AHR Expo and the combined KBIS/IBS tradeshows are regarded as large gatherings in the PHCP-PVF industry.

The every-other-year ISH Germany show takes the word large to an entirely different level. ISH Germany put on its most recent gala in March in Frankfurt that drew a crowd of around 190,000 visitors from 161 countries to the Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre. During the five-day show, 2,532 exhibitors (1,664 from abroad) from 57 countries presented their new products and innovations. Messe Frankfurt, the show’s producer, noted 66% of exhibitors and almost 48% of visitors came from outside Germany. Messe Frankfurt added 522 Boeing 747 airplanes would be needed to carry all 2019 ISH Germany visitors.

How big of a production is ISH Germany? Tim Schroeder, the president of Duravit’s USA division, told Supply House Times during the show that it took several weeks to set up the company’s booth, which was filled with three truckloads of products. The booth itself was unloaded from 13 trucks.

The 12 exhibition halls and the massive GROHE forum (the bath and kitchen manufacturer had its own hall) were dotted with familiar U.S. manufacturers. Common themes included products designed to help contractors and engineers do their jobs more efficiently, as well as the continued proliferation of connected products and technologies. For instance, bath and kitchen manufacturers GROHE and Hansgrohe, which also had a massive and constantly busy booth, showcased connected leak detection products. Hansgrohe also had a makeup removal faucet on display.

ISH Germany spotlighted a number of industry trends, including one that mirrors what U.S. PHCP-PVF industry professionals are trying to tackle: The continuing skilled labor shortage. On the bath and kitchen side, Messe Frankfurt reported wood, marble and new kinds of metallic finishes are playing major design roles in that space.

ISH Germany returns to Frankfurt March 22-26, 2021. To check out Mike Miazga’s many booth video interviews from ISH Germany, visit the Supply House Times Facebook page (@SupplyHouseTimes).