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On April 2-5, right outside the French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana at the New Orleans Marriott, the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) 2023 Conference & Expo is taking place.

There are a number of industry events that place a heightened importance on the networking and social events, and while at this year’s ACCA Conference & Expo there will be plenty of fun to be had, it’s content-driven.

“The ACCA Conference and Expo is really a conference. We're serious contractors, and we're going to get real content to really help you and your team level up,” said Sean Robertson, vice president of membership and business operations at ACCA.


Opportunities at Conference

In years past, ACCA held the award receptions during the general sessions, and with as many awards as they give out, it took up most of the time of the general sessions. So as a response, on Sunday evening ACCA is hosting a brand-new, exclusive Welcome Awards Reception, where the industry’s elite will gather to celebrate those exceptional HVACR contractors that make a difference in the industry.

Awards given at the reception include the Residential Contractor of the Year, Commercial Contractor of the Year, Spirit of Independence, Service Manager of the Year (sponsored by The ACHR NEWS), and Marketing Masters (sponsored by RYNO Strategic Solutions).

The attendees, speakers, and exhibitors at the ACCA conference are dedicated to growing HVACR contractors business, but also their personal network. Attendees of this year’s conference will get content on building their workforce, optimizing operations, navigating leadership challenges, and more.

Keynote speaker Dee Ann Turner — author, speaker, and leader — will kick off the event on Monday morning with “The Secret Sauce of Legendary Company Culture.”

Turner spent 30+ years as the vice president of talent for Chick-fil-A and during those years, she created that “secret sauce,” taught it, lived it. During her keynote session, she’ll share her formula that will help attendees overcome the challenges of today’s labor shortage, prepare to grow a sustainable business in the future, and win the hearts of both their talent and their customers.

Robertson said that there will also be a lot of content related to the big changes coming to our industry with the Inflation Reduction Act. Cynthia Adams, CEO and co-founder of Pearl Certification, will be there to discuss how the IRA incentives will change the way contactors market their HVACR businesses.

Robertson said there’s also a session called “Lunch With Leaders: Roundtable Discussions” where recent ACCA award winners will engage in roundtable discussions on a variety of topics, giving other attendees the opportunity to pick their brain.

“They may lead the table, but YOU lead the discussion,” ACCA’s conference schedule reads.

Though the conference in content-driven, that’s not to say they don’t also have some great social events planned.

“Of course, as always, the big hit is the Emerson party on Tuesday evening,” Robertson said.

Emerson Party.

SOCIAL NETWORK: Last year at the ACCA Conference & Expo at the Emerson Party. (Courtesy of ACCA)

They’ll also have their ACCA MIX Group MIXers, which is both fun and serious, Robertson said. It’s like speed networking.

“People who are potentially interested in joining a mixed group will get the chance to make the rounds and sit down with several existing mixed groups that are looking to grow the contractors in their peer group.”

And there’s great news for those HVACR professionals whose networking skills are not their strong suit.

“You don’t have to be a born networker to come because we actually have a session about networking,” Robertson said.

It’s called “Accidentally Learn Everything You Need to at the Bar,” presented by Matt Marsiglio of Flame Furnace in Warren, Michigan and Ben Kelley of CroppMetcalfe Services, in Merrifield Virginia. Robertson said ACCA is even planning on bringing a keg into the meeting room.

Mix Group Speed Networking.

SPEED NETWORKING: Last year’s MIX Group Speed Networking. (Courtesy of ACCA)


Why Attend?

“Today what’s really exciting is that those same opportunities are available to anyone coming to our conference today.”
- Sean Robertson
Vice president of membership and business operations

As much as ACCA talks about the content available at the conference and expo, Robertson said, it really is about the networking and effects said networking has on HVACR contractors and their businesses. Some of the greatest success stories of the HVACR industry have come from ACCA and the relationships formed at ACCA’s conference.

Ken Goodrich, CEO of Goettl Air Conditioning and Plumbing in Las Vegas, was about to shut his doors back in 1990. So, he took the last $800 he had to his name and went to an ACCA conference, and made the connections that changed everything and helped him build the empire he has today.

A story that admittedly might be a little overused, Robertson said, but that’s because it’s such a great one.

“Today, what’s really exciting is that those same opportunities are available to anyone coming to our conference,” Robertson said.

Registration rates for the ACCA Conference & Expo is open, and the full schedule of events can be found here.

The ACCA 2024 Conference and Expo will be held March 11-14, 2024 at Universal Orlando’s Sapphire Falls Resort in conjunction with the Florida Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors Association (FRACCA).