What Disgusts Me About HVAC Comfortech

June 12, 2008
In September, a couple of thousand contractors will descend upon Atlanta for HVAC Comfortech 2008. It’s disgusting!
In September, a couple of thousand contractors will descend upon Atlanta for HVAC Comfortech 2008. It’s disgusting!

It’s disgusting that only a couple of thousand contractors will bother to take advantage of the single greatest educational event in the HVAC industry. It’s disgusting that so few will take advantage of three days with top contractors, consultants, and industry leaders.

Hot Topics. The contractors who invest in Comfortech will learn about the hottest topics in the industry. Steve Miles, a point man in contractor private labeling, will share how to make your brand the focus of your company’s success. Barry Abernathy, from Smith Heating, will talk about recruiting employees online.

A must for new construction contractors is Central Oregon Heating’s Don & Kathy Todd’s seminar on transitioning from RNC to service and replacement.

Green HVAC. Green is the new gold. Benson Green, one the savviest contractors in the country, will share his approach to selling comfort in a green world. Steve Saunders from Tempo Air, shows how to get green and lean.

Larry Taylor will reveal how he built a new, profitable business servicing the house envelope. Tim Offord from Alabama Power moves inside to tackle airflow and duct leakage. Ellis Guiles, TAG Mechanical, explains how LEED, Energy Star, and the QI standard impact contractors.

Best Practices. Like a Top Gun Academy for contractors, Comfortech represents the best of the best. Andrew Oser from Cropp-Metcalfe will share ways to build a big, profitable base of service agreement customers. Also from Cropp- Metcalfe, Don Buckingham will show how a salesperson can sell $2 million in replacement equipment in a year. Many consider Cropp- Metcalfe to be the industry’s single strongest residential service and replacement contractor.

Robert Wilkos from Peaden Air Conditioning, whom I believe to be contracting’s best marketing strategist, will teach how to grow through a market contraction. Milt Baum from Keil Heating reveals a host of top recruiting tactics.

Bill Raymond of Frank & Lindy Plumbing tells how to take the new recruits and turn them into customer service superstars. Eric Knaack, Isaac Heating’s service manager, offers tips for building the service business to give the superstars more opportunities to perform.

Media. Great service won’t matter if no one knows about it. Gene Slade from Air Genie shows contractors a terrific way to spread the word with radio show marketing. Mitch Leff teaches contractors how to work with the media.

Consultants. Consultants/vendors get into the mix too. Outside of Comfortech, their time is costly. At Comfortech, it’s bundled into the low tuition price. Steve Coscia will help you increase customer retention. Tom Grandy will share his observations about the traits successful contractors have in common. Valerie Stakes teaches about recruiting beyond the industry’s comfort zone. Ron Finklestein shows how to transform your business fast. I’ll share best practices for home show marketing. I’ll even give everyone who attends my seminar a free kit to build their own oldest appliance contest.

Beyond The Seminars
One of the greatest things about Comfortech is the ability to meet industry leaders at the excellent trade show and its accompanying social events. I’ve found the leaders in our industry to be imminently approachable and quite willing to spend time sharing ideas. In fact, some of the best learning occurs outside of the seminars.

If you live close enough to drive to Atlanta, reserve a room today. Over 5,500 contractors who get this magazine live within a six hour drive of Atlanta. Cumulatively, you employ more than 125,000 people. You have no excuse for missing Comfortech. Surely, 5,000 to 10,000 contractors and key managers within driving distance could attend this seminal industry event.

Everyone else is a plane ride away. Buy your ticket now for the advance purchase discount. And if you want to cut your tuition to the rock bottom best price, call me on my personal mobile phone at 214-995-8889, and I’ll tell you how. I’m serious. Do it. I want to see as many contractors prosper from a Comfortech experience as possible.

When the economy slows, aggressive companies invest and grow while their competitors retrench and hide. Now is the time to make changes in your company and position yourself for stellar performance once the economic activity heats up and business takes off. There’s no better time or place to start than HVAC Comfortech 2008 in Atlanta.

This rant is solely the ravings of Matt Michel, CEO of the Service Roundtable, HVAC’s largest contractor alliance. Visit the Roundtable at For more information or for an invitation to “Comfortech’s Best Hospitality Party” contact Liz Patrick toll free at 877.262.3341 or by email at [email protected].

About the Author

Matt Michel | Chief Executive Officer

Matt Michel was a co-founder and CEO of the Service Roundtable ( The Service Roundtable is an organization founded to help contractors improve their sales, marketing, operations, and profitability. The Service Nation Alliance is a part of this overall organization. Matt was inducted into the Contracting Business HVAC Hall of Fame in 2015. He is now an author and rancher.