In the trade journal business, it is always best to write to a very broad audience, especially when voicing one’s opinion. The chances are much greater that a lot of people might either be moved to care one way or another.

We are approaching the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Exposition, (AHR Expo) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Winter Meeting, to be co-located in Dallas, Texas, Jan. 29–31. There will be nearly 35,000 contractors, engineers, distributors, manufacturers, and assorted professional types scurrying through the aisles of the Dallas Convention Center and attending various important meetings.

The AHR and ASHRAE meetings are an obvious target for an editorial opinion. No doubt; I might possibly garner the attention of quite a few of the 35,000 or so attendees. However, today seems a good time to let the ‘cat out of the bag’ about another important event.


HVACXchange is a very unique setting for commercial mechanical contractors to discuss strategic business issues with top executives from HVAC manufacturing companies. The invitation-only event is small - only about 40 companies will be present. As you can tell, the audience for this op-ed piece is somewhat limited. Sorry, but the event is kept to a small number in order to ensure that meaningful one-on-one discussions can take place in a secluded business setting. HVACXchange is conducted at The Lodges at Deer Valley, Park City, Utah.

There isn’t room for huge product demonstrations, and there aren’t aisles and aisles of people to fight with for attention. There is only time for serious discussion about strategic advantages.

The NEWSsponsors HVACXchange and it is now in its third year. It has been a somewhat quiet revolution for those who have attended the first two meetings. Here are some comments from a few executives who were at first skeptical of bothering with such an opportunity:

“I’m not looking for a sales pitch. It’s more upper level personal discussion of what’s new, what’s coming in the industry, what new ideas they’ve got, what our ideas are as far as what they should be exploring, what products they should be coming out with, what would be helpful to us and what our clients are looking for.”
Steve Poe, Vice President, Critchfield Mechanical Inc.

“I didn’t have this type of high level contact with manufacturers we’ve been using; now I do. Even though they aren’t people that are going to be with me in my market, they are somebody I can contact if I have an issue or problem.”
Mark Kerney, President, Hill York Service

“I think what we learn each year at HVACXchange is what we don’t know. People who resist change don’t know what they don’t know. I’m finding that this forum is a great platform to learn a lot about what’s going on in the industry.”
David Allen, EVP, McKinstry Co.

“I met with 13 different vendors in two days. On an aggressive schedule, if I were to meet with them one a week that would be 13 weeks - a quarter of a year to meet with 13 vendors. Now I can use that time to work on solutions. We had the right people in the meetings. We had a short enough amount of time that we didn’t monkey around. It was “let’s get down to business and move on.” I feel like I’ve done in two days what it would have taken a quarter of a year.”
Bert Kendall, Sr. Vice President, Linc Network LLC

“HVACXchange was a homerun. In every way, meeting with the people who were at this particular event was something that you never could have done anywhere else. I’ve been to 35 ASHRAE shows and every convention and meeting in this industry. I can tell you the experience I had here and the exchange I had with these people was phenomenal.”
Tom Jacobs, President, USA Coil & Air Inc.

“HVACXchange surpasses my expectations and I had fairly high expectations coming in - I had a terrific day.”
David Gau, President, Titus


Sometimes it makes more sense to let the people who matter the most voice their own opinions.

Please contact me if you have an interest in learning more about HVACXchange. In my humble opinion, it’s only a six-minute phone call that could alter the way you advance your business.

Publication date:01/15/2007