It’s all going down in Tampa, March 7-9. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s (ACCA) Annual Conference & Indoor Air Expo will provide opportunities to reconnect with industry peers, freshen up on new challenges, news, and issues going on in the HVACR sector, as well as continue on educational and personal/professional development paths.


The ACCA Conference is an industry-wide event - “the largest educational event for HVACR professionals in the country,” ACCA reports, “and all are welcome.” There is only one event on the schedule that is limited to ACCA members - the Contractor Town Hall Meeting, on Monday morning of the conference. Otherwise, this all-encompassing training and networking experience is a service provided by ACCA to the entire industry.

According to the association, the ACCA Conference is an event designed specifically for (and by) the best HVACR contractors in America. It has grown rapidly over the last few years as contractors meet - and learn from - HVACR professionals from all over the nation. Getting “The Big Picture” - this year’s conference theme - means that ACCA is focused on presenting solutions designed to “drive revenue up and costs out of your business.” ACCA said that the annual conference offers attendees the best ROI - by far - in this down economy.

ACCA President and CEO Paul Stalknecht said that the way we learn as HVACR industry professionals is constantly changing.

“We [ACCA] recognize that education can be effectively presented on numerous platforms -Web-based, networking events, live training - and it’s a blend of these delivery methods that often makes for a truly impactful educational program,” Stalknecht said. “Our annual conference is truly the premier learning and educational event of the year.”

Emerging HVACR techniques and strategies, performance and risk management, energy savings and recognizing efficiency in existing buildings, sustainability/LEED, and finances and profiting in a down economy, are but some of the various themes of the Learning Labs being presented at ACCA’s 2010 Conference & Indoor Air Expo in Tampa, March 7-9. (Photo courtesy of ACCA.)


Each year’s ACCA Conference is a reimagining, as the association constantly repositions its focus to meet the ever-evolving needs of the HVACR industry and contractor marketplace. For 2010, the ACCA Conference & Indoor Air Expo features:

• More than 30 Learning Labs. These 75-minute workshops cover a wide variety of topics selected through national surveys of thousands of contractors. These presentations are designed and taught by top contractors and business experts exclusively for the ACCA Conference.

• Keynotes from top business thinkers, including Lowell Catlett and Dewitt Jones.

• Planned social events where contractors have the opportunity to meet and learn from each other, including evening receptions, the annual Chairman’s Banquet, and the optional fundraising event, “Ocean Commotion,” at the Florida Aquarium.

• The CEO/Contractor Forum, where CEOs from leading HVACR manufacturers appear before the ACCA audience and field questions from contractors.

• A special pre-conference Open Floor Consulting Session, where attendees can ask any question that they like of the top marketing consultants in the HVACR industry.

Keynote speakers at this conference include a return visit from economist Lowell Catlett. A noted professor and futurist, Catlett spoke to ACCA members several years ago and returns to the conference by popular demand.

According to ACCA, Catlett is “a quick-thinking economist, whose knowledge of technologies and their implications on the way we live and work is addressed in his varied and upbeat presentations.”

Photographer Dewitt Jones will also deliver a keynote address about finding balance in busy lives and continually pushing to raise the bar. Stalknecht, who upon hearing the photographer present at a prior function, proclaimed, “It’s impossible to describe the impact of the Dewitt Jones experience in words. I guarantee it will be something you never forget.”

Held in conjunction with the ACCA Conference is the Indoor Air Expo, a national marketplace for HVACR professionals and decision-makers. According to ACCA, once again in 2010, the Indoor Air Expo will be copresented by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America and the Indoor Air Quality Association.


Based on national surveys and feedback from thousands of contractors, ACCA has developed a schedule of more than thirty 75-minute Learning Labs to be conducted during the 2010 ACCA Conference. These breakout workshops cover a wide array of business management, marketing, and technical areas, including both residential and commercial HVACR.

According to ACCA, the Learning Labs are designed and presented exclusively for the 2010 ACCA Conference by the nation’s leading contractors and HVACR experts, includingThe NEWS’own Mike Murphy, editor-in-chief, as well as contributing editor Joanna Turpin.

As an added bonus for conference registrants, a special DVD containing recordings of all breakout workshops will be available for sale onsite. ACCA has stated that this DVD will only be available to conference registrants.

Note: If you purchased a full registration before Dec. 1, 2009, you will receive the DVD at no additional charge.

Educational workshops at the convention are broken out by the following five program tracks:

• Management & Marketing;

• General HVACR;

• Residential Contracting;

• Commercial Contracting; and

• Home Performance Contracting.

Touching on themes like emerging techniques and strategies, performance and risk management, energy savings and recognizing efficiency in existing buildings, sustainability/LEED, and finances and profiting in a down economy, the aforementioned are but a few of the myriad Learning Labs’ focal points being presented.


This year, ACCA has taken great strides to make all informational and educational materials available electronically for attendees. The 2010 Conference & Indoor Air Expo proceedings are being made available online, and the show is following the lead of other sustainability-minded organizations’ events, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild annual expo, by becoming paperless. The ACCA Conference Website features a multimedia center where attendees can find all of the workshop materials, as well as videos and pictures from the event.

By eliminating excess paper, and making all conference/educational information available electronically, ACCA not only is helping reduce their environmental footprint, but also is reducing the inevitable clutter that magically accumulates during these events.

For more information, on the conference and expo, including a full roster of workshops, go to To stay on top of conference developments and news updates via various online avenues, visit Twitter (, Facebook (, LinkedIn ( and/or FeedBurner (

Publication date:03/01/2010