September 4-7, 1996: Contracting Business magazine did the unthinkable: it launched the HVAC industry’s first and only independent, national, residential HVAC seminar and comfort technology showcase. It was held in the old Cleveland Convention Center and included some of the industry’s most respected trainers and contractors of the time.

Three tracks of seminars addressed key issues of the day: air balancing, moisture control, geothermal business technology (yes, even in 1996), comfort system diagnostics and repair, special sessions on regulatory issues  impacting the contracting business, and an entire selection of business management and sales seminars.

HVAC Comfortech 1996 introduced a new concept to the industry: “The Safe House,” a combination exhibit/training tool consisting of a full-sized mock-up of a four-room house — used to demonstrate how pressure differentials in homes impact both safety and comfort.

This Comfortech started a trend to host fantastic parties so that contractors could unwind and have fun after an intense day of learning. The inaugural Thursday Night party was held at the famous Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame, setting the standard for all Comfortech parties to follow.

Enough History

Next month, on September 18-20, in Philadelphia, PA, Comfortech celebrates its 18th year and we’d like to invite all of you to join us for what remains the industry’s only independent residential and light commercial contractor educational and product showcase event.

Today, Comfortech looks slightly different than it did nearly two decades ago. Now it includes HVACR, hydronic, and plumbing contractors from around the country. The seminars reflect the current state of the industry, with sessions targeting everything from radiant and hydronic comfort technology to better ways to use mobile phone applications to run your business. Yes, we still retain business, sales, marketing, and technical tracks too, with great speakers and topics.

From a trending standpoint, we have two speakers addressing the Affordable Health Care act and its impact on your business.Why two? Because the act is complicated and continues to change daily. These two speakers will bring you the most up-to-date information on what it means to your employees, and what it means (and costs) you.

Our friends at the National Comfort Institute bring you a brand  new Performance Town with a focus on the technology behind airflow.  You can visit this area on the trade show floor during show hours.

In addition, the Service Roundtable once again has a lot of surprises, education, and giveaways in store for you in their special area on the show floor.

Both groups are having meetings for their members just prior to the opening of Comfortech, as does the Radiant Professionals Alliance, Women in HVACR, and NATE (offering technician testing). The Refrigeration Roundtable is meeting during our event as well, and there’s much more. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again — Comfortech is THE place where the HVACR industry meets.

From an entertainment standpoint, our partners at Emerson once again will bring you the Welcome Reception, which always promises great food, drinks, and networking opportunities. And finally, our Thursday Night extravaganza takes place at XFINITY Live! — a dining and entertainment complex located on the former site of the Spectrum arena in South Philadelphia. It includes a beer garden, five bars/restaurants surrounding an internal open market space and an adjacent patio concert venue.

Did I mention our keynote speaker, John Kruk, three-time Major League Baseball all-star and lead analyst, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball? Or our new Friday morning grand finale consisting of a mechanical contractor town hall and our industry leadership symposium followed by a closing lunch (and motorcycle giveaway)?

Yes, Comfortech 2013 is new, different, and it’s time to sign up. Just go to bit.ly/Ctech13_Reg and register today. We’re looking forward to seeing all of you in Philadelphia.