PM has learned that Kohler Co. and American Standard have agreed to exhibit - for the first time - at this year's ISH North America trade show in Boston, Oct. 14-16 (American Standard's Canadian office did participate in ISH NA 2002 in Toronto). The ISH North America Web site lists each company as an exhibitor with respective booth numbers.

American Standard and Kohler's participation is being viewed by show partners Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association, Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating, Radiant Panel Association, American Supply Association, and organizer Messe Frankfurt as verification that ISH North America's new every-other-year format is being affirmed by the industry.

American Standard and Kohler join nearly 300 other exhibitors (as of mid-March) in this year's show, including many companies from international pavilions from Italy, Germany, China, Taiwan and Switzerland. In 2003, ISH NA drew more than 500 exhibitors, a number show manager Messe Frankfurt expects to exceed this year.

Kohler's booth selection indicates the company has “right-sized” its participation by reserving one of the show's larger spaces, but not the monstrous square footage the company reserves at the yearly International Builder's Show and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show.

Kohler also will continue to sponsor “Kohler Night” with the PHCC-National Association, which hosts its annual business meeting and convention before and during ISH North America.

The next event after Boston will be held in 2006. During the odd years the ISH NA partners will host a “Combined Industry Conference” to include the annual meetings and conventions of the participating partners, and a comprehensive program of educational, business and social events. A limited table-top format provides an organized format for vendors and service providers to connect with customers. This unusual move again follows the preferences expressed by the industries served.

To maintain flexibility, ISH North America has not committed to a long-term pattern of destinations. Instead, show organizers are working closely with attendees, exhibitors and other industry representatives to discuss the best choices with regard to travel time and cost, hotel accommodation availability, exhibition expenses, and more.

With regard to ISH NA's future plans, one factor is not in question. The biennial show will continue to remain a three-day event. The increasing size and scope of the show along with the every-other-year format make it necessary to continue having exhibit hall hours over three-consecutive days to allow for enough time for attendee-exhibitor interaction. The educational and networking opportunities also demand considerable time that can only be accommodated in a three-day schedule. However, the seminar schedule has been restructured for the upcoming Boston show to strictly limit the overlap with exhibit hours.

PM will continue to update its Web site with breaking news of ISH North America. For immediate information on the 2004 ISH NA show, contact trade fair manager Jennifer Jones at Messe Frankfurt Inc. at 770/984-8016, or toll-free 866/984-8016, or visit the ISH NA Web site at