It might not match the attendance of the last AHR Expo held in Chicago, but organizers for 2009's event are still pleased.

It might not match the attendance of the 2006 AHR Expo - the last one held in Chicago - but show organizers are still pleased with the way this year’s event is shaping up.

More than 1,900 companies have reserved 395,000 square feet of McCormick Place exhibit space so far, which is larger than the number of exhibitors and square footage of last year’s New York City event.

Despite expecting a show slightly smaller than the last one held in the Windy City, officials with the International Exhibition Co., which manages the event, said the AHR Expo is doing very well at a time when may trade shows are struggling.

The pace of preregistrations shows the Jan. 26-28 event still has the potential to be among the five best attended ever. Chicago is typically the site of the largest AHR events.

“We believe AHR Expo’s strength during these tough economic times reinforces the critical role the show plays in keeping the industry informed and updated on the latest products, technologies and education,” said Clay Stevens, president of the International Exposition Co.