For 16 years, HVAC Comfortech has been known as THE seminar series and product showcase for residential and light commercial HVACR contractors to attend. That’s more true than ever now that HVAC Comfortech has become part of Mechanical Systems WEEK, and HydronicsTech and PlumbTech have been brought into the fold.

For the first time, Contracting Business.com magazine is teamed up with sister publication, Contractor — combining the editorial strength of both into a powerhouse live event. This combination is what gave birth to Mechanical Systems WEEK.

By today’s standards, contractors look different than in 1996 when the inaugural HVAC Comfortech was launched in Cleveland, OH. Obviously, the economic landscape of the industry was much different then. That change has helped to forge today’s contractors into being more versatile.

They’re branched into a number of disciplines and work harder than ever to serve their customers, their employees, and their communities. The changes we’ve made to Comfortech over the years, and especially this year, reflect the evolution of the contractor who now does some combination of HVAC, hydronics, and plumbing work.

We remain the only independent national seminar and product showcase that caters to these contractors. So, just as Contracting Business.com’s former editor-in-chief Dominick Guarino did in our first show guide in August 2006, I invite all of you to join us in Schaumburg, IL “for the show, for the training, and for the networking.”

From a historical standpoint there’ve been a number of key players and supporters who’ve helped us along the way. From a speaker standpoint, we’ve had the honor of introducing the industry to some of today’s most prominent consultants and contractors. Among the many, in 2007, Rich Trethewey first spoke to our audiences and we’re delighted to have him back once again for this year’s event. The Service Roundtable made its debut at HVAC Comfortech 10 years ago this September, remains one of our staunchest supporters, and provides blue-ribbon contractors and consultant speakers who share their expertise with attendees. Plus, interactive exhibits, which started in 1996 with the Safe House, continue to bring a unique experience to those who walk the trade show with the National Comfort Institute’s Performance Town exhibit.

Of course, where would we be without the generous support of the industry’s suppliers and vendors? In fact, I’d like to recognize six companies that have exhibited at HVAC Comfortech every year since 1996: Aprilaire/Research Products, Callahan/Roach, Comfort Institute, EWC Controls, Team Management, and Wrightsoft. We thank these and all the many other sponsors and exhibitors who’ve supported this event over the years.

So now it’s all about 2012. From our opening kick-off with Keynoter Jason Dorsey — who will talk about thriving in a multi-generational workplace — to our closing keynote with Rich Trethewey, we have 22 sessions being presented at least twice, allowing you to see everyone you want/need to.

We are pleased to present our second GeoDay, courtesy of ClimateMaster, as well as a number of other meetings: The Radiant Professionals Annual Membership Meeting, The Service Roundtable Fall membership and alliance meetings, the Refrigeration Roundtable, the Nineth Annual Women in HVACR meeting, and the National Comfort Institute fall meeting.

Mechanical Systems WEEK is truly where the industry meets. Come celebrate our 16th year together in Schaumburg and “Get in your comfort zone.”

We look forward to seeing you there!