The organiser of the AHR Expo, scheduled to take place in January in Chicago, is considering delaying the event until March due to ongoing concerns over Covid-19.
Surveys have been sent to exhibitors, visitors and co-sponsoring groups seeking opinions on rescheduling this annual showcase of HVACR products for March 15-17, 2021.
Any changes to dates could also affect the scheduling of the ASHRAE Winter Conference, which is held traditionally in the same city to coincide with the exhibition.
The AHR Expo organiser insists that no final decisions have yet been made, but says in a statement on its website: “Given the uncertainty of the pandemic in combination with changing restrictions by the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago, we feel that changing the dates to provide an additional seven weeks to plan and prepare may be a wise decision.”
AHR Expo is currently scheduled to take place at McCormick Place in Chicago from January 25-27. With only a couple of months to go, just over 1 400 exhibitors are listed as having taken space at the 2021 event. The last AHR Expo in Chicago in 2018 broke all records with over 2 100 exhibitors and more than 72 000 visitors.
A decision to delay the 2021 event would be a sharp u-turn on the organiser’s previous insistence that the exhibition would not be postponed.
ASHRAE, with its Winter Meeting scheduled for January 23-27 at Chicago’s Hilton Palmer House Hotel, is monitoring the situation. Current president Charles Gulledge confirmed that ASHRAE had been presented with the possibility of delaying the 2021 Chicago AHR Expo.
“While no one can predict the evolution of the pandemic, an additional seven weeks may make a difference in our ability to conduct the exposition,” he told members on the ASHRAE website.
Insisting that no decisions had been made, Gulledge added: “I wanted you to be aware of this information even though potential impacts on the 2021 ASHRAE Winter Conference and possibly the 2021 June Annual Meeting in Phoenix due to shifting the AHR Expo to March are still being studied”.
He also revealed that evolving restrictions on gatherings from the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago and by the Hilton Palmer House Hotel were other considerations affecting the viability of the Winter Conference.