ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2016 Proves Industry’s Potential 

Attendees and exhibitors agree: ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2016 lived up to its theme of “unleashing the industry’s untamed potential” during this one week when key leaders and decision-makers in the commercial cleaning industry come together. Co-produced by ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, and its trade show partner, RAI Amsterdam, ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2016 took place in Chicago, IL, USA, October 25-28, at McCormick Place, South Hall.
The 2016 buyer and exhibitor turnout was strong, with both categories seeing increases over 2015, for a total of 16,637 visitors from 74 countries. On the buyer side, distributors represented much of the increase, accounting for 42 percent of the buyers. End user turnout was strong as well; of the total buyers at the show, 36 percent were building service contractors and in-house service providers. Of this year’s 740 exhibitors, 132 were new, and 20 percent hailed from outside the United States, drawing from 28 countries. 

“We had as many people visit our booth as we could physically talk to,” says Mark Sisson, partner at first-time exhibitor NanoSeptic Self-Cleaning Surfaces. “We had to split up and talk to different groups just to handle the traffic.”

Unleashing New Partnerships
Much of this growth is due to ISSA’s efforts to attract the top executives of the leading janitorial distributors as well as to draw from a variety of new audiences. For example, ISSA has formed new relationships with organizations and buying groups in the office products arena, such as OPI, Trimega, and Independent Stationers. This year, several new alliance partners in vertical markets held events in conjunction with the show, such as the Healthy Schools Campaign, which presented the Green Clean Schools Forum, October 26-28, and the Green Sports Alliance, which hosted its Greener Cleaning Workshop on October 27. 

In addition, four industry groups held their annual conventions in conjunction with ISSA/INTERCLEAN: the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI), Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI), Cleaning Trade Equipment Association (CETA), and IEHA. Many supporting associations throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia-Pacific also participated in this year’s show, and there was a strong showing from top janitorial buying groups and their key members.

“The draw to this show is how big and diverse it is,” says exhibitor Jake Mynatt, Southeastern regional sales manager, Essential Industries. “Being able to network and bring this many people together is huge for us. We’ll be at the ISSA/INTERCLEAN show for sure in 2017.”

The buyers who crowded the aisles cited their desire to meet with exhibitors and find innovative products and ideas as a top reason for attending the trade show. 

“We attended to see what’s in the pipeline, and what’s going to be released in the next year,” says Rusty Turner, vice president of business development, Rutherford Supply Corp. “It’s a great time to see everybody and see all the products under one roof.”

Re-Imagined Education
Another big draw for attendees was the education available during the event. This year’s revised format included more than 60 education seminars and hands-on training workshops, many of which included certifications. Tuesday also featured an ISSA Featured Speaker for the first time, Ryan Estis, who capped off the day with Managing Breakthrough Performance in the New Economy.

“You just can’t get this information in your office,” says Lisa McKinney, owner, Rochester Residential and Commercial Cleaning LLC. “The experience is unreal, being here with so many owners who all do things differently, you come out with so many ideas. That in itself is huge.”

A Full Friday
In addition to ISSA’s efforts to attract a variety of industry influencers, the association also offered attendees more reasons to stay for the whole week, including a Soldier Field Facility Tour and an ISSA Keynote Address Going for Great: A Moderated Q&A with The Woz, featuring Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak and ISSA Executive Director John Barrett, on Friday, October 28.

Wozniak was also on hand to announce the 2016 ISSA Innovation Program Visitors’ Choice Award and ISSA Innovation of the Year Award winners. The 2016 ISSA Innovation Program Category Award winners were announced during the ISSA Keynote Address Never Quit with Former Navy SEAL Rob O’Neill, Wednesday, October 26. 

Rounding out the 2016 ISSA Keynote Address lineup was Dennis Miller, who took the stage with The Big Speech: A Unique Take on Politics, Celebrity, and Society’s Most Idiotic Foibles on Thursday, October 27. 

Given the event’s positive reviews, it’s clear why exhibitors and attendees alike consider ISSA/INTERCLEAN a must-attend event.  “This show is universal because a lot of the information I’ve gotten I can apply elsewhere,” says Olga Rivas, innovation scientist, Armstrong Flooring. “I’m definitely going to bring my people with me next year.”

Register Now, Travel on ISSA Later
Cleaning industry professionals who register for ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America 2017, September 11-14, in Las Vegas, NV, USA, will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a registration package that includes a four-night hotel stay, trade show badge, and ISSA Convention seminars! (Note: the 2017 event will be held Monday-Thursday.) Find out more at
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