Issue: 12/02

Show organizers Messe Frankfurt, Inc., report that 10,735 attendees packed the aisles of the National Trade Centre at Exhibition Place during the ISH NA show in Toronto Oct. 31-Nov. 2. Canadian attendees were well represented with over 4,500 registrants; however, U.S. attendees made the strongest showing with over 5,300 visitors. More than 40 nations outside of North America added an international flavor to the new industry show, with large contingents of attendees from Italy, Taiwan, Mexico and Germany.

ISH NA was produced in partnership with Messe Frankfurt, Inc., the American Supply Association, Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating, and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association. At least 475 companies exhibiting their latest products and services used almost 110,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space. Approximately 23% of all exhibitors were Canadian-based companies. U.S.-based companies accounted for almost 72%, while 5% of exhibitors were non-North American manufacturers.

Over 80 leading manufacturers "showcased" their newest items in a special New Product display. Awards were presented in six categories: kitchen and bath, plumbing and piping, heating and ventilation, software and electronic equipment, industrial products, and tools and equipment. A "Best Overall Product" award was presented to Viessmann Manufacturing.

The Design Plus showcase added a special touch of style and international flair to the show. This display housed products from nine European manufacturers that won awards at a prestigious design competition during the most recent ISH trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany. The purpose of the Design Plus exhibit at ISH NA was to introduce aesthetic and highly functional products and equipment to the North American market for the first time.

Attendees were also enthusiastic about the diverse educational program featuring over 50 individual sessions, many of which were sold out early. The seminar program was conducted by many of the foremost experts in the fields of plumbing, heating, hydronics and air conditioning. Some of the most popular topics included the "Top 10 Dumb Things Folks Do With Hot Water," "Best Practices in the Kitchen and Bath," "No Pressure Selling," and "Finding, Hiring and Retaining Excellent Employees."

Exhibitors at ISH NA made the following comments about their show experience:

  • American Valve, Seth Guterman, vice president, sales & marketing: "I think you definitely accomplished the goals of trade show consolidation. We're seeing the same people that would normally have been at any of the shows that were consolidated into this show. We're seeing better traffic, and we're seeing more useful time spent with our customers, vendors and other people in the industry."

  • American Standard, Graeme Lennox, manager, advertising and marketing services: "We received a lot of good response at our booth to our new products. We were very impressed with the customer turn-out."

  • In-Sink-Erator, David MacNair, vice president, marketing: "Toronto was a great choice. The show has been successful. We're definitely looking forward to next year's event in Las Vegas."

  • Myson, Raymond Farley, vice president and general manager: "We were really pleased with the level of traffic through our booth and the interest in our products, as well as the range of people that have come to the show. We've seen people from all across Canada and the U.S. Business leads are coming in."

  • Parker Hannifin Corp., Brent Westover, sales manager: "This show has been fantastic. It was great as far as who attended--contractors, sales representatives, other manufacturers--it also provides a great display stage for products."

  • Viessmann, Kenneth Webster, marketing manager: "The visitor traffic to our booth was steady and of high quality. A highlight for us was receiving the awards at the New Product Showcase for "First Place" in the Heating and Ventilation category and "Best Overall Product."