Parting Thoughts on My Favorites From AHR 2017

By Trish Holder

You’ve gotta love AHR…. even when it is in Las Vegas.

Although this year’s AHR Expo was held in exhibitors’ least favorite city (according to my own unofficial, deeply biased and statistically flawed poll) it really was a great show.

Without question, the best part of AHR for me is always the chance to reconnect with friends, colleagues, and clients.  Beyond that, here are some of my favorites from this year’s show:

My Hotel. A strange pick for a favorite from my industry’s biggest event, but I must give props to the SpringHill Suites by Marriott. Located a mere block and half from the convention center, this turned out to be a great place to disappear into after show hours and forget that I was in Las Vegas. No slots, no smoke, no glitz – YAY!  The reasonably priced rooms were large and comfortable and the stay included a full breakfast – an unlikely occurrence in Las Vegas hotels where even in-room coffee makers are longshot.

The Ware Inc. Trade Show Booth. I wasn’t familiar with this company that specializes in the sales and service of commercial and industrial steam equipment, but the colorful and stylized booth exhibit prompted me to learn more. Chatting with VP of Sales & Marketing, Ritchie Ware, I learned that the booth design is part of some impressive rebranding at Ware, one of the top boiler and chiller rental companies in the country.  The booth stood out among larger and more elaborate booths thanks to the cool, industrial aesthetic and bright blue and orange colors.  It was both energetic and welcoming, a combination that is hard to achieve in a trade show exhibit.

The "I Climbed Everest" Photo Booth at the SPX Cooling Technologies booth. Let’s face it, trade show gimmicks can be cheesy, unimaginative and sometimes downright annoying. Fortunately, SPX managed to achieve cheese-free fun with their “I Climbed Everest” photo booth.

To promote the company’s new Marley NC Everest Cooling Tower, SPX had a photographer and green screen system set up in the booth, giving visitors the chance to have their pictures taken with various Mount Everest scenes in the background. Compton Photography provided the set up and the surprisingly realistic photography.  This was a clever and memorable way to highlight a new product, and the resulting postcard size pictures and digital files were a fun thing to bring home to the fam. I had my picture taken with a Himalayan yak. 

“Let’s Make Your Shoes GREAT Again!” Okay—this WAS my absolute favorite from AHR.  Outside the Expo, the operator of a shoeshine kiosk called to passersby in what I judged to be some variety of Caribbean accent, imploring them to “make their shoes GREAT AGAIN!”

I don’t know if this woman’s schtick was cleverly opportunist or innocently ironic, I just know I loved her.