A number of vendors at the 2006 ABCO Expo used their booths to demonstrate products and offer show-only discounts to the 4,500-plus visitors.

FLUSHING, N.Y. - The steady rain amid dark and gloomy skies was not enough to put a damper on the 2006 ABCO Expo, hosted by ABCO Refrigeration Supply Corp. The expo, renamed this year from the ABCO Trade Show, was not affected by the uncertain economy, either. A record attendance of 4,558 people brought together manufacturers, distributors, contractors, students, and educators.

“It was amazing,” said ABCO CEO Michael Senter. “The intensity and collegiality of the community of contractors from the greater metropolitan area, as well as Philadelphia and Boston and as far south as Baltimore, who attended and participated, was great. We are so appreciative of the true channel of communication that flows through our show with connections made among contractors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, the media, and one very fortunate and enthusiastic wholesale distributor, ABCO Refrigeration.”

Senter and ABCO president Jon Gottleib welcomed exhibitors during the traditional luncheon before the doors opened to visitors at 12:30 p.m. During the luncheon, Senter handed out several awards to employees for years of service to ABCO.

Once the doors opened and visitors made their way to the top of Terrace on the Park in Flushing Meadows, they were treated to products and demonstrations from 194 vendors. Many exhibitors offered special pricing on products sold at the expo. During the course of the day-long expo, attendees were also invited to attend any of the 13 Quick Tech seminars, which featured product demonstrations, troubleshooting and service tips, and business topics.

Senter said that planning for the big event takes a lot of effort from all of his staff, including a lot of behind-the-scenes work. “The expo occurs one day a year, but the planning and building of relationships occurs 365 days per year,” he said. “Our theme for the expo and for 2007 was visible in the camaraderie at the expo - ABCO Today: Embracing Our Customers.

“We hope to embrace our customers with great products, customer service, technical information, and friendship. We are appreciative each and every day for the relationships that enable us to strive to embrace our customers in meaningful and mutually beneficial ways.”

Each year, the beneficiary of money raised during raffles at the expo is the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Metro New York. “We raised $4,870 from the attendees and ABCO is donating $2,130 to round it up to $7,000 - the amount necessary to fulfill one wish,” Senter said.

Bobby Siegel, ABCO Expo manager, added his comments about the expo. “I’ve been managing the ABCO Trade Show-Expo for more than two decades and the spirit at this year’s event was more intense and positive than ever before,” he said. “Despite five inches of rain in many parts of our markets and horrible traffic delays, almost 25 percent more customers attended this year’s expo than ever before.

“Our marketing department devised a lot more high-tech forms of communication such as electronic billboards on wide screen LCDs. They also freshened up traditional forms of communications with creative graphics and upbeat colors. There really is great teamwork between our team at ABCO and our customers. We truly are ‘embracing our customers,’ and I think our customers appreciate our enthusiasm and concern.”

Publication date:12/18/2006