With more than 50 seminars, 400 exhibitors and a range of special events, ISH North America (ISH NA) promises a comprehensive learning experience, all in the backdrop of exciting Las Vegas. Following the success of last year’s ISH NA launch in Toronto, which attracted more than 11,000 participants, this year’s show is expected to see even greater numbers.

“Las Vegas is considered one of the top destination cities in the world, and our research indicates contractors, wholesalers, engineers and architects want to visit there,” said Neil Stalker of Messe Frankfurt Inc., show manager for ISH NA. “We’re especially excited about the strong support we’re seeing from the Western states, which represent some of the largest markets and fastest-growing communities in the United States.

“Visitors also can expect to see some unique and cutting-edge products from overseas,” Stalker added. “In addition to groups of exhibitors from Italy, Germany and China, we’re bringing a SmartHouse booth that will spotlight the plumbing and heating systems from a state-of-the-art home constructed for ISH Frankfurt — the original and largest ISH show — earlier this year.”

First-Rate Seminar Program

A major change from 2002 is the introduction of six seminar tracks allowing attendees to more easily select related topics of interest. Each of the tracks begins on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 9 a.m. and concludes Friday. Attendees can customize their program by selecting from multiple tracks. Check out the following highlighted seminars:

The Environmental Systems track is ideal for anyone wanting to learn about the hot “green” construction movement. Kicking off with “Selling Green Beyond Marketing” is Rick Fedrizzi, formerly of Carrier Corp. and now a director of the World Green Building Council. Additional Environmental Systems seminars cover carbon monoxide, mold, Legionnaires’ disease, bacterial growth in water, and a panel discussion on water conservation in plumbing.

The Plumbing/PVF track features a strong lineup of speakers and topics. Supply House Times writer Don Arnold, author of the College of Product Knowledge series, presents “What Makes It Tick? The Inside Story of Newer Plumbing Technologies.” Julius Ballanco, ASPE board member and long-time columnist in Plumbing & Mechanical and PM Engineer, presents two seminars, “Major Code Revision on Drainage and Venting,” and “Water and Backflow Plumbing Code Update.” Supply House Times editor and PM editorial director, Jim Olsztynski moderates the panel discussion “Code Wars: Why the Confusion Continues.”

The Hydronics/Water Heating track features two of the field’s top experts. PM and PM Engineer writer John Siegenthaler presents “Cures for Short-Cycling in Hydronic Heating Systems,” and Paul Pollets presents “European Heating Technologies.” This track also includes a panel discussion “New Water Heaters: Installation, Use and Care.”

The Business Management & Marketing track, which contains multiple options, highlights some of the most dynamic speakers and industry leaders. PM writer Ellen Rohr, president of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, kicks off with “Easy Money: How to Stop Doing the Things that Keep You from Being Successful.” PM writer Paul Ridilla presents a two-part “Humaneering” employee development seminar. Reeves Journal writer and Plumber’s Success International co-founder Mike Diamond presents “Money Growth Magic.” Another Reeves Journal writer and construction legal expert, Sam Abdulaziz, presents “An Analysis of Killer Subcontract Clauses and Hints for Subcontractors.” And PM writer Maurice Maio presents “Making Millions in the Service Business.”

The Kitchen & Bath track features Supply House Times writer Hank Darlington who will speak on “Grow Your Gross Profit Margin — Starting Today!” and “How to Manage for Showroom Success.” Additional seminars will be presented on design, the master bath and profits.

The HVAC track features James Leichter, who will present “How to Acquire and Retain Great Co-Workers.” John Hall of Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, speaks on “Using the Media to Promote a Positive Business Image.” Gunther Mertz presents “Thermal-Driven Air Conditioning Systems.”

Related Groups & Activities

If you are attending ISH NA for the seminars or exhibits but want a fuller experience, you can connect with thousands of attendees who are members of various industry associations. Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association (PHCC-NA) and the American Supply Association (ASA), both ISH NA partners, each will launch their annual conventions prior to show’s opening.

The ASA Convention is being held in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The PHCC-NA Convention is taking place in the Luxor Las Vegas, next door to the Mandalay Bay.

Show partners Radiant Panel Association (RPA) and Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) also will hold meetings. RPA is offering its “Radiant Basics” course Friday, Oct. 3 from 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Another 20 endorsing organizations will be represented through booths and sponsorships. For more information on the ISH NA partners, visit www.asa.net, www.ciph.com, www.phccweb.org, www.radiantpanelassociation.org, or visit www.ish-na.com for a complete list of sponsors and exhibitors.

Registration & Exhibits

Attendees can register Monday, Sept. 29, 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 30, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 1-2, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 3, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. The exhibit hall will be open for three days: Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 1-2, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Friday Oct. 3, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Admission to the exhibit hall is $25, but is free for online registrants who enter the Special Guest VIP code “ISHNAVIP.” Call 866/984-8016 for more information.

Mandalay Bay Convention Center

The ISH North America Conference and Exposition is being held in the magnificent Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas’ newest meeting and exhibit facility. The facility opened in January and has hosted a steady stream of events. It features 1.8 million gross feet of meeting and exhibit space, flexible breakout rooms capable of handling up to 75 simultaneous meetings, ballrooms, boardrooms and a business service center.

On-site dining and shopping opportunities are available, including a food court, restaurant and shops adjacent to the meeting rooms and exhibit hall. Convention parking and a designated Convention Center entrance are available for vehicle transportation.

Connected to the exhibit hall is the special attraction Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, a 1.6-million gallon, 90,560-square foot aquarium that supports 100 species of sharks, exotic fish, reptiles and turtles. More than 1 million visitors have explored Shark Reef during its first year of operation.

The Convention Center is connected to the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, so 3,300 hotel rooms, additional dining and entertainment are just minutes away from the show floor.

If Broadway musicals are on your “to-do” list, check out “Mamma Mia!” playing at Mandalay’s theater. Tickets are $65-$85 and information is available at www.mamma-mia.com, or by calling 703/632-7580.

If you love music with your dinner, visit the House of Blues Restaurant and Concert Hall located adjacent to Mandalay Bay’s Casino floor.

“Cirque du Soleil” fans will want to see the aquatic-themed “O” at the Bellagio Las Vegas. Performances are twice nightly Wednesday-Sunday. Tickets are $90-$136 and can be purchased a www.bellagio.com, or by calling 888/488-7111.

Hotel Options

ISH NA attendees have many hotel options when visiting Las Vegas. In addition to the elegant Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino ($189-$289/night), attendees receive discounted rates at the Luxor Las Vegas ($99-$169) and Excalibur Hotel Casino ($69-$109). All three hotels are connected via a quick monorail ride. Contact the ISH NA travel desk at 800/631-5577, e-mail: ishna@ttgonline.com, or visit the ISH NA Web site at www.ish-na.com.