Being one of the newest employees at The NEWS, all I’ve been hearing about since I was hired is the AHR Expo. I’ve been told how big it is, how many people are there, how overwhelming it can be, and how it eats up rookies and spits them out.

OK, so I made that last part up, but that’s what it seems like in my mind. The Jan. 28-30 Expo has been built up so much that I think I might actually be a wee bit scared heading into the event.

I’m half expecting to walk into the Dallas Convention Center on Monday morning and see Godzilla, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster. Because that’s how big this event seems — it, like all those monsters, has been built up to near mythical proportions.

Of course, the other half of me is expecting to walk in to the bustling convention center; meet a bunch of really nice, cool people; and collect a lot of good information along the way. Chances are this is the way it’s going to go down, but there’s still that part of me that is skeptical. Regardless, this will be my first real trip to Dallas (I refuse to count being routed there following an American Airlines customer service debacle as an actual visit) and I plan to make the most of it.

I think the only way I’m going to be disappointed is if Dallas has weather like we have here in Detroit. I can handle the cold mornings, but if I could get some sun and some upper 50s temperatures, that would be fantastic. If the weatherman won’t oblige, perhaps I can get Godzilla to work on that.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Detroit, but getting out of town for a few days at the end of January isn’t the worst thing in the world. I’m sure many of our friends in states like North Dakota, Minnesota, and even further to the north (or, for us in Detroit, to the south) in Canada are thinking the same thing.

I’m sure there are people who will be going to the AHR Expo for the 20th time, maybe more. They know this thing like the back of their hands. I don’t know what to expect. But I can tell you that the excitement to find out is almost overwhelming at this point.

As an #AHRRookie I'll be blogging about my journey, step by step, from Detroit to Dallas, right here at, plus on Twitter at @achrnews. Be sure you follow along.