The exchange of global best practices and new energy efficiency strategies brought HVAC&R professionals to Chicago in late January for the 2018 ASHRAE Winter Conference and AHR Expo.
The 2018 ASHRAE Winter Conference took place Jan. 20-24 at the Palmer House Hilton with the ASHRAE co-sponsored AHR Expo held Jan. 22-24 at McCormick Place. With more than 3,200 registrants, this year’s Winter Conference was one of the largest in ASHRAE’s history.
The AHR Expo attracted more than 70,000 visitors, a six percent increase over last year's record-breaking event held in Las Vegas. The expo included more than 2,100 vendors, 37 more exhibitors than 2017, in a total exhibit space of 530,000 square feet.
“The Winter Conference and AHR Expo are prime opportunities for attendees to stay on top of the latest information and technology needed to work toward a more sustainable world,” said 2017-2018 ASHRAE President Bjarne W. Olesen, Ph.D. “Lessons learned at the conference have a direct impact on the success of our industries and affords us the opportunity to extend this knowledge around the world.”
At the conference, Olesen provided Society updates and initiatives related to his presidential theme, “Extending Our Community.” He focused on acknowledging interconnectedness worldwide and embracing shared needs and objectives.
During the conference, ASHRAE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Associazione Italiana Condizionamento dell’Aria Riscaldamento Refrigerazione (AiCARR). The agreement formalizes the two organizations’ long-standing commitment toward the promotion of common cooling and heating related endeavors. As part of ASHRAE’s global outreach initiative, the Associate Society Alliance meeting brought together members and representatives from 60 HVAC associations from around the world.
“Collaboration is crucial as we seek new ways to make buildings safe, healthy, productive and comfortable environments,” said Olesen. “We are very grateful for our many partnerships that exist today and the new organizational partnerships that will be formed in the coming years.”
The plenary session, drawing more than 1,000 people, provided a forum for the presentation of awards to experienced and emerging leaders in the industry. Keynote speaker Debbie Sterling, Founder, and CEO of GoldieBlox, closed the session with an empowering presentation on closing the gender gap in STEM fields.
The 2018 ASHRAE Annual Conference will take place June 23-27 in Houston, with the 2019 Winter Conference Jan. 12-16, and the AHR Expo, Jan. 14-16, in Atlanta.