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Are You Going to HVAC Comfortech?

For most HVAC contractors, the summer of 2010 was a good one. After back-to-back mild summers, heat waves swept the country, stressing your service and installation departments, while relieving stress on bank accounts. After a frenetic summer it’s time to kick back, reassess, and start the planning process for an even better 2011. Where better to start than HVAC Comfortech?

HVAC Comfortech ( will be held in Baltimore, September 22-24. It's the industry's biggest conference and show for residential and light commercial contractors. It's so good that I suspect it's no coincidence a number of contractor groups stage mandatory meetings at the same time as Comfortech. Why should they try to keep their members away? Well, you can figure that one out.

Comfortech offers the following features and benefits:

Great seminars — Comfortech offers 16 different seminars. It's more than any one person can attend. That's why many contractors bring two, three, even four or more people. They divide and conquer, covering all of the great business management, sales and marketing, service management, technician training, technical, and innovation and opportunity seminars. Personally, I recommend attending "Social Media Strategies for Building Your Brand" so you can get a free copy of my book, Social Media For The Service Contractor. You benefit by learning new and better ways to manage your company, market your brand, and make more money. If you don't pick up some terrific new ideas, you aren't paying attention.

Great show — The trade show at Comfortech gives you a chance to learn about new products and make direct contact with key personnel at the exhibiting manufacturers. There are nearly 300 different exhibitors, each of whom is confident enough in their products or services to shell out big bucks for a presence on the show floor. The odds are one or more of these exhibitors is displaying a product or service that can make you a lot of money. You benefit from the show by learning about new products and services, learning more about existing products and services, and making more direct-to-the-manufacturer contacts.

Great networking — Comfortech always has great evening events. They give you the chance to kick back, unwind, and get to know peer contractors, industry consultants, and manufacturers in a relaxed environment. One of the great things about this industry is the chance to personally get to know its leaders at venues like Comfortech. Take advantage of it. Still, contractors repeatedly tell me that the hall talk between seminars and the bar talk at night between contractors who are facing the same challenges is the biggest benefit from attending Comfortech.

Comfortech is also surrounded by other events. Before Comfortech officially kicks off on Wednesday, Baker Distributing is sponsoring NATE testing, Women in HVACR is holding their annual meeting, and the Retail Contractor Coalition is holding its Brand U Seminar.

If you've been to Comfortech before, you'll note a few changes. One is the addition of a terrific keynote address. Sponsored by Trane, Mike Eruzione, captain of the "Miracle on Ice" 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team will not only tell the story of the team’s Gold Medal run (considered by many to be the greatest sporting accomplishment of all time), but then relate that to the competitive environment we all live and work in today.

With LG Commercial Air Conditioning teaming up with Contracting and HPAC Engineering magazines, Comfortech is also providing an opportunity for a limited number of industry professionals to "give back." The Comfortech Gives Back program is working with the Baltimore Habitat for Humanity on a housing project. The volunteer slots are limited and you must register in advance. I've taken one of the slots. Will you take another?

In the book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey talks about "sharpening the saw." Covey explains that the lumberjack who stops and takes the time to periodically sharpen his saw will cut more wood than the lumberjack who never takes a break. Comfortech is an opportunity for you to sharpen your mental saw.

Given our summer, there's no excuse not to attend HVAC Comfortech this year. I've attended it, and every Comfortech Roadshow, since day one and gained from each. When we launched the Service Roundtable in 2002, we chose to do so at HVAC Comfortech. Why? It's where the industry meets. Come to Comfortech and let's meet. Attend my seminar, stop by the Service Roundtable booth, or catch up with me at Brand U, the Habitat project, or one of the many social events.

Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable, which is sponsoring Brand U and once again hosting "The Best Darn Hospitality Party at HVAC Comfortech." For more information on Brand U or the party, call Chris Ferraro toll free at 877/262.3341.

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