FLUSHING, N.Y. - Ed Kramer has participated in the ABCO Refrigeration Trade Show since it began over 20 years ago. Kramer is the senior accounts manager for DuPont Suva Refrigerants, and he understands why it is important to feature the DuPont products each year. He has seen the show continue to prosper, bringing out more and more manufacturers and contractors to the event.

This year's show was held on Nov. 5, and it marked its 23rd year of bringing together numerous manufacturers looking to educate contractors and technicians about their products. The ABCO show is a one-day affair, but its impact is noticeable. Over 4,000 individuals had the opportunity to speak with over 250 vendors. Participants in the show also had the opportunity to take part in a series of educational seminars.

Kramer refers to the ABCO Trade Show as "the ASHRAE show of the East Coast."

He believes the event should not be missed by either contractors or manufacturers.

"This is the largest aftermarket in the country," he said. "Every major vendor is here."

Phil Gatto (right) from Standard Refrigeration discusses new products with Bill Fryberger, manufacturers rep for Engineering Equipment Sales (EES).

Industry Comes Together

ABCO Refrigeration Supply is one of the largest wholesalers in the New England area, with 16 total branches.

The supplier has a tremendous impact on both contractors and manufacturers, and the annual trade show is ABCO's attempt to bring all of these industry sectors together. "The relationship between manufacturers, distributors, and contractors is vital to the industry," said Michael Senter, CEO of ABCO Refrigeration. "This is a huge market, and it is an incredible opportunity for us to say thank you."

Contractors and manufacturers have definitely welcomed the opportunity to take part in the ABCO show.

"In six-and-a-half hours, 4,000 people will have walked through the show," said Senter.

Robert Collins, director of marketing and communications for ABCO, believes the annual show is a time for contractors to come together in the spirit of learning and cooperation.

"This is a time when our customers put aside competition," he said. "They take one day to put down their swords and talk together about their business."

But the annual show is not just an event for contractors and manufacturers. The event also brought out HVACR instructors and students. Many students from local vocational programs came out for the day to get a hands-on look at new products and sit in on technical seminars.

Lev Goldberg, national accounts manager for Standard Refrigeration Company, Melrose Park, Ill., was on hand to provide information about the company's latest products. He said that many students stopped by the Standard Refrigeration booth and were interested to learn what the company had on display. Goldberg said that attendees of the ABCO show are always enthusiastic and interested in learning about new product technologies.

"This is an opportunity for us to discuss our products with the people that are actually using them," said Goldberg.

A Lot To Learn

At last year's trade show, ABCO introduced its new Quick Tech sessions. This year, the sessions were back and offered a variety of educational topics. The Quick Tech sessions are short training seminars that take less than one hour. They are offered free to attendees of the show.

A number of manufacturers hosted Quick Tech sessions, including Bohn, Scotsman, Luxaire, Copeland, DuPont, Mitsubishi, Sporlan, Honeywell, and Spacepak.

Some sessions focused on fundamental topics. For example, Scotsman presented a course on sizing ice machines, while Copeland informed attendees about the basics of scroll compressors. Other sessions dealt with specific products, how to install them, and how they are beneficial. Mitsubishi presented attendees with an informational session on its City Multi System, while Luxaire spoke about its commercial rooftop units and 90-percent-AFUE gas furnaces.

The Quick Tech sessions are based on the ABCO University program. Throughout the year, ABCO provides numerous training opportunities for its customers. Like the Quick Tech sessions, ABCO recruits manufacturers to come to one of the ABCO branches and present a technical training seminar for ABCO consumers.

"They provide courses on all of our major equipment lines, and these courses are always sold out," said Collins.

The ABCO show also continued its support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation with a raffle. Make-A-Wish, which grants the wishes of terminally ill children, has been a charitable endeavor for both ABCO and York International. A contribution goes to the Make-A-Wish Foundation for every Luxaire product sold to a consumer.

The raffle held during the ABCO show helped to raise over $2,000 for Make-A-Wish. According to Senter, over the last year, ABCO has donated over $100,000 to the organization.

Publication date: 12/08/2003