HVAC Comfortech 2009 — SUCCEED. GROW. DOMINATE.— winds down today, and contractors eager for information filed into the Nashville Convention Center for the closing half-day of sessions. And you must wonder if these HVAC contractors will ever be able to catch their breath, after a week of non-stop learning!

HVAC Comfortech was the main ingredient in HVACR Week, presented by ContractingBusiness.com magazine and Penton Media, and supported by a vast array of leading industry manufacturers and organizations. Also held this week was the HVACR Commercial Symposium and the Engineering Green Buildings Conference, for commercial contractors and building systems engineers.

Contractors described session in glowing terms: “upbeat, to the point,” “brilliant,” and “easy to relate to” were just a few comments contractors had about HVAC Comfortech seminars.

"Comfortech was great," exclaimed Bob Millen of Adams Electric, Pratt, KS. "The seminars, and everything that's been going on has just been super." Millen was one of five NATE Top Technicians attending the show. Millen says he was also impressed by the wide variety of equipment on display.

Many contractors said this was the best HVAC Comfortech they had ever attended, in part because this year's show featured an increased number of educational sessions, in response to an overwhelming number of requests from contractors. Once they arrived, they filled every square inch of their briefcases with business management ideas and product information.

One of those was Drew Barbosa, president, Barbosa Mechanical, Dallas, TX. This was Barbosa’s first HVAC Comfortech, and he was greatly impressed by the variety of seminar topics and booth exhibits. He attended both HVAC Comfortech and seminars and some in the Commercial HVACR Symposium.

"I really got a lot out of it. I’ve known about HVAC Comfortech, and finally came to the show, and I'm glad I did. I’ve talked to good people and got some good information. I’ve especially enjoyed the seminars that relate to increasing service agreements. I’ve been trying to grow my service agreements during the downturn in the economy. I picked up some real good pointers. I’ve got a lot to do on the airplane ride home,” Barbosa said. He added that he expects to attend HVAC Comfortech 2010 in Baltimore, MD, Sept. 22-25.

Show attendees found a number of new product ideas to capitalize on growing markets, such as geothermal, solar power, hybrid systems, software, customer service, and more.

Consultants Corner provided contractors with free advice from leading HVAC industry consultants, including John and Vicki LaPlant and Drew Cameron.

Scott Greiff, owner of SG Heating &Air Conditioning, Hightstown, NJ, was amazed at the easy accessibility to industry leaders that HVAC Comfortech provided.

"I met some of the rock stars of the HVAC world," Greiff said. There was plenty of interaction with other contractors. I got to bounce ideas off of other contractors just like me, and others whose businesses are smaller than mine. It was fun. I came down here with the idea that if I left with one new idea, the conference would be worth it. But I’ve got much more than one new idea."

Home performance evaluations are growing in popularity. Jim Davis of National Comfort Institute, Sheffield Lake, OH, said this was his best HVAC Comfortech in the 13 years its been offered. The NCI “Performance Town,” formerly known as the Comfort House, gave contractors hands-on experience in performing home comfort evaluations.

On tap for Saturday:
• Tom Casey, Jr. on Turbocharging Service Profits
• Matt Michel and Steve Miles on Branding Dominance in a Recessionary World
• Tom Grandy on Market Domination in a Slow Economy
• Eric Kjelshus on Sustainability Audits
• Vince Difilippo on R-22 Recycling
• Drew Cameron on Sales Management Troubleshooting
• Barbara Duffy on Cause Marketing.