If everything went according to plan, we’re still here. The apocalypse according to the Mayan calendar has past. December 21st has come and gone, the holiday season
of good cheer and over-eating is behind us, and we now face those doggone New Year’s resolutions made after consuming too many adult beverages and celebrating our continued existence.

Dodged a bullet there! So now it’s time to set the stage for 2013. It’s time to consider what lies ahead and sally forth.

What lies directly ahead is the annual gathering of the HVAC Industry at the International
Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigerating Exposition
(AHR Expo) , which kicks off each
new year during the last week in January. This year’s event brings us back to Dallas, TX, the site that, back in 2007, set the record for the largest Southwest event.

Show management is predicting that a new record will be set in 2013 and they have a lot reasons as to why.

Most of us know that the economic situation hasn’t been the rosiest over the past few years. But we are seeing positive wrinkles in the miasma and AHR Expo management believes that, combined with all the really cool innovations and new technologies that are emanating from the HVACR industry, this event could very well surpass all other Southwestern events.

“The last three shows have all established new records for their regions of the country,”
said Clay Stevens, president of International Exposition Company, which produces and manages, the AHR Expo.

In addition, Dallas just happens to be a bit less recessionary than other parts of the country. The Dallas Morning News states that local leaders are very bullish on the local economy and their projected economic growth rate will outpace the U.S. rate.

That’s great news for Dallas, but what about the rest of the country? Well, the fiscal cliff aside, AHR Expo management conducted a survey sent to more than 1,000 manufacturers around the world, and 70% responded that they see the economy improving in 2013. In fact, 15% of them see 2013 being a much better year than 2012,  while 28% believe it will remain the same, and only 3% see things getting worse.

The AHR Expo survey also found that 86% of the manufacturer respondents are looking for increases
in sales — 35% of them see the increases to the tune of 10% or more. Now THAT is good news.

Some other interesting facts from that survey: 41% of the respondents say that the residential sector
will account for the strongest demand for new products, followed by the institutional sector (30%), industrial (19%), light commercial (7%), and large commercial (3%). Interestingly, the manufacturers
see the replacement market as being the smallest growth sector (24%) with renovation/upgrade being
the largest (42%), followed by — can you believe it — new construction (34%).

This survey leaves one with a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling and that can translate to not only continued
existence, but even a decent year.

In terms of this industry’s contribution to the job market, 67% of survey respondents felt that demand for new products would come from domestic markets and of these, 53% felt the demand would center around health care, 45% from industrial plants, 43% from the educational marketplace, and 43% from government projects.

To me, this is a wonderful way to set the stage for 2013 and this could bode well for manufacturers,
contractors and distributors alike.

AHR Expo management say that’s why more than 75% of their exhibitors will be introducing new products or services at this year’s Dallas event. It is also an excellent reason for you to journey to the Dallas Convention Center, January 28-30, 2013 and participate in the turnaround of our industry. Visit us in booth 1204.

If nothing else, it will prove those darned Mayans wrong.

From the staff of Contracting Business.com magazine, to you and your families, have a very safe, healthy, and productive 2013.