Commissioning Process, Complying with Requirements of ASHRAE Standards, Laboratory Design Basics And Beyond, Optimizing Indoor Environments and more.
Certifications & Other Exams
The following review sessions and exams will be available at the 2018 show. These also require advance registration and payment.
- NAFA Certified Air Filter Specialist testing & two hour tutorial
- AABC Commissioning Group workshop and exam
- HVAC review and NATE testing
- Various ASHRAE certification exams
If you are going to the show, Do Not miss these terrific educational opportunities. With a little advance planning, you can multiply tenfold the value of attending the exposition. Please see this link for the full schedule of educational opportunities for each day of the show.