Exhibitors from 51 countries presented their innovations at the International Trade Fair for Building and Energy Technology and The Bathroom Experience (March 25-29, 2003).

"We are more determined than ever--for us, the only way is forward." This is the optimistic way exhibitors and visitors described ISH 2003, where 2,361 exhibitors from 51 countries presented their innovations on 254,000 square metres of exhibition space at the International Trade Fair for Building and Energy Technology and The Bathroom Experience (March 25-29, 2003).

The proportion of foreign trade visitors rose from 20% to almost 25%. The number of German visitors, however, fell. Although all decision-makers attended ISH, there were fewer employees per company than in the past. Altogether, just under 180,000 trade visitors from 93 nations made their way to Frankfurt. This, the result of the difficult economic climate, is just under 8% less than at the last event.

Nevertheless, around 78% of exhibitors and 95% of visitors said they had achieved their goals for the fair and are satisfied with ISH 2003.

Michael von Bock und Polach, general manager of the German Sanitation, Heating and Air Conditioning Association (Zentralverband Sanitar, Heizung, Klima-ZVSHK), said, "The mood in the exhibition stands was extremely positive. Everybody wants to be ready for when the upturn comes. The high level of visitor expertise compensated for the decline in the number of visitors. All trade visitors were very well prepared and up-to-the-minute in terms of technical innovations. This shows that the vast majority of fitters have developed into building and energy technicians. In the future, the subject of cooling for buildings will have a major role to play."

Horst Eisenbeis, general manager of the Association of the German Central Heating Association (Vereinigung der deutschen Zentralheizungswirtschaft): "ISH 2003 has given an impressive demonstration of its position as the leading international trade fair for house and building technology. The dominant trend in our segment is system technology with variable and modular components."

Jens Wischmann, general manager of the Association of the German Sanitation Industry (Vereinigung der Deutschen Sanit¿irtschaft e.V.-VDS): "The mood was good despite the situation in the sector. Many exhibitors were able to conclude transactions at the fair and are expecting some good post-fair business. The visitors were well qualified and interested in high-grade products. The export-oriented companies of the sanitation industry were extremely pleased with the large number of foreign visitors."

According to Dr. Peters, ISH 2003 shows clearly where the growth markets of the future are. There was, for example, a considerable increase in the number of visitors from East European countries, such as Russia, Slovakia, Latvia, Serbia/Montenegro, Bulgaria and Turkey. However, significant increases were also registered in the number of visitors from West European countries such as Spain, Great Britain, Austria and Scandinavia. Overseas regions, such as Southeast Asia and South America, were also better represented than two years ago. Contrary to the trend on the first two days, the total number of U.S. visitors declined slightly. After Germany, the 10 biggest visitor nations are Italy, The Netherlands, France, Belgium with Luxembourg, Great Britain, Switzerland with Liechtenstein, Austria, the Czech Republic, Sweden and Poland.

The next ISH will be held in Frankfurt am Main from March 15-19, 2005.

ISH North America, International Trade Show for Kitchen & Bath, Plumbing, PVF, Heating and Air Conditioning, will be held in Las Vegas October 1-3, 2003.

ISH China, International Trade Fair for Sanitation, Heating, Air Conditioning, Bath & Kitchen, will be held in Beijing September 14-17, 2004.

Further information about ISH 2005, contact Messe Frankfurt GmbH, ph. +49 69 7575 6477, Fax +49 69 7575 6758, www.ish.messefrankfurt.com.

Further information about ISH North America 2003, Messe Frankfurt, Inc., 1600 Parkwood Circle, Ste. 515, Atlanta, GA 30339, ph. (770) 984-8016, (866) 984-8016, Fax (770) 984-8023, e-mail info@usa.messefrankfurt.com, www.ish-na.com.