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ISSA/Interclean North America 2013 'best in years'

* issa2013.jpgExhibitors and attendees alike repeatedly commented during this year's ISSA/Interclean North America 2013 that it was "the best we've had in years." The event, co-produced by ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, and its trade show partner Amsterdam RAI, took place in Las Vegas, NV, USA, last month, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

"This year has been one of our best ever," said John Drengler, SCA Americas' vice president of product and marketing for AfH Professional Hygiene-North America. "Engagement with our customers has been fantastic. ISSA/Interclean truly is one of our highlight events of the year."

Alan Tomblin, sales manager - North America for Procter & Gamble Professional, was equally enthusiastic: "In the first day, alone, we did two-thirds of the business we conducted at last year's event in total, and they were quality decision-makers with our existing customers and many potential customers."

Not only did the event attract the most registrants in nearly a decade, it also set a record for the most new exhibitors, with 143 out of the 690 participating for the first time. And many of those companies had positive things to say about their first experience.

"We participated in ISSA/Interclean as a way to help us expand into the jansan market, looking for distribution," said Frances Breazele, who is in sales with Malt Industries. "Not only were we pleasantly surprised by the number of quality distributors we met, but we also had better results than we typically get at the traditional safety shows where we usually participate. We're expanding our booth at ISSA/Interclean next year as a result."

Buyers who packed the aisles cited their desire to meet with exhibitors and find innovative products and ideas as a top draw to the exhibition and accompanying ISSA Convention Seminar programme. Also contributing to busier traffic was the three-day line-up of keynote speakers located right on the trade show floor.

In fact, the final day of ISSA/Interclean saw an uptick in visitors due to multiple tactics ISSA employed to encourage people to stay at the event longer. More than 1,700 people packed the Keynote Stage area Thursday morning to watch magician and endurance artist David Blaine, co-sponsored by ISSA and the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), who dazzled the audience with his stories and illusions.

David Blaine followed a special ISSA Excellence Ceremony on the Thursday, which honoured long-standing ISSA member companies and announced the 10 Best Customer Service Award winners as selected by buyers in attendance. BSCAI also presented its Sustainability Award Thursday morning, while attracting many top-level building service contractors for its 'Contractor Day' at the exhibition, which included giving away hourly prizes at its booth.

Adding to the week's networking opportunities, many of ISSA's more than 15,300 LinkedIn group members turned out for an in-person meetup during the Show Floor Happy Hour, on the Wednesday. The event also celebrated ISSA's 90th Anniversary.

More Show Highlights:

* 21% of visitors hailed from 78 countries outside of the US
* The exhibition featured leading suppliers from 29 different countries
* This year's 84 new and recertifying organisations brought the list of ISSA's Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and CIMS-Green Building certifications to 184; the pool of CIMS experts also stands at more than 1,000 following the week's workshops
* Many of the Monday seminars were packed to room limits and elicited feedback that the topics and speakers were top-quality and extremely relevant to attendee businesses. Participants can sign up for 24/7 access at www.issa.com
* Show-floor sessions attracted double the audience of previous years
* The new ISSA Meeting Hub area, private rooms right on the show floor, available to attendees for two-hour to full-day slots, was sold out the first two days of the show
* Hosting their annual conventions again this year were the BSCAI, IEHA, and the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI).

Many supporting associations from throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific also participated in this year's show, and there was a strong showing from the top buying groups and their key members.

"We believe that the shared drive to prove cleaning is a long-term investment in human health, the environment, and facilities' bottom lines is what continues to bring together so many leaders in our industry to meet face-to-face and find the right solutions," says ISSA Executive Director John Garfinkel. "Then factor in the new elements we put in place this year to encourage attendees to stay longer and make their experience more productive, and you have a winning combination."

ISSA also took the opportunity of the audience at the show to introduce two new ground-breaking programmes: Transpare.com, the online product registry, and the ISSA Clean Standard: K-12, the scientific-based standard for measuring the effectiveness of 'clean.'

Meanwhile, the ISSA booth was buzzing with attendees taking the ISSA Member Benefit Challenge, helping them to discover many of the association's valuable services and watching the live feed broadcasting from the area.

Given this year's positive results, many participants already are looking forward to the next edition of the North American event, which takes place from 4th - 7th November in Orlando, Florida.

Adding to the excitement next year is the new co-location of the Cleaning Equipment Trade Association (CETA), further broadening the array of buyers and exhibitors that will participate.

Image: ISSA 90th Anniversary Celebration at the Show Floor Happy Hour

www.issa.com

12th December 2013




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