As I write this, the staff is just back from Baltimore, where we hosted the annual HVACR Week seminar and product showcase event. What a whirlwind event it was. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, HVACR Week is the mothership for three industry conferences: HPAC Engineering's Engineering Green Buildings Conference (now in its seventh year), as well as the Contracting Business.com magazine's Commercial HVAC Symposium (targeted to large mechanical and Design/Build contractors), and HVAC Comfortech (targeted to the residential/light-commercial contracting crowd).

From September 22-24, more than 2,300 industry professionals gathered to see the latest products, and hear the most influential engineers and contractors share information on how to better design green mechanical systems. It was a week of networking, partying, and learning.

We plan on having full coverage of HVACR Week in our November issue, online at HPAC.com, as well as on our Facebook page (http://bit.ly/HPAC_fb), and in our Fastrack e-mail newsletter (http://bit.ly/hpac_NL).

The dust was definitely raised when the tradeshow doors opened Thursday morning and that great mass of humanity charged onto the floor with the intent to learn, talk, and yes, even buy. When not walking the aisles and collecting literature, attendees streamed to the second floor of the Baltimore Convention Center to collect knowledge in the many session offered to them.

From the Wednesday night welcome reception sponsored by Emerson Climate Technologies to the Friday evening dessert party, attendees were on a whirlwind trip of connections: with peers, colleagues, and manufacturers on the tradeshow floor.

One highlight was a truly inspiring keynote address presented to all HVACR Week attendees by Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal hockey team. He not only discussed how that victory was achieved, but how the same principles apply to operating a business, taking care of customers, and working together to accomplish design goals. Thanks to Trane for sponsoring that event.

The next morning, attendees were treated to a great presentation given by business-management consultant Mark Matteson who brought it all together with his humorous, but sincere talk on how to keep moving forward when the chips are down. Thanks to Johnson Controls and York for their sponsorship.

Nothing tops a good meeting better than community service, which is what 25 people did during the Gives Back program managed by the staffs of both HPAC Engineering and Contracting Business.com magazines. The event was conducted with Habitat for Humanity and sponsored by LG Commercial. The HVACR Week team, consisting of attendees, staff, and sponsor personnel, donned work clothes, swung sledgehammers, jackhammered concrete, built walls, and installed floors in a renovation project on century-old brownstones in downtown Baltimore, near Johns Hopkins University. Talk about raising the dust! Oh yeah, and my aching back!

A good day's work to end a good week's worth of education.

If you didn't attend HVACR Week, you missed a lot, and we'd love to convince you to join us in Indianapolis next September. Perhaps our November report will convince you.

If you attended, we'd love to hear your thoughts, observations, comments, and ideas. Please drop me a note at mike.weil@penton.com, tweet me at @msweil, or Facebook me at http://bit.ly/HPAC_fb.

Send comments and suggestions to mike.weil@penton.com