Mike Murphy

Tens of thousands of crazy people equipped with Nikes and Sonys will make getting to the Javits Convention Center in New York City more of a challenge than usual beginning tomorrow morning (Jan. 22). Wild-eyed peddlers will grab people by the arms as they try to convince them to purchase their latest and greatest products. Chocolate mocha lattes will cost triple the amount you might pay at the Omaha Starbucks shop. Welcome to the big city.

However, once a person makes their way through the crowds of pressing tourists and the sidewalk shops on the streets of the Big Apple, a more normal insanity will exist inside the four walls that house the Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) in New York.

True, a big part of the attraction for this 60th Annual AHR Expo is the city. It is a show in itself. But if you’ve never been to NYC, let me reassure you - it is a fantastic city. In my opinion, only Washington, D.C. beats it for sheer fun. Of course, fun is in the eye of the beholder. My favorite recipe is an early morning jaunt around The Mall in D.C. with my Asics laced up tight and some good weather. During my last trip to the nation’s capital, I ran alongside a platoon of Marine recruits to the invigorating rhythm of a cadence call. OohRah! That will definitely get you going in the morning.

New York, the largest city in the United States, has a little bit of everything for everybody. And this week, it has a lot for people with an interest in all things HVAC.


For up to 50,000 people who may be attending the expo this week, sheer fun might be browsing the nearly 1,800 exhibitor booths and kicking the tires of some new products. This year’s show is expected to have more green products than ever before. With the movement among the federal, state, and local governments to make buildings more energy efficient, the green product wave at the expo might be enough to change the red carpets in the aisles to a verdant hue.

Some people might find fun in the interactive snowmobile games at our booth No. 1728.The NEWSwill be offering a respite from the busy show floor, and two of our finest snow bunny instructors will bring weary show-goers in from the aisles.

There are more than 70 educational sessions running concurrently with the trade show. For some of the nearly 8,000 contractors who usually attend the show, room No. 1E20 in the Javits Center could be an attraction well worth the time. That’s whereThe NEWSis hosting the five award-winning contractors voted Best Contractor To Work For in 2007 at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The contractors will be led in a discussion by John Hall,NEWS’business editor, about hiring practices and, more importantly, how to keep good employees motivated and happy to stay in one place.


The New York venue may offer a few challenges, such as hotels that suddenly forget their quoted rates and cabbies who unfortunately forget how to drive in a straight line, but the location should afford show organizers with perhaps a record attendance for the annual event. Many people who live along the East Coast are within an easy train ride to the city, and a large proportion of this industry’s manufacturing base is in relatively near proximity.

Not only is it likely that the draw of NYC will increase regional attendance, but the international crowd is expected to be a record number. New York is a hop, skip, and jump away from Europe, and the Asian contingent is already accustomed to traveling long distances.

All in all, the 2008 expo promises to be big fun. Me? I’m expecting good weather and once around the park for good measure - Central Park.

Not to shortchange the pocket protector community: the 2008 ASHRAE Winter Meeting is held in conjunction with the expo. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers will be holding a number of technical meetings, many of which are open to public attendance and of interest to contractors as well as engineers.

Publication date:01/21/2008