After successfully returning to an in-person format last year in Las Vegas, the ISSA Show North America is back again for its annual convention and trade show Oct. 10-13 in Chicago. Attendees can expect the same quality of exhibits, seminars, and banquets in the Windy City this fall. 

The McCormick Place Convention Center’s South Hall will play host to this year’s festivities, which are expected to have the same high-volume turnout as a typical in-person ISSA show. Anticipated arrivals include over 500 exhibitors representing 20 countries across 250,000 square feet of exhibit space, and over 50 guest speakers with a wide variety of cleaning industry expertise. Facility cleaning managers looking to experience all that ISSA Show North America has to offer should consider purchasing the All-Access Pass, which opens the door to four days of 70-plus education sessions, a welcome reception, and a series of networking events. 

While a bit daunting at first glance, the exhibitor hall (located in the South Building, Level 3) is simply organized into a series of specialized areas and pavilions. Ranging from Air Quality Control to Facility Management, attendees can utilize the show map and efficiently plan out their day. Facility cleaning managers are also encouraged to download the ISSA Show App which can personalize the entire show experience at the tap of a screen. Slated for release in September, the app will also allow users to track education sessions, receive live notifications about the show, and check out specifics on valuable networking events throughout the week. 

Back by popular demand, the New Exhibitor Pavilion plays host to companies attending their first show, while the Startup Village showcases companies under three years old that are looking to make their mark in the cleaning industry. Another staple of the show floor is the ISSA Sports Bar (booth #2032), where attendees can take a break from being on their feet with a free drink voucher, compliments of the show.  

Many of the best experiences throughout the week take place during exhibit hall hours, but the additional networking events on tap often lead to the most memorable conversations and new valuable industry connections. Prior to the official Welcome Reception on Monday, Oct. 10, cleaning managers can get a head-start with a paid roundtable networking event from 4:15-6:15 p.m. in the Vista Ballroom, located in the convention center’s South Building, Level 4. The Welcome Reception itself will be held from 7:00-9:00 the House of Blues, a vibrant music venue featuring a live band, as well as drinks and food aplenty as colleagues reconnect. 

Fast forward to Tuesday, Oct. 11, and the exhibitor hall will officially open at 10:00 a.m. and run until 5:00 p.m. As the afternoon winds down, attendees will be able to take part in the Innovation Happy Hour from 3:00-5:00 p.m. — right on the convention show floor, where some of the most innovative cleaning products will be displayed. Expo hours for the following days will again be 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and then 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13. 

Also making a return is Canada Night on Wednesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m., where ISSA Canada members and guests will be treated to a night of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. 

Educational Opportunities 

Throughout the entirety of the four-day event, ISSA is hosting over 70 education sessions for all-access pass holders. Similar to the show floor, the sessions are categorized into specific tracks based on the needs of attendees. For facility cleaning managers, a handful of tracks should provide some particularly interesting insight:   

• The Healthcare Track will cover how federal mandates for personal protective equipment (PPE) and vaccinations could affect hiring and staff retention, along with coaching tips as it pertains to healthcare departments.  

• The Hospitality Track will discuss the importance of achieving high service ratings for hotel cleaning staff (and tips for doing so), along with strategies for creating a welcoming atmosphere for staff and guests — and how it can improve a facility’s bottom line.  

• The Facility Maintenance & Operations Track provides insight on how sensor technology can optimize workloads, and the impact of remote working on cleaning schedules and frequencies.  

• The Environmental, Social Responsibility & Governance (ESG) Track could be especially interesting to facility cleaning managers, as sessions hone-in on the importance of cleaning for health as opposed to cleaning for appearance — and different methods that can be implemented to ensure a quality job is done. It also delves into a variety of management-centric topics, such as how managers can help cleaning staff adapt to change, from incorporating new equipment to implementing updated regulations and cleaning demands.  

• Similarly, actionable strategies can be learned in Leadership, Career & Talent Development Track. These sessions will refresh cleaning managers about the ongoing issues with hiring, retention, and employee engagement as the job market begins to expand and potential employees have increasingly more options.  

Each track will feature sessions spread out across all four days of the event, starting on Monday, Oct. 10.   

Aside from conventional sessions, there will be educational presentations showcasing product innovation, business strategies, and more on the show floor starting Tuesday. An ISSA Show classic, Solve for X (booth #1069) returns with a variety of sessions highlighting common issues in the workplace, and what solutions can be implemented for each specific problem. Facility cleaning managers will want to make a pit stop for “Honest Hiring: Growing a Workforce that STAYS” on Tuesday from 1:30-2:00 p.m., along with the “Industry Leaders Roundtable” later that day from 3:30-4:00 p.m. where key players in distribution, manufacturing and more will update attendees on public policy issues and how they change perceptions and challenges in the cleaning industry.   

The Facility Solutions Theater (booth #3242) provides sessions on ESG, performance standards for facilities and more. Sessions of interest include, “Cleaning for Health to Create the Healthiest Possible Indoor Environment” from 12:30-1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, and “The Measure of Cleanliness — Is Your Clean Enough?” on Wednesday from 2:30-3:00 p.m.  

For facility cleaning managers seeking certifications, or simply trying to improve management or operational skills — ISSA is offering several different workshops that attendees can register for at an additional fee (with a discount for association members). The “Certified Workloading Specialist Workshop” on Oct. 10 will showcase how proper workloading can breed innovation, efficiency and high morale among custodial workers despite varying levels of experience. Those seeking an alternative option Monday should consider the “Cleaning Products Workshop”. Co-presented by ISSA and Household and Commercial Products Association, the workshop will provide a state-of-the-industry update on products, sustainability issues, and other topics which will directly impact facility cleaning departments day-to-day and long-term.   

Also, for an additional fee, an expansive, two-day workshop — “CMI Train the Trainer – Hone Your Training Skills and Empower Your Team” — is being offered Tuesday and Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., and provides trainers with expertise on how to best teach a variety of frontline cleaning procedures. Managers who complete the course will receive official Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) certification.   

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Keynote Speakers, Awards for ISSA Show North America 2022