ISSA Show North America Virtual Experience Recap

December 8, 2020 ISSA Show North America Virtual Experience Recap

The 2020 ISSA Show North America took place November 16 – 19, 2020 and connected influential leaders throughout the worldwide commercial, residential, and institutional cleaning industry through a one-of-a-kind Virtual Experience. The Virtual Experience content remains available on-demand through March 31, 2021.

As the first edition of the show in a virtual setting, the 2020 Virtual Experience broke down traditional barriers by giving the worldwide cleaning industry access to global business solutions from anywhere and at any time. The week-long experience attracted 13,500 unique platform visitors from 79 countries, with over 6,284 creating personalized Virtual Planners and/or registrations.

“We were grateful for everyone’s willingness to try something new. We understood a virtual event would never replace the in-person experience, but we also knew people still wanted to unite as one industry. They wanted and needed education, products, and connections. We focused on bringing these critical elements to the platform. Plus, we knew after a tough year, people were seeking motivation and inspiration. I was so impressed with the audience’s open minds and positive attitudes. And equally impressed with their ability to quickly learn to navigate the elements of virtual experience platform. It proved what we already knew. That our industry is resilient, resourceful and adapts quickly,” said Lindsay Roberts, Group Director, ISSA Show North America.

The Virtual Experience not only preserved the same in-person elements seen at the traditional event but included expanded features, events, and offerings to the virtual show including:

  • 12 networking events
  • Three spotlight speakers
  • Innovation of the Year Awards
  • 250+ exhibitors
  • 150+ exhibitor events
  • 40+ live sessions
  • 25+ on-demand sessions
  • Matchmaking and video appointments
  • Interactive events and entertainment.

The Virtual Experience had high levels of engagement with the virtual booths, products, and educational content:

  • 71,000+ virtual exhibit views
  • 17,500+ virtual exhibitors added to agendas
  • 25,000+ education session page views
  • 19,900+ education session adds to agendas
  • 2,500+ on-demand session YouTube views
  • 1,879 confirmed video meetings took place over the four-day event, drawing 88% engagement with exhibitors.

Participants left the experience with knowledge from lessons learned while working together towards strengthening the global community by increasing the appreciation for cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line.


It is important that the industry remains connected entering into 2021. In order to do so, registration for the Virtual Experience will remain open through March 31, 2021 making it easier than ever for industry professionals to participate on demand from wherever they are at their own pace. Attendees can gain access for FREE by creating a Virtual Planner or by registering for an All-Access Pass that grants access to the complete program of product and service innovations, and educational insights. For further information on registration visit


ISSA Show North America welcomed back co-located partner events which took place in conjunction with the Virtual Experience including: ARCSI, a Division of ISSA; Healthy Green Schools & Colleges by Healthy Schools Campaign; and IEHA, a Division of ISSA.

“From the virtual exhibits and networking opportunities to a captivating lineup of expert speakers and a few fun activities along the way, the show provided an excellent outlet for all segments of our industry at this critical time,” Barrett said. “We were very pleased with the Virtual Experience and we are optimistic that we can reconvene for the show in person next November in Las Vegas.”


ISSA Show North America preserved the traditional show features and events while introducing new attractions to the Virtual Experience. Highlights included Virtual Exhibits, Live and On-Demand Education, Networking Events, and Industry Awards Programs.


The Virtual Exhibitor Directory allowed participants to meet—virtually—with the companies that are shaping the future of cleaning. Through the Virtual Experience, participants could connect directly and in real time with exhibitors through Virtual Business Cards, Product Listings, Exhibitor Hosted Content, Product Demonstrations, Networking Events Hosted by Your Preferred Vendors, Exhibitor Collateral, New Product Gallery, Show Specials, Video Promotions, and Industry Product Leaders.

MATCHMAKING PROGRAM– an extension of the Exhibit Directory and My Virtual Planner – allowed participants to connect directly and in real time with exhibitors through 1-to-1 or 1-to-8 video appointments, request meetings, and chat live with exhibitors and industry peers. The Matchmaking Program was available to all registrants through Thursday, November 19, 2020.

SPONSORED THOUGHT LEADERSHIP SESSIONS – available to all registrants each day, each session addressed different aspects of the industry from subject matter experts. Participants lefts with a greater focus, clarity, direction and understanding of how-to best leverage resources moving forward. 2020 sponsors included: Charlotte Products, Diversey, Ecolab Inc., Excel Dryer Inc., I.C.E. Robotics, Reckitt Benckiser Professional, Sofidel Group, Spartan Chemical Co. Inc., Sunbelt Rentals, Tork, an Essity brand, and Unimed-Lighthouse Distribution. For further information, please visit the My Virtual Planner Thought Leadership Session Page.

INDUSTRY PRODUCT LEADERS – the best in the business provided the industry with the latest in commercial, residential, and institutional cleaning through representing key product industries. The 2020 Industry Product Leaders include: Diversey – Infection Prevention & Control, GOJO Industries – Cleaning Agents, Hoover Commercial – Floor & Carpet Care, Rubbermaid Commercial Products Inc. – Cleaning Tools & Supplies, Tork, an Essity brand – Paper Products & Dispensers, Restroom Care & Service, Services & Technology and Skin Care & Personal Hygiene. For further information, visit the Industry Product Leaders Page.

VIRTUAL JOURNEYS – offered attendees customized experiences for distributors, wholesalers, education professionals, hospitality professionals, and infection prevention & control professionals.


100-plus Live and On-Demand Education Sessions provided something for everyone with curated tracks targeted towards: commercial cleaning, distributors, green clean schools, healthcare, hospitality, infection prevention and control, residential cleaning, and restoration and remediation.

PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATION WORKSHOPS took place before and during the week of November 16 – 19, 2020 and were available to those seeking to enhance their critical professional skills to succeed in today’s most in-demand market.

SPOTLIGHT SPEAKER SESSIONS were hosted virtually all week and included:

IF YOU CAN SEE IT, YOU CAN BE IT – Food Network’s Chef Jeff revealed his hard-knock yet transformative life lessons and the secrets to rising above and realizing his potential. His dynamic and engaging presentation helped audiences discover their hidden business aptitudes, make life-changing decisions, and gain a new foothold on the ladder to success.

BREAKING THROUGH: MY JOURNEY TO BECOMING THE FIRST FEMALE NFL OFFICIAL – NFL’s first female official, Sarah Thomas shared her journey as a pioneer in a male-dominated industry, inspiring others to seize opportunities to succeed and never give up—even when the odds are against you.

COVID-19: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? – Global experts shared compelling case studies, personal experiences, and key takeaways from the first phase of the pandemic, along with user-friendly recommendations for what comes next.

For further information on the spotlight speakers and sessions, visit the Spotlight Speaker page.


VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE EVENT – Provided by ARCSI, a Division of ISSA, the Virtual Roundtable Event sparked discussions among industry peers by guiding discussions on industry-related topics that answered questions, concerns, and challenges faced in 2020.

ISSA GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING – ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, welcomed ISSA members to attend the annual ISSA General Business Meeting. The meeting included: Updates on Association Business, Introduction Information Classification: General of Incoming Board Members, Farewell Address, Incoming President Address, ISSA Charities Report, and the award announcement for the Jack D. Ramaley Industry Distinguished Service Award.

DAILY FUN ACTIVITIES – Experts from different industries guided the Virtual Experience participants through inspirational lessons sparking learning and activity. Activities included: Golf tips and tricks to improve your game no matter what level of play, How to Win at Poker – Tips and Tricks from the Prince of Poker, How to Make the World’s Best Margarita, and Virtual Events Shouldn’t Result in a Stiff Body – Stretch it Out!

VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE CLOSING CEREMONY – The Virtual Experience Closing Ceremony wrapped up the week-long Virtual Experience with the 2020 Innovation of the Year Award Winner announcement, closing remarks, and exciting entertainment by Electric Avenue bringing the ‘80s TV experience right to the comfort of the participant’s home!


STAR AWARD WINNERS HONORED – 2020 Award Winners received recognition during the Virtual Experience Kickoff & Welcome. The Star Awards honor industry legacy companies who consistently exhibit at the ISSA Show North America while maintaining ISSA Membership and have reached 40, 50, 60, and 70 years in the industry. The 2020 Star Award recipients are: National Chemical Laboratories Inc. – 60 Years, Rubbermaid Commercial Products – 70 Years, Tork, an Essity brand – 60 Years. For further information on the Star Awards and other industry awards visit the Industry Awards Page.

INNOVATION PROGRAM – In its 11th year, the 2020 edition of the Innovation Program featured 18 ground-breaking products and service solutions from all areas of the industries. Entries are new products and services from top manufacturers and suppliers throughout the cleaning industry organized into five categories: Cleaning Agents; Dispensers; Equipment; Services and Technology; and Supplies and Accessories.

INNOVATION OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT – Following the online voting from September 1 to November 18, the 2020 Innovation of the Year Award Winner TASKI® IntelliSpray for swingo® by Diversey was honored during the Virtual Experience Closing Ceremony.

CATEGORY AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCEMENT – The five category award winners were announcing during the Virtual Experience Kickoff and Welcome Session. The 2020 Innovation Category Award Recipients are:

The Innovation Category Award Winners, Honorable Mentions and Innovation of the Year Award Winner will join the Innovation Hall of Fame winners. The complete list of entries in the 2020 Innovation Program are available online at


ISSA Show North America returns to an in-person event November 15–18, 2021 at the newly expanded west hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, USA. Stay tuned for more information on 2021 at

About ISSA Show North America Virtual Experience
The ISSA Show North America exhibition and conference brings together executives and leaders from all segments of the commercial and residential cleaning industries. This annual event is produced in partnership by Informa Markets and ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, and is the leading platform for manufacturers, distributors, and facility service providers to connect, do business, and share information. In addition to an extensive exhibitors and products, the show offers a robust education program where attendees learn the latest trends from industry experts, discuss best practices with peers, and earn technical training and professional certification. For 2020, the show will be hosted virtually. For more information, visit

About Informa Markets
Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. We provide marketplace participants around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, targeted digital services, and actionable data solutions. We connect buyers and sellers across more than a dozen global verticals, including Pharmaceuticals, Food, Medical Technology and Infrastructure. As the world’s leading market-making company, we bring a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit