The ISH NA new biennial schedule and combined industry conference are two key components of the new format, designed to make the event more convenient, cost effective and productive for exhibitors and attendees.

After surveying exhibitors and attendees at last October's show, ISH North America partners voted in December to officially move the ISH NA trade show to a new every-other-year format.

The new ISH NA biennial schedule and combined industry conference are two key components of the new format, designed to make the event more convenient, cost effective and productive for exhibitors and attendees.

At the second edition of ISH North America in Las Vegas last October, show organizers surveyed all 540 exhibiting companies and thousands of buyers. In staying true to their commitment to listen to their customers, the ISH NA partners carefully analyzed the findings resulting from the personal interviews as well as the written submissions.

“It is our mission to listen to our customers and to make changes whenever such a need arises,” said Ike Casey, executive vice president of PHCC.

When questioned about ISH North America's importance to their respective industries, both exhibitors and attendees agreed: 33 percent of the exhibitors expressed that ISH NA has become their most important or one of their most important marketing platforms during its still-short history.

This significant group of exhibitors explained that they do not exhibit in any other, or only one other, national event in the United States.

Also, 66 percent of the attendees declared that they attend no other or only one other competing national show in the U.S.

One of the much debated, “hot-button” topics was the question of an annual vs. a biennial (every-other-year) show cycle. A clear majority of 63 percent of the exhibitors indicated their preference for an every-other-year event.

Along product segment lines, the PVF sector was the strongest proponent of a biennial event with 79 percent. However, the majority of HVAC/Hydronics and Kitchen & Bath/Plumbing exhibitors also preferred every other year by 55 percent and 66 percent, respectively.

In response to this clear feedback, ISH NA show partners announced that the show will be held on an every-other-year cycle starting with the upcoming 2004 show in Boston. The next show after Boston will be in Chicago in 2006.

During the odd years, ISH NA partners will host a Combined Industry Conference. This event will include the annual meetings and conventions of the participating partners and a comprehensive program of educational, business and social events.

Rather than regular, full-size product exhibits, exhibits will be limited to a table-top format, providing an organized format for vendors and service providers to “talk shop” with their customers.

It is the intent of the partnering associations to offer a program that will allow the attendees to select their choice of events to attend in a “cafeteria-style.”

“Moving to an every-other-year format provides exhibitors and attendees with an extremely focused event and dramatically reduces their cost to participate in ISH North America,” added CIPH President Ralph Suppa.

Jointly hosted social events and prominent key-note speakers will add further highlights and benefits resulting from the cooperative approach to the concurrently held events.

“ISH North America was created with the vision to provide a consolidated, comprehensive industry platform. Only logically, we put great value on our exhibitors' and attendees' feedback and endeavor to constantly improve the event,” stated Roland Bleinroth, president of Messe Frankfurt Inc.

“The results of our survey efforts indicated that the show enjoys a strong industry base. However, when we see room for improvements, we will not hesitate to take the appropriate action,” commented Inge Calderon, executive vice president of ASA.

In other news, Messe Frankfurt appointed Jennifer Jones as trade show manager of ISH North America. She has more than 18 years of trade show experience.

The next ISH North America will be held Oct. 14-16, 2004, at the new Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in Boston. For details, contact Jones at 770/984-8016 or e-mail