TORONTO - Organizers say ISH-North America, held here Oct. 31-Nov. 2 exceeded expectations.

Show organizers Messe Frankfurt Inc. report that 10,735 attendees packed the aisles of the National Trade Centre at Exhibition Place during the three-day event. Canadian attendees were well represented with over 4,500 registrants; however, U.S. attendees made the strongest showing with over 5,300 visitors. More than 40 nations outside of North America attended this new industry show. The show also attracted large contingents of attendees from Italy, Taiwan, Mexico and Germany.

ISH-North America was produced in partnership with Messe Frankfurt Inc., the American Supply Association, Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating, and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association. Some 475 companies exhibiting their latest products and services used almost 110,000 sq. ft. of net exhibition space. Approximately 23% of all exhibitors were Canadian-based companies. U.S.-based companies accounted for almost 72% while 5% of exhibitors were non-North American manufacturers.

"The impressive success of the first ISH-North America event confirms the validity of the integrative approach of putting the kitchen and bath, plumbing, PVF, heating and air conditioning products under one roof," said Roland Bleinroth, president of Messe Frankfurt Inc. "It's a great benefit to exhibitors who want to reach a mix of buyers representing all the key product lines crucial to their day-to-day business success. We will continue to pursue this concept and remain hopeful that other industry partners will join the trade show consolidation effort."

More than 80 manufacturers showcased their newest items in a special new product display. Awards were presented in six categories: kitchen and bath, plumbing and piping, heating and ventilation, software and electronic equipment, industrial products, and tools and equipment.

The Design Plus showcase added a special touch of style and international flair to the show, according to organizers. This display housed products from nine European manufacturers who won awards at a design competition during the most recent ISH trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany. The purpose of the Design Plus exhibit at ISH-North America was to introduce aesthetic and highly-functional products and equipment to the North American market for the first time.

Another area on the show floor receiving a great deal of attention was the technology aisle, organizers said. According to Thad Zylka, director of base accounts for NxTrend, "It's been a great show - we've had a lot of traffic - both customers and prospects. We've had excellent buyer interaction and it's been great to be located with other technology-based companies. We can't wait to exhibit in Las Vegas next year."

Attendees were enthusiastic about a diverse educational program featuring over 50 individual sessions, many of which were sold out early. The seminar program was conducted by many of the foremost experts in the fields of plumbing, heating, hydronics and air conditioning. Some of the most popular topics included the "Top 10 Dumb Things Folks Do with Hot Water," "Best Practices in the Kitchen and Bath," "No Pressure Selling" and "Finding, Hiring and Retaining Excellent Employees."

Ingrid Mattsson, marketing communications manager for Uponor Wirsbo confirmed the importance of a strong seminar program. "I've heard that the seminars are fantastic. I understand keynote speaker Rich Trethewey from the television show 'This Old House' had a wonderful presentation and Dan Holohan packed his room."

For the first two days of ISH-North America, a parallel event, LonWorld, was held adjacent to the show. LonWorld is a technology event sponsored by Echelon Corporation, featuring building automation applications among its user groups.

The next ISH-North America will be held Oct. 1-3, 2003 in Las Vegas, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino's new convention center.

ISH-North America is held in conjunction with the annual conventions of the American Supply Association and the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association.

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