ISH 2015: The Biggest Tradeshow I’ve Ever Attended

Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

Source – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect

I recently attended the ISH Show, a biennial show, which took place in Frankfurt, Germany in March. This was the first time I was able to attend this show and it sure did not disappoint. I guess the one word I would use to describe this show would be overwhelming!

Here are some of the amazing statistics from the show:

  • Over 850,000 square feet of exhibit space – sprawled out over 11 buildings, most with multiple levels
  • Almost 2,500 exhibitors – representing over 50 countries; and this number is not nearly as impressive as the individual sizes of their booths; 61% of these exhibitors came from outside of Germany
  • Nearly 200,000 visitors – from plumbing and HVAC professional tradesman (accounting for around a third of the total), architects and engineers, to distributors, service providers, public authorities and more; 37% of these visitors came from outside Germany
Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

Source – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera

This is by far the world’s leading show for the combination of water and energy topics. Everything one could possibly imagine for these industries was covered under the following five product groups:

  1. The Bathroom Experience – think of KBIS on steroids…Grohe and Hans Grohe even had their own buildings
  2. Building and Energy Technology – everything from boiler and burners, to heat pumps and components for heating equipment
  3. Efficient Systems and Renewable Energies – all the alternative energies were represented from solar, rain water, biomass and geothermal, plus there was even an entire floor dedicated to stoves, pellet burners and fireplaces
  4. Air-Conditioning, Cooling and Ventilation Technology – this section was comparable to the entire AHR Expo in U.S.
  5. World of Installation Technology – covering plumbing techniques, tools and systems for surface mounting, pipes, fittings and fasteners
Source - Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen

Source – Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Jens Liebchen

The overall theme for ISH 2015 was “Comfort meets Technology” where the world’s leading companies covered future-oriented issues such as resource conservation and renewable energies. Here are some of the other broad themes covered during the show:

  • ISH Water: Interior + Technology – Design and Function in Harmony. Topics covered included: the multi-generational bathroom; bathroom architecture in the light of demographic change; hygiene requirements for drinking water and efficient use of water as a resource
  • ISH Energy: Energy Efficiency Plus. Topics covered included: energy efficiency in the heating market; hybrid systems; using a single room fireplace to provide comfortable warmth and holistic sustainability
  • Future Buildings: Topics covered included technology, comfort and energy efficiency in harmony; integrating automation of interior spaces and energy efficiency and smart living – the networked home becomes an everyday reality

Amazingly, this show is really equivalent in size to 4 or 5 of our major U.S. professional tradesman shows. The show was five days in length and you needed almost all of it to walk the entire show. And the booth traffic was tremendous, and not just on the first day of the show like most U.S. trade shows, seeming to build each and every day.

If you’ve never been to the ISH Show and you are involved in any part of the Water and Energy fields, it’s definitely worth attending. Just make sure to book your travel accommodations early and wear comfortable walking shoes!

Want to keep reading about ISH? Check out these links:

Holy cow! ISH Show continues to amaze

6 plumbing trends from ISH

The show that is del-ISH

ISH Frankfurt 2015 Recap from Eric Aune

ISH 2015 — Day 1

ISH 2015 — Day 2

ISH 2015 — Day 3

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