What Happens in Vegas…
Categories: ISSABy Cithlaly Dudic | September 18, 2019 << Back to Articles
As a first-time attendee, I’m really looking forward to ISSA Show North America. I’ve been a member of ISSA for two years and since then, I’ve been reading about how this event can connect me with like-minded industry leaders and how it will give me the ability to get a first-hand look at the multitude of products on the trade show floor. I’m also very interested in the variety of education sessions available to advance my career, as well as learning about different sectors of the cleaning industry.
The show is four days long and there is so much to see and do, with more than 700 exhibitors, more than 100 education sessions, and a few great networking events, so it’s time to review the registration options and outline what exactly I will be doing each day. I have the option to purchase a basic badge, which only gives me access to the trade show floor, Tuesday-Thursday. However, ISSA has such a fantastic education line-up, I will choose to upgrade my ticket purchase to include the All-Access Pass. This will give me the ability to attend the sessions on Monday, which will maximize my time in Las Vegas and be a great value add for all that I will receive. Because I want my colleagues to attend, I’m sharing promocode EXPLORE2019 so that they receive a special perk in the registration site.
At the end of the registration process, I received an e-mail notifying me of a tool called My Show Planner. After reading into it, I learned that it’s a free scheduling tool that lets me select each session and networking event I want to attend. It took about a minute to set up the account, and I started adding sessions to my personal planner. My schedule is really taking shape. I’m even able to view the virtual floor plan and “favorite” exhibitors I want to see. This will be saved so whenever I want to come back, all my selections will still be there. What a great tool!
I’ll clearly have plenty to do, now let’s figure out where to stay… There is a link on the ISSA Show website that directs me to onPeak. After browsing, I noticed that there’s a great selection of top hotels available at less than their typical rates just for ISSA Show attendees. Plus, there’s a perk of booking through onPeak—there’s free shuttle service to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center, Monday-Thursday, saving me on transportation costs.
I’m flying in on Sunday, the day before the show starts. The calendar shows that registration is open from 12-5 p.m. that day, so to avoid the rush of people, I’m going to swing by the Las Vegas Convention Center and quickly pick up my badge. I read on the show site that the Las Vegas Strip will be closed for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon so I am going to take the Monorail to the Las Vegas Convention Center; it stops right by the South Hall where ISSA Show Registration is located.
I’ve read that I’ll have the ability to download the ISSA Show App sponsored by R3 in October. Through this app, I can find every piece of show information I need to know about; important items like the trade show floor hours, food locations, products, education sessions and more. I can even view my planner account that I made online with My Show Planner and make changes if I need to while I’m at the event. It will be especially helpful to have this app downloaded (because I know I’ll get lost) as I can pull up the virtual floor plan and find my way to a booth I want to visit.
The sessions: Monday
Since the show floor isn’t open on Monday, I can sit in on any of the sessions being held with the purchase of my All-Access Pass. First on the agenda is the ISSA Spotlight Speaker, Marvelless Mark, sponsored by Tork, an Essity brand. I don’t think I’ll need coffee this morning because this high-energy presentation is going to jumpstart my day by incorporating some rock ’n’ roll to reinvent the way I work every day! I’ll then catch the Coming Clean about Being Green session discussing sustainability and what “being green” means in our industry. Lunch is taken care of since I reserved my seat to attend the ISSA Lunch and Learn: Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast session with Kristen Hadeed. There are so many more sessions that go on until 4 p.m. and I am excited to have a full day of education!
I see that later in the evening the ISSA Welcome Reception will be held at the Bally’s hotel. It’s a great opportunity to meet other ISSA members in a laid-back setting. It’s a perfect way to end the first night.
The floor: Tuesday
I have a lot of exhibitors to visit in the next three days in my quest to discover many innovative and solution-solving products. I’m reading that there are three new session-holding theaters, including an innovation center. Each day I can easily divide my time between visiting booths and attending educational sessions and demonstrations. The best part is that these theaters are located right on the show floor! The Solve for X theater will be holding intimate and interactive sessions on a variety of topics from practical learning to management and leadership. The Specialty Cleaning Theater hosts sessions that are focused on restoration, floor care, hospitality, and residential cleaning. Good thing I created a My Show Planner, as I have my sessions and exhibitor appointments all on the show app, and I love how all of these aspects are integrated, making my show experience feel like a breeze.
Another great show feature is that I can schedule lunch meetings without leaving the exhibit hall. The ISSA Foodservice & Lounge is right by the Specialty Cleaning Area on the show floor. We even have options; if my group is looking for a quieter area, the ISSA Bistro is just off the floor, located next to registration in the South Hall. I just need to make sure to buy tickets for entry (at ISSA.com/bistro).
Tuesday evening will be another networking event at the Bellagio: The ISSA Hygieia Network reception. The ISSA Hygieia Network is dedicated to developing the professional skills of women in the cleaning industry. The featured speaker is Kathy Walters, an executive of Georgia Pacific with over 20 years of experience in the field. She will have a great perspective on how women can be empowered in the workplace. Good thing I reserved my seat within the registration site, since it is a free event with food and drink being served!
Earlier this year, I visited the official 2019 ISSA Innovation Award Program online and I had cast my vote for the products that I thought were the most cutting-edge of the year. Now I’ll be able to see them up close at the first booth I’ll be visiting—the ISSA Innovation Showcase. Right across the aisle is the Innovation Center, the third theater area for demonstrations of these products. Afterward, I can pull up the virtual floor plan in the Official Show App and visit all the other booths I saved in the planner.
There are still some sessions I want to see on Wednesday in the Solve for X booth. One that stands out to me in the afternoon is the State of Labor with John Nothdurft, the government affairs director of ISSA. He will be discussing how new government policies are creating business challenges in our industry and how our industry is grappling with these changes.
I’ll be heading back to Bally’s tonight for The Evening Roundtable Discussions. This session is unique because I can bring my personal workplace challenge, lay it out on the table, and work in a group to discuss different strategies with other bright professionals.
By Thursday, it will seem like the week flew by, and the show floor closes at 2 p.m. At 9 a.m. is the Technology for Tomorrow panel, which covers how technology advancements are changing the way we are running our organizations. Keeping up on what the future holds for the cleaning industry is much of why I’m going. It’s a good day to make one last lap of the show floor and visit as many booths as I can.
The final place I’ll go is to The ISSA Innovation Showcase at 1:30 p.m. I want to find out firsthand if any of the entrants I voted for online will win the Innovation of the Year Award.
This has the potential to be the most productive week of 2019. I experienced the entire cleaning industry supply chain under one giant roof. It’s where being a member of ISSA really comes together.
About the Author.
Cithlaly Dudic is the ISSA attendee & exhibitor experience manager. She can be reached at [email protected]