The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is asking its members about moving this year's 2021 AHR Expo and ASHRAE Winter Conference to a later date.

In a letter addressed to membership today, ASHRAE 2020-21 president Charles E. Gulledge, III, P.E., gave an update on possibly rescheduling the conference from its planned date of Jan. 25-27 in Chicago, Illinois, to March 15-17 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As of today, the event would still take place at the same venue if rescheduled.  

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a number of sheet metal worker and HVACR events have been either moved online or canceled altogether. So far, Metalcon and the 2020 FABTECH have been canceled while the annual HARDI distributor conference (Dec. 5-8) still plans to move forward in Atlanta, Georgia, a COVID-19 hotspot.

To help inform its decision-making process on the conference, ASHRAE is asking members to submit comments directly to the president about the potential change of date at The full letter to its membership is available below:

The AHR Expo and the ASHRAE Winter Conference is where the global HVAC&R industry convenes to discuss the latest technologies and design trends. The Society is continuously monitoring the potential impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on these January 2021 events, with the safety and welfare of the ASHRAE community our highest priority. Our present plan remains to hold the January Winter Conference and AHR Exposition as scheduled.
We recently have been presented with the possibility of delaying the 2021 Chicago AHR Expo from Jan. 23-27 to March 15-17. While no one can predict the evolution of the pandemic, an additional seven weeks may make a difference in our ability to conduct the exposition. No decisions have been made, but a survey of AHR Expo exhibitors is being conducted to ascertain exhibitor appetite for shifting the dates to March. 

I wanted you to be aware of this information even though potential impacts on the 2021 ASHRAE Winter Conference and possibly the 2021 June Annual Meeting in Phoenix due to shifting the AHR Expo to March are still being studied. We will keep you informed as these options are explored. Evolving restrictions on gatherings from the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago and even by the Hilton Palmer House Hotel are other important factors as we study these options.;

The Society plays an important role in helping to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, particularly as building owners re-open buildings. Convening the Winter Conference and AHR Expo will help bring experts together to discuss the role HVAC systems may play in helping to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 in buildings. 

SNIPS reached out to ASHRAE representatives for more insight on what factors will cause the 2021 AHR Expo to be rescheduled and when will attendees and exhibitors have an official decision. ASHRAE representatives indicated that they will have an update on the expo's status in mid-October.

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