McCORMICK CONVENTION CENTER, CHICAGO USA, JULY 2018; The largest convention center in North America consists of four interconnected buildings with exhibit halls, meeting rooms & theaters. 7-25-2018

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 600 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. Distributors looking to experience all that ISSA Show North America has to offer should consider 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 overwhelming 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. Distributors are also encouraged to download the ISSA Show App which can personalize the entire show experience. Slated for release in September, the app will allow users to track education sessions, receive live notifications, and specifics on 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 show highlights throughout the week take place during exhibit hall hours, but the additional networking events on tap often lead to the most memorable conversations and valuable connections. The Welcome Reception on Monday, Oct. 10, will be held from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at 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 from 10:00 a.m. 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 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 distributors, a handful of tracks should provide insight on end user preferences and needs for products and training:   

The Business Development & Marketing Solutions Track will provide distributors with sales tips; advice on how to eliminate time-wasting on the job; how to help end users budget and market for infection prevention; and how to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) amid supply chain and hiring turmoil.   

The Healthcare Track will cover how federal mandates for personal protective equipment (PPE) and vaccinations could affect supply and training needs. 

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

The Environmental, Social Responsibility & Governance (ESG) Track could be especially interesting to distributors, as sessions hone-in on the importance of cleaning for health as opposed to cleaning for appearance and different methods/equipment that can be implemented to ensure a quality job is done. Sessions on sustainability and how distributors can help promote green-centric products and overall branding for facilities will be on hand. It also delves into a variety of management-centric topics, such as how distributors can help end users adapt to new equipment or updated regulations and cleaning demands.   

• Similarly, actionable strategies can be learned in the Leadership, Career & Talent Development Track. These sessions will highlight 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. 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. Distributors will want to make a pit stop for “Power Your Brand” on Tuesday from 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., to learn best practices for launching an attention-grabbing brand that establishes loyal employees and customers. Later that day features the “Industry Leaders Roundtable” 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 Essentials of Facility Management” from 12:30-1:00 p.m. on Wednesday. 

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Spotlight Sessions, Award Ceremonies at ISSA North America 2022