It comes as no surprise that ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2009, held in Chicago this October, will host a number of exhibits and presentations that intertwine green cleaning in facilities such as government buildings and schools. After all, Illinois was the second state — after New York — to initiate green cleaning legislation in their schools. Currently, legislators from the state are pushing forth legislation that mandates the use of environmentally friendly products in all government facilities. The Land of Lincoln is a state on the forefront of green cleaning initiatives, further reflected by new exhibits and seminars at the trade show that runs from Tuesday, Oct. 6 through Friday, Oct. 9 at McCormick Place South.

New In ‘09

The centerpiece of the 2009 show is also in its first year of operation. The Green Connections 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 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 distributor 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,” she says.

Another feature of the Green Connections Center is the Green Products Showcase. The showcase will be laid out in a museum style format where visitors will have the chance to walk through and look at all of the new products. Each product will be displayed with typed product information and the booth number of the product’s manufacturer.

Sticking with the green idea, the featured session of the show on Friday, Oct. 9 is the “Overview of the Illinois Green Cleaning for Schools Act.” Geared towards those who provide cleaning products 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’ Lt. Governor’s Office and the Healthy Schools Campaign in the past on helping schools meet green requirements within their state. The 2009 show seems to be a perfect fit to explain the intricacies of the act, says Bisswurm.

“We (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.

Show attendees will also get to learn about ISSA’s efforts to establish a cleaning standard for K-12 schools. On Thursday, Oct. 6, Dr. Steven Spivak, CIRI Science and Research Chair will preside over the “ISSA Research Update: Next Steps in the K-12 Clean Standard.” The session will give attendees an overview of the research intended to help define “clean” and determine the recommended method for scientifically measuring cleanliness in education environments.

Taking a suggestion from their association members, ISSA created the Facility Maintenance Pavilion after more than 40 percent of the association’s building service contractors and in-house service providers asked for non-cleaning, maintenance options at the show.

Even though distributors are not the pavilion’s intended audience, Bisswurm says they could benefit from stopping by this new trade show feature, especially since distributors offer a variety of items based on the needs of their customers.

“This pavilion also has value for our distributor visitors who constantly search for additional lines they can offer their diverse customers,” she says.

Networking events have remained a major attraction at the show, so much that ISSA members have requested more networking opportunities. This year ISSA added a Roundtable Lunch on Thursday, Oct. 8. The luncheon is available for attendees who may not be able to make the All Industry Networking Lunch on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The roundtable will be held right in the exhibit hall of the show, making it easier for attendees to step away from the booths during the show.

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 business.

Featured Speakers

Sticking with the show’s theme of “Just One Bright Idea Can Change Your Business,” ad man and television personality Donny Deutsch will deliver the keynote address on Thursday, Oct. 8 at 8:30 a.m.

Deutsch is an author, host of CNBC’s “The Big Idea” and chairman of Deutsch Inc., a $2.5 billion full-service agency and one of the Top 10 advertising agencies in the United States. While running the company, Deutsch implemented strategic marketing programs for companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Anheuser-Busch and Kodak.

Deutsch’s address will focus on why now is the best time for everyone involved in the cleaning industry to unleash and implement their best ideas.

Along with the keynote address, the 2009 show features a number of other speakers, including Super Bowl winning coach Mike Ditka. The legendary Chicago Bears’ coach will deliver “The Leadership ACE — Attitude, Character and Enthusiasm” on Wednesday Oct. 7. The speech will highlight the key characteristics people need in order to achieve personal and professional goals, including tips to implement along the way of reaching those goals.

Also on Wednesday, Nancye Combs will host “Coaching, Counseling and Discipline — Essential Skills for Managers.” The speech is part of the Skill Building Program and will disclose the business methodology of some of the world’s most renowned business coaches. Attendees will learn how to get the most from their sales team, how to be an encouraging but not overbearing leader and meet employee expectations at the same time.

Maxine Shapiro is the featured speaker at the all-industry luncheon entitled, “The Power of Making A Connection,” on Tuesday, Oct. 6. Shapiro will discuss how business owners can grow their business by using some unconventional business methods. On Thursday, Oct. 8, Shapiro will again be the guest speaker, this time at the Eighth Annual Women’s Forum, “Why Think Outside When It’s All Inside The Box.” Shapiro will speak on the importance of thinking quickly, being spontaneous and the value of trust in any business relationship. She will reinforce the idea to not only work towards a goal, but to enjoy the journey of attaining that goal.

With a combination of new exhibits and a wide range of speakers, this year’s show offers distributors plenty of valuable resources to fine-tune their businesses.