With Omicron-fueled COVID cases showing an almost vertical rise and less than a month before the 2022 AHR Expo in Las Vegas, Expo management is reassuring the HVACR industry that the show will, indeed, go on.

That’s according to an email sent Monday, January 3 from AHR Expo show management, titled “Update from AHR Expo - Vegas is On!”

“We are excited to welcome you back to the Show floor in less than one month for the 2022 AHR Expo!” the email said. “We understand there are concerns regarding the status of the Show given the recent COVID-19 developments. We want to assure you that the AHR Expo will take place January 31 - February 2, 2022 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).”

While many industry events went virtual in 2021, show management did not think it was a solution for AHR. The 2021 AHR Expo, slated for Chicago, was canceled in mid-October 2020 due to state and local restrictions that prohibited mass gatherings over 50 people.

As far as industry events are concerned, the massive CES technology show, taking place this week in Las Vegas, has been seen as a bellwether for whether Americans are still willing to attend giant trade shows in-person. CES shortened the event by a day after multiple big-name exhibitors bowed out last minute, preferring to take their reveals online, and some media outlets canceled plans for in-person coverage.

AHR Expo management, however, remains optimistic about the draw of the HVAC industry’s in-person event.

“As we countdown to the Show, our numbers remain strong — with more than 1,650 exhibitors (including 300+ international companies) ready to go!” the Expo email said. “We continue to be encouraged by the energy from our attendees and exhibitors. Our industry continues to play a vital role in our ability to fight the pandemic as well as set the course for the health, safety, and efficiency of our buildings of the future. Now more than ever, we need to come together.”

As of January 6, The ACHR NEWS has received notice of only one exhibitor — Delta Electronics — that has pulled out of attending AHR in-person. More than 1,900 companies exhibited at the 2020 AHR Expo in Orlando, and over 50,000 people attended.

Masks will be required at the show — including inside exhibitor booths, classrooms, presentation areas, and bathrooms — and on official shuttles buses. Per local guidelines, masks are also required in and around Las Vegas in restaurants, casinos, events, and other shared spaces. For international attendees who require negative COVID-19 tests for return flights, testing will be available at the exhibit hall (reservations required and can be made here).

Safety will be “top of mind during the experience,” the email from Expo management stated.

“We are confident in the policies in place, including required masking, increased ventilation in the convention hall and a Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Star Accreditation safety rating; as well as guidance from our ASHRAE colleagues who continue to write the standards for best practices.”

Anyone experiencing symptoms of illness is asked not to attend.