- Viva Las Vegas!
- Posted 12/01/2011
Las Vegas, NV, provided the exciting backdrop for the spectacular week that was ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America, the single largest annual event where the leaders in commercial cleaning come together to do business and share ideas. This year’s event surely lived up to its theme, The Start of Something Big, posting a 13 percent increase in nonexhibiting attendees over last year’s show and contributing to a total attendance of nearly 16,000!
Many exhibitors and attendees commented on the show being the best they’d attended in multiple years, leading to valuable connections and business opportunities. The event also received high marks in postconvention surveys regarding its ability to provide high quality opportunities in the areas of most value to attendees.
ISSA also created some buzz with the launch of its new promise to help members Advance Clean. Drive Innovation, reflected in the association’s new logo, showcasing new tools to help members accomplish this goal.
“Overall, I thought the show was a great success!” says Jared Agan, national director of standardization and systems at Eurest Services. “I especially was impressed with the quality of the speakers. The organization is doing a fantastic job changing the way the world views cleaning, which truly is a powerful thing.”
Exhibitors also gave the quality of the business connections and networking opportunities high marks.
“The ISSA show is a fantastic interactive opportunity for us to connect with our customers and strategic distributor partners,” says Neil R. Eibeler, president of Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Inc. “Our innovative solutions depend greatly on their feedback, and each year we look forward to seeing them.”
Forty percent of attendees said they brought more people with them to this year’s show compared to last year, and 30 percent said they spent more time on the show floor. The increased traffic led to even more booth traffic this year with the average distributor attendee reporting s/he visited nearly 100 exhibitors each, up significantly from last year. The trade show industry average is only 25-31 exhibitor visits per attendee.
“From increasing our distributor network domestically and expanding our offerings abroad to showcasing key solutions for health care facilities, this year’s event in Las Vegas provided key growth opportunities for the Fresh Wave IAQ brand in the jansan community,” says Amanda Gilliar, national sales manager of FreshWave IAQ, an exhibitor at the event. “We made good contact with decision-makers in health care, commercial real estate, and even a company that manages major movie theatres.”
To hear more directly from exhibitors and attendees, visit issa.com/recap.
The exhibition sold out of floor space in early fall, resulting in the largest show floor in ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America’s history—a total of 645 exhibitors from 27 countries outside the United States and Canada. The addition of 107 new exhibitors also added to the level of innovation attendees could access.
ISSA’s Then & Now Showcase was a big attraction on the show floor as attendees were able to see the latest innovations juxtaposed against a museum of industry artifacts, courtesy of Don Aslett’s Museum of Clean. The 2010 Innovation Award winners also were featured in this area.
The event also offered a global flavor with more than 69 countries outside of the United States and Canada represented overall. Trade associations from around the globe also were present. ISSA’s co-location partners, International Executive Housekeepers Association (I.E.H.A.), Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), and Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) were joined by representatives of the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICS), the U.K.-based Cleaning & Support Services Association (CSSA), the South Africa-based National Contract Cleaners Association (NCCA), the Polish Cleaning Chamber of Commerce (PIGC), the Russian Cleaning Companies Association (RCCA), and the World Federation of Building Service Contractors (WFBSC). Many distributor buying groups also hosted events during the week.
Attendees raved about the show’s new mobile phone app, which offered a map of the exhibition and told visitors how to find specific exhibitors. It also provided a host of personal agenda features and schedules for ISSA events and those of its co-location partners. (Visit issa.com/app.) Another first this year was attendees could access the Official Exhibit Directory using their smartphones, iPhones, tablets, and laptops right from the show floor thanks to the new digital edition. (Visit www.issa.com/magazine.) Many attendees also found the free Wi-Fi access and new Recharge Lounge, where they could charge mobile devices, surf the web, and catch up on the ISSA Twitter feed, of value.
ISSA’s Education Convention, which received high marks in postconvention surveys, offered everything from a global panel discussing perceptions of clean to sessions on cleaning’s impact on infection control and profitability. Meanwhile, the new ISSA Advanced Distributor Program brought together the top distribution experts in America to provide executive-level insights on profit generation, inventory management, and sales strategies.
Featured speaker Robert Stephens, founder of the Geek Squad, discussed his impressions of how the commercial cleaning industry was an unsung source of innovation and gave advice on how attendees could better brand their companies to make stronger impressions on their customers. And a crowd of 3,800 attendees gained valuable insights from business guru Tom Peters during his keynote address regarding how to leverage the “little BIG things” in their companies to excel during tough times. And Professional poker player and Celebrity Apprentice, Annie Duke, drew a standing-room-only crowd on the last day of the show as she spoke about applying poker principles to business.
Another milestone this year was the addition of 150 new ISSA Certification Experts (I.C.E.) who were certified during the week, along with a host of individuals who recertified. Their inclusion brought the total number of individuals trained in helping cleaning organizations achieve management and service delivery excellence through I.C.E. to more than 1,000.
ISSA also presented four prestigious awards during the association’s General Meeting, Friday. The Jack D. Ramaley Distinguished Service Award was given to Marek Kowalski, the board president of the Polish Cleaning Chamber of Commerce (PIGC), and posthumously bestowed upon Jim Ferris of the Ferris Agency, based in Canada. The Lou Goorland Honorary Membership Award was given to Allen Soden, formerly of Deb, Inc. The Manufacturer Representatives’ Distinguished Service Award was presented to Joe Rhodenbaugh, president of Kutol Products Co., Inc., and the YES Industry Special Achievement Award was given to Jim Chittom Sr., CEO of Athens Janitor Supply Co., Inc., and Roman Chemical Corp.
While Las Vegas has wound down, ISSA continues to offer ways to help members find innovation and make important connections. Visit issa.com to learn more. Plus, mark your calendar for upcoming events, including ISSA/INTERCLEAN Amsterdam 2012, May 8-11, Amsterdam, Netherlands; and ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America 2012, October 16-19, Chicago, IL, USA.
This article first appeared in the 2011 Postconvention issue http://issatoday.issa.com of ISSA Today.