Trade shows are a great way for building service contractors to continue their education, see new products and network with colleagues — all in one location.

ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2009, running October 6 to 9, at McCormick Place South in Chicago offers BSCs a number of informative seminars and networking opportunities in addition to its expansive exhibit hall. This year’s show will especially benefit contractors looking to add or expand their green initiatives.

New in ‘09

The centerpiece of the 2009 show, The Green Connections Center, is in its first year of operation. The center was created by ISSA to spotlight the need to connect cleaning with the health of occupants and demonstrate the positive environmental outcomes related to green cleaning. The center will host a series of demonstrations in a mock restroom and mock classroom. Attendees can stop by the center’s resource library to take a look at the library’s case studies and white papers, all of which are free. The center also features the Green Pavilion where attendees can chat with representatives from government agencies, third-party certifying bodies and industry consultants.

ISSA hopes attendees take vital information from the center to help convince others to adopt green cleaning policies, says Dianna Bisswurm, director of industry outreach, ISSA, Lincolnwood, Ill.

“Our intent is that building service contractor salespeople will be able to walk away with better arguments for the value of cleaning in protecting and improving health to take to their customers, as well as new information they can share to help facilities green their operations most effectively,” says Bisswurm.

Sticking with the green idea, the featured session of the show on Friday, Oct. 9, is “Overview of the Illinois Green Cleaning for Schools Act.” Geared toward those who provide green cleaning to schools, the presentation will assess the state’s green cleaning act in relation to K-12 schools. Speakers include Mark Bishop, deputy director, Healthy Schools Campaign and Kate Tomford, senior policy advisor, Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

ISSA has worked with legislative bodies such as the Illinois’ Lieutenant Governor’s Office and the Healthy Schools Campaign in the past on helping schools meet green requirements within their state. The 2009 show seemed a perfect fit to explain the intricacies of the act, says Bisswurm.

“ISSA felt it would be a great opportunity to invite the many decision makers from school districts in the state, as well as those in neighboring areas, to gain a better understanding of how to best meet those new requirements,” she says.

Along with the emphasis on green cleaning, there are other features new to the 2009 show. This year is the first time that the Chicago-based Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) will host an Executive Seminar at the trade show. The six-hour seminar on Friday, Oct. 9, will discuss growth strategies and leadership. The event will also allow attendees the opportunity to network with fellow BSCs and other leaders throughout the industry.

Networking events such as these have remained a major attraction at the show, so much so that ISSA members have requested more networking opportunities. In addition to the All Industry Networking Lunch on Tuesday, Oct. 6, attendees can network at the new Roundtable Lunch held in the exhibit hall on Thursday, Oct. 8.

According to Bisswurm, the luncheon will be moderated by a discussion leader at each table and will give attendees another opportunity to network and speak with others in the industry to solve some problems plaguing their own businesses.

Heeding another suggestion from its association members, ISSA created the Facility Maintenance Pavilion after more than 40 percent of the association’s BSCs and in-house providers asked for non-cleaning, maintenance products at the show. The pavilion was created for those looking for facility service providers and companies that offer maintenance equipment and resources such as a pest management company or a communications group.

Featured speakers

To coincide with the show’s theme of “Just One Bright Idea Can Change Your Business,” Donny Deutsch will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 8:30 a.m. Deutsch is an author (see sidebar), host of CNBC’s “The Big Idea” and chairman of New York-based Deutsch Inc. Deutsch’s address will focus on why now is the perfect time for everyone involved in the cleaning industry to implement their ideas.

Along with the keynote address, the 2009 show features a number of other speakers, including Nancye Combs who will disclose the business methodology of some of the most renowned business coaches and Maxine Shapiro who is the featured speaker at the all-industry networking lunch and the Eighth Annual Women’s Forum.

The show will also feature a speech from Super Bowl winning coach Mike Ditka. The legendary Chicago Bears’ coach will deliver “The Leadership ACE — Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm” on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

With a combination of new exhibits and a wide range of speakers, ISSA/INTERCLEAN is another example of trade shows being a great business resource for BSCs.


Book Review
Inspirational, If Not Enlightening

By Dan Weltin, Editor-in-Chief

Donny Deutsch’s newest book, “The Big Idea: How to Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Come True, From the Aha Moment to Your First Million,” is a motivating read that outlines the steps needed to launch a business and make it a success. Deutsch uses entrepreneurs who’ve been guests on his CNBC show of the same name to serve as examples to back up his points.

However, building service contractors — already entrepreneurs — probably won’t discover any revelatory information they haven’t already learned from being in business for themselves.

If the recession has BSCs wondering if they should stick it out or get out now, reading this book might serve as a good reminder of why they went into business for themselves in the first place. Similarly, if contractors are considering diversifying and wondering if there is a market for a new service, then “The Big Idea” might provide some insight. BSCs might also be interested in the chapter on how to pass success along from one generation to the next when running a family business.

The book is written just like Deutsch’s personality: conversational, yet to-the-point, and even a little brash (evidenced by bits of profanity). It’s a quick read at roughly 250 pages and those really in a hurry can skim the examples and just read Deutsch’s tips that appear in call-out boxes, then scour the three appendices for resources to loans, networking, marketing and other business strategies.

“The Big Idea” is published by Hyperion, New York.

Editor’s Note: Donny Deutsch will be delivering the keynote address at ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America in Chicago at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8.