We’ve been running an ad promoting next year’s ISH tour in Frankfurt, Germany, which we’re co-sponsoring with Ecoflex, the European manufacturer of pre-insulated flexible pipe. The ad headline reads, “10 Reasons To Come To ISH With PM.” The reasons stated are all valid but, like most ad copy, pithy. It’s merely meant to grab your attention.

Most people misunderstand advertising. They rely on ads to sell their products and services. But advertising cannot sell a thing. The most you can expect of an advertisement is that it will make your phone ring. Then it’s up to you to sell the caller.

This is our sales pitch — come with us to ISH, and you will return enriched. I’m speaking mainly of professional enrichment, but opportunities abound to put extra bucks in your pocket as well. Here are some ways these things come about.

  • Business opportunity. The ISH show holds more than 2,000 exhibitors, not just from Europe, but all over the world. The vast majority of them are not in the American market, but many would like to be. They just don’t know how to reach interested buyers or have contacts to distribute their goods. Who knows what doors could open over there for an enterprising American.

    Unlike our PHC trade shows, ISH is very much a selling and deal-making event. The exhibitors have special meeting booths or rooms set aside to talk business.

    And by the way, virtually every exhibitor at the ISH Show has someone there who speaks English — some better than you do! Language is not a barrier. Same goes for most hotels, restaurants and shops in major German cities.

  • Technical innovation. ISH displays some of the most technologically advanced plumbing and heating products in the world. People argue whether or not they’re better than America’s, but in any case you’ll certainly see some different approaches. Because Europe is more congested than America, their environmental regulations are even tougher than ours. This has sparked many energy- and water-saving breakthroughs. Wait until you see some of their ultra-sanitation techniques and electronic plumbing-heating gadgets. Wouldn’t it be great to be the first in your market to sell some of their stuff? Wouldn’t it enhance your professionalism just to know it exists and how it works?
  • Styling. “European styling” has become synonymous with elegance. The cheap-white-chrome mentality is no-where to be found at ISH. And wait until you see how good looking they make their hydronic heating equipment!
  • Tools galore. Tool displays, with live demos, occupy two full exhibit halls. These are some of the most jam-packed aisles you’ll see at the show.
  • Spectacle. ISH is the world’s largest PHC trade show, and that in itself makes it a spectacle worth taking in. Imagine something about 10 times as big as the Kitchen & Bath or NEX show, and maybe three or four times as large as the ASHRAE Show at its biggest. Total attendance over the five days of the event tops 230,000. Visitors come from most of the countries on the globe.
  • Excursions. Our tour includes two excursions that will enable you to see quite a bit more of Germany than Frankfurt. One is to the Ecoflex plant in a little town about two hours away. You’ll get to see a lot of the German countryside and quaint little towns, as well as state-of-art European manufacturing techniques. We’ll also be venturing to Heidelberg, the historic German city that is one of the most picturesque places you’ll ever see.
  • Convenience. Finding decent accommodations in Frankfurt is hard to do during ISH week. Most hotels within walking distance cost $350-450 a night, and the ones that are a little cheaper tend to be downright crummy. Our tour group will stay on one of dozens of riverboats chartered by ISH exhibitors for special guests. It will be situated on the Main River, about a mile away from the show site. If the weather’s decent, it’s not a bad walk. Otherwise, transportation to and from the show is provided as part of our tour package.
  • Camaraderie. Don’t underestimate the importance of visiting ISH with dozens of like-minded companions. Unlike American PHC shows, you face tough odds running into someone you know. First time I viewed ISH, in 1993, I traveled by myself and got to feeling lonely after a couple of evenings dining out alone.
  • The price is right. Our tour’s package price of $1,995 plus plane fare ($1,495 per person double occupancy) is several hundred dollars less than the previous PM tour in 1995, and includes more amenities, such as dinner and entertainment every evening.

Our travel dates are March 23-28, 1999. Accommodations are limited, so don’t delay in signing up. Contact Anne Coffelt toll-free at 877/ECOFLEX (326-3539), or 707/833-6900. Or e-mail: coffelt@well.com.