Following the inaugural ISH NA in Toronto in 2002, the show partners-the producers of the show, Messe Frankfurt, the American Supply Association (ASA), the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH), the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC), and the Radiant Panel Association (RPA)-relied on feedback from exhibitors and attendees in improving the show concept. This feedback was actively solicited through questionnaires, one-on-one interviews and the formation of an Exhibitor Advisory Board. Carefully listening to this industry feedback allowed the show to stay in tune with the needs of the industry in a changing marketplace. Many major decisions were made based on the input received from customers. Prominent examples included the show's dates, the show hours, seminar scheduling and most notably, the switch to an every-other-year cycle.
In making these adjustments for the benefit of exhibitors and attendees, the show sponsors demonstrated that they put the industry's interest above short-term individual considerations.
Active members of the Advisory Board, who continue to provide valuable advice and direction to the show, include:
- David Lipkin, vice president, Wholesale Sales, American Standard;
- Fred Vattimo, director of marketing, Bradford White;
- Tony Wasch, Jr., vice president, Marketing, Coyne & Delany;
- Nina Newport, manager, Advertising Promotion, Elkay;
- Ila Lewis, chairman, Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp.;
- Dennis Broderick, senior vice president, Sales, In-Sink-Erator;
- Jim Mayer, director-National Accounts, Wholesale Plumbing Americas, Kohler Co.;
- Robert Vick, vice president, Commercial/Industrial Group, NIBCO, Inc.;
- Ingrid Mattsson, marketing communications manager, Uponor Wirsbo;
- Marisa Chandley, Marketing Director, Vanguard Plastics; and
- Lynn McVay, executive vice president, Sales/Marketing, Watts Water Technologies, Inc.
After two meetings of the Exhibitor Advisory Board, it is clear that the open format for discussion of the show's form, format and content will help to drive the direction of future events. The Advisory Board topics of discussion have focused on the notable increase in contractor attendance, creating more excitement and exhibitor events to increase the time attendees remain on the show floor, identifying and adopting a show-sponsored charitable organization, and continuing efforts to further build attendance and attract key manufacturers not currently exhibiting.
The next event is scheduled for Sept. 28-30, 2006, at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. For more information, please contact Messe Frankfurt, Inc., Jennifer Salvadori, sales manager, 1600 Parkwood Circle, Ste. 515, Atlanta, GA 30339, (770) 984-8016, toll-free (866) 984-8016, fax (770) 984-8023, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ish-na.com.