ISH 2017 placed its emphasis squarely on the plumbing-and-heating trades. This was obvious even to the visitors who didn’t view the German trade show through the eyes of someone who has covered the plumbing-and-heating industry for 27 years as I have.

And while it’s true you can’t judge a book by its cover, it was plain to see that many of my fellow ISH visitors – young and older – worked in the trades. The final numbers released by ISH producer Messe Frankfurt after the show ended on March 18 support this observation.

 The plumbing, heating and HVAC installation trades represented the biggest group of visitors, accounting for about one-third of the 200,114 visitors overall. That works out to 66,705 people who attended ISH working in the trades.

“ISH 2017 presented numerous solutions to meet the challenges of our time. From the point of view of the installation trade, these include a successful heating revolution and age-appropriate bathroom conversions,” said Friedrich Budde, president of German Sanitation [Plumbing], Heating and Air-Conditioning Association. “As representatives of the biggest German group of visitors, the installation trade, we are delighted with the flood of visitors.”

ISH exhibitors catered to the trades as well. Companies such as Grundfos Pumps and Rothenberger Tools staged competitions for installers in their booths.

Heating equipment manufacturers such as Viessmann and Bosch unveiled new programs and products to support the trades. Viessmann released a new heating calculator that allows its trade partners to send a non-binding bid to heating system customers in five minutes. It also announced a new German website ( that provides brand-neutral information to consumers and connects them with the closest Viessmann trade partner. Other services include support with advertising and sales promotions.

Bosch, as reported in an earlier blog, announced its new products to support its trade partners: the EasyDoc installation app; the Easy Service Pro digital tool to determine correct settings on heating system components; the Home Con Pro portal for service and maintenance issues; and its own German website ( to refer customers to its trade partners.

On the plumbing side, Grohe parked its mobile academy in the main courtyard of the Messe Frankfurt fairgrounds. The truck is equipped with product demonstrations and classroom space.

Total attendance at ISH increased from 196,777 in 2015. The percentage of visitors from outside Germany inched up to 40% from 39% two years ago. The most-represented nations among the 80,045 international visitors were China, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Poland, Belgium, Austria and Spain.

Among exhibitors, the percentage increased to 64% of companies from outside Germany from 61%. The 2,482 exhibitors came from 61 countries.

The next ISH 2019 will take place March 12-16 in Frankfurt.

Read Bob’s Day 1 Blog and Day 2 here.


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