ISSA/INTERCLEAN 09: Exceeding Expectations

ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2009 drew the highest number of first-time attendee companies in recent years, and that, coupled with a turnout of the industry's elite facility service provider (FSP) companies and distributors, created a strong selling environment in a challenging year.

While the number of people registered dropped about 9.5 percent from 2008, the number of new customer companies visiting the show for the first time reached 28 percent. This increase was further confirmed when more than 83 percent of exhibitors surveyed indicated they had met new contacts at this year's show, and more than half said they generated new business.

"Our experience was very positive and better than we thought it could be," said first-time exhibitor Paul Offutt, general manager of Sonic Scrubbers. "Our CEO said this was the best tradeshow he's participated at in over 40 years."

The big event (for those of you just returning from an extended stay on the International Space Station) took place October 6-9 in Chicago, IL, with 14,248 people registered.

Not only were the top customers in attendance this year, but the industry's leading suppliers also were present, with more than 600 companies exhibiting. Special recognitions taking place during the show included the awarding of 20 Best Customer Service Awards to exhibitors, as voted on by their customers in attendance. For the complete list of 2009 Best Customer Service Award winners, go to

The Right Results

"We are very pleased with this year's results, as we exceeded our expectations in a challenging year," said ISSA Executive Director John Garfinkel. "Multiple exhibitors who participate in tradeshows in many industries told me this was the best event they've been at this year. They also seemed pleased with the number of quality decision-makers and the number of new prospective customers they met."

"All of our distribution partners and key end-users from different segments that are decision-makers were at the show," said Greg Moore, national sales manager for 3M. "We've been able to get to the right people with the right message and develop good action items to follow up on."

Several top executives also stated that the tradeshow is the most efficient way to meet large numbers of their customers in a single venue when compared with going to multiple cities to visit customers at a time when travel expenses need to be closely monitored.

"ISSA is the premier show — it's bigger and gives us more exposure than other shows where we exhibit," said Mike Julo, CEO for Direct Mop Sales. "We saw a good mix of contractors, distributors, and in-house providers. Getting in front of so many people for this price is a low cost for the exposure we got."

In fact, all U.S. states and Canadian provinces were represented among attendees, with 20 percent of participants hailing from the West Coast, despite the show having just been in that region last year.

Garfinkel noted that each city ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America visits brings a unique mix of attendees, as was seen this year in Chicago. Orlando, FL, next year's location, historically attracts a strong mix of customers from the South and East who do not travel to the show when it is in other parts of the country.

In the FSP arena, there were new alliances with the Building Service Contractors Association International — which will co-locate its convention with ISSA's in 2010 — and the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association. Both drew big-name customers to the event for the first time this year. These groups bring the largest retailers and institutional and industrial end-customers from around North America.

Visitors Hungry for Information

Another indication that this year's show attracted the right people — people looking for solutions — is the fact that ISSA's own educational product and business-tool sales during the event were up more than 20 percent over the past few years.

"We saw a strong interest in everything from cleaning times and workloading tools to general business-advice books from some of our key speakers," said ISSA Member Services Director Anthony Trombetta. "Plus, many of our workshops, ranging from technical training to organizational management topics, had to have more seats brought in to accommodate people who continued to sign up on site, causing us to hit max room capacity."

Tuesday's main educational-conference day hosted many packed rooms, with sessions covering sales, customer trends, and leadership and environmental topics drawing the largest crowds.

"The consensus among the people I talked to this year was that the education was outstanding and absolutely spot on," said Eric Bates, International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA) president-elect. "ISSA hit it out of the park."

Another popular addition to this year's event was the ISSA Green Connections Center, visited by more than 80 percent of the distributors and FSPs in attendance. This area featured live product demos and discussions every half hour right on the show floor. It also offered a Green Product Showcase of the latest innovations in environmentally friendly, science-based, and health-focused technology.


Hot Off the Press!

ISSA has released the updated edition of its most popular publication, The Official ISSA 540 Cleaning Times. This edition includes new entries for innovative cleaning devices, team-cleaning times, clean-up equipment times, and new health-care- and hospitality-industry task times. The new book also includes a more detailed table of contents to help you find specific content more easily than ever before. If you're serious about optimizing your efficiency as a cleaning service provider, you can't afford not to own this book! ISSA-member price: US$7; nonmember price: $12. To order your copy, please call the ISSA Customer Service Department at 800-225-4772 or visit to complete your order online. To order quantities over 100, please contact Martha Reynoso at

First CIMS-GB Group Certified

ISSA has announced the first 12 organizations to achieve certification to both the ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and the recently introduced CIMS-Green Building (CIMS-GB) criteria.

CIMS-GB, which serves as an optional sixth dimension of CIMS, offers cleaning organizations a certification that is closely tailored to provide customers with precisely what they need to secure points under the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EB: O&M) green-building rating system while greening operations overall. Accordingly, CIMS-GB certification demonstrates an organization's capability to assist customers in achieving LEED-EB: O&M points and offers customers assurance that the organization they select is prepared to partner with them in the LEED process.

"ISSA congratulates the pioneer organizations who are the first to achieve CIMS-GB certification and have, therefore, demonstrated a commitment to delivering environmentally preferable cleaning service," said ISSA Director of Facility Service Programs Dan Wagner.

The first group of organizations to achieve CIMS and CIMS-GB certification includes: Bee Clean Building Maintenance, Edmonton, AB, Canada; Bravo! Group Services, Piscataway, NJ; Castle Keepers of Charleston, Inc., Charleston, SC; DMS Facility Services, Monrovia, CA; GMI Building Services, San Diego, CA; Matrix Integrated Facility Management, Johnson City, NY; Metropolitan Building Services, Inc., Washington, D.C.; P&R Enterprises, Inc., Falls Church, VA; Pegasus Building Services, Long Beach, CA; Shellville Facility Services — A Division of Matrix, King of Prussia, PA; University of Maryland, College Park: Department of Residential Facilities, College Park, MD; and Varsity Contractors, Inc., Pocatello, ID.

Cleaning organizations interested in pursuing certification should visit for more information on the CIMS-GB criteria. In general, CIMS-GB is an optional designation under the CIMS program umbrella, and those organizations that wish to achieve GB certification are required to also undergo an assessment to the traditional CIMS management criteria.

18 Additional Organizations Recognized for CIMS Certification

In addition to the 12 organizations that achieved both CIMS and CIMS-GB certification, 18 cleaning organizations were recently recognized at the ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2009 tradeshow for certifying to the traditional CIMS criteria. All 30 organizations were recognized as part of a CIMS-certification ceremony held immediately before Mike Ditka's feature presentation at the show.

"The CIMS certification program continues to grow, indicating that the cleaning industry's need for a consensus-based, nonprescriptive management standard is well served," noted Wagner.

With the addition of these companies, the total number of CIMS-certified cleaning organizations has reached 48. The following 18 organizations have most recently achieved certification to the traditional CIMS management criteria: ABM: Morgan Stanley, New York, NY; Alpine Building Maintenance, Richmond, BC, Canada; Bee Line, Inc., Elk Grove Village, IL; Cristi Cleaning Service, Hackensack, NJ; Crothall Services Group, Wayne, PA; Grosvenor Building Services, Inc., Orlando, FL; Janitronics Facility Services, Albany, NY; Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; KleenMark, Madison, WI; Mitch Murch's Maintenance Management (4M), St. Louis, MO; Pro Clean Building Maintenance, Altamonte Springs, FL; Sodexo Campus Services — Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada; Team Clean, Inc., Honolulu, HI; Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX; The Granite Club, Toronto, ON, Canada; University of Georgia Physical Plant Division — Services Department (North Campus "Green Corridor"), Athens, GA; Upper Merion Area School District, King of Prussia, PA; and Wellington Building Maintenance, Guelph, ON, Canada.



Welcome New ISSA Members!


A Quality Cleaners

A.B. See, Inc.

Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital

Clean Country

Clean in Between, LLC

Final Touch Cleaning

First Illinois Systems, Inc.

Green Darlene, Inc.


Interior Technicians, Inc.

New Life Solutions, LLC


Royal Oaks Lifecare

Service Master PBM, LLC

Total Maintenance Services

University of Tennessee

Upper Urban Green Property Maintenance, Inc.

Vanderberg Cleaning Service, LLC

Victory Park Nursing Home

We Clean San Diego


Henry Aliilouis, Locust Valley Central School District

Wally Gage, Loudoun County Public Schools

Kevin Lowry, University of Michigan Hospitals

All information in "ISSA Reports" is furnished by ISSA. ©2009. All rights reserved.