You'll get to stay on a riverboat, with plenty of entertainment and excursions.

PM Engineer has teamed up with Ecoflex, the European manufacturer of preinsulated flexible piping, to sponsor a tour of the 1999 ISH Fair in Frankfurt Germany, March 23-27, 1999. ISH is the world's largest plumbing-heating exhibition. It spans more than 20 exhibit halls and is attended by a worldwide audience of more than 230,000 people.

"Until this year, I thought the ASPE Engineered Plumbing Expo was the best trade show in the world. That was before I attended the ISH Trade Fair," wrote PME editorial director Julius Ballanco after visiting the 1997 version. "It takes two days just to see every exhibit-provided you don't stop."

Many observers have come to regard ISH as the plumbing industry's version of Mecca, a "must see" event at least once in the lifetime of everyone who makes his living in plumbing. ISH is a showcase for the world's most innovative plumbing and heating technology, only some of which finds its way to America.

About 2,000 manufacturers from around the world exhibit at the show, and many time their new product introductions and technical innovations to coincide with ISH. Though spread throughout some 10 buildings plus outdoor exhibits, the ISH show is a manageable experience because each hall is devoted to specific product categories. Multiple exhibit halls are devoted to plumbing displays, as well as to hydronic heating. Radiant heating alone occupies an entire hall, and exhibits by the major European boiler companies Buderus, Viessmann and Valiant span tens of thousands of square feet. Many exhibitors offer sit-down dining areas or hospitality bars with free food and drinks.

Tour details

Frankfurt, a city of about 650,000, swells by almost a third during ISH week. Convenient accommodations are hard to come by, and even modest hotels are priced at $300-400 a night. Our tour offers quite a bargain by comparison.

The PME/Ecoflex excursion will cost $1,995 for single occupancy and $1,495 per person for double occupancy, covering five nights and six days. Plane fare is separate, but our tour travel agent will help arrange lowest possible air fares from points of departure throughout the U.S. Guests will arrive on Tuesday, March 23, and depart the following Sunday, March 28. The package includes:

  • Accommodations: Visitors will stay in rooms on a luxury boat docked on the Main River, a little more than a mile away from the Messe Frankfurt facility housing the ISH Show. All rooms have two single beds, a shower and toilet.

  • Transportation: Arriving guests will be met at the airport and transported to the boat, as well as back to the airport. Transportation also will be provided to and from the ISH Fair.

  • Breakfast & speakers: The package will include daily breakfast with guest speakers.

  • Dinner & Entertainment: Dinner will be provided each evening followed by an entertainment program with a different international theme each night.

  • Ecoflex plant tour: One day of the excursion will be planned for a tour of the Uponor/Ecoflex plant in Marl, Germany, about a two-hour drive from Frankfurt. (Ecoflex is a subsidiary of Uponor, which is also the parent company of Wirsbo.)

  • Heidelberg tour: Another day will be reserved for a trip to historic Heidelberg, one of Germany's most picturesque cities.

Our tour is limited to 40 rooms. A deposit must be paid by October 15 to reserve a spot. We expect to sell out, so don't delay. To register call Anne Coffelt toll free at 877-ECOFLEX (326-3539), or 707-833-6900.

If your questions are about the ISH Fair rather than the tour, call PM Engineer editor Jim Olsztynski at 847-297-3714, or editorial director Julius Ballanco at 219-922-6171.