WESTPORT, CT — Despite a troubled economy, the International Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) 2003 is shaping up to be one of the biggest shows of all time, according to the show organizer International Exposition Company (IEC).

With two months remaining before the expo at Chicago’s McCormick Place, Jan. 27-29, 1,500 companies are signed up to as exhibitors — the second largest number of exhibitors in the expo’s history.

According to Clay Stevens, president of the IEC, booth reservations for the 2003 expo have already surpassed the 1,297 exhibitors that participated in the second largest AHR Expo held in Atlanta in 2001. It is likely that the square footage sold will also exceed that expo.

“We are delighted that the participation and support is so strong for 2003,” said Stevens. “Chicago has always been a great location for the show, but we thought the turbulent economy might hold it back a bit this year. Although some companies did have to scale back their participation, we have had 181 new companies sign on.”

Show organizers also announced that more than 200 international exhibitors from 28 countries will showcase their products at the expo.

Stevens said that preregistration figures indicate that the expo is on track to coming close to past attendance record.

“Based on our preregistration, we could challenge the all time record,” said Stevens. The all-time attendance record was set in Chicago in 1995 with 61,109 attendees.

Publication date: 11/25/2002