ISH – the biggest bathroom fair in the world – is back at Messe Frankfurt from 13th to 17th March 2023. Stefan Seitz, director of brand management at ISH, reveals why the upcoming event is so relevant for the international bathroom industry.
Q: What are you looking forward to at ISH 2023?
A: There was an ISH digital in 2021, but the personal encounter was simply missing. In this respect, I'm really looking forward to visiting our exhibitors at their stands, discovering the innovations for a sustainable future for myself and entering into a direct exchange about them. After all, the themes of this year's ISH absolutely hit the nerve of the times.
Q: What topics will be the focus at ISH?
A: The strapline for ISH 2023 is 'Solutions for the future'. Everything revolves around innovations that contribute to the achievement of climate protection goals and enable the responsible and efficient use of available resources. Sustainability is the big topic. It's the connecting element between ISH Energy, consisting of heating, air-conditioning and ventilation, and ISH Water. In the Energy segment, this means that in the future we'll have to become less dependent on fossil fuels and quickly increase the share of renewable energies. However, sustainable use and security of supply is also necessary with regard to our drinking water. The recent extremely dry and hot summers have clearly shown this. In the area of Water, however, sustainability also refers to the materials used – both in production and installation. It includes an efficient hot water supply and extends to durable concepts for bathroom design. In the future, bathrooms should be designed for all generations and needs.
Q: What kind of ISH can we expect in 2023? Will the market leaders be there?
A: The last regular ISH took place in 2019. A lot has changed since then. Corona, geopolitical developments and the partly gloomy economic forecasts have led to the participation decision being made at much shorter notice by both visitors and exhibitors. For this reason, the planning work is still in progress and new enquiries are coming in daily. It's also meant individual exhibitors are deciding at short notice to withdraw from their participation in ISH – this development is of course very regrettable. Fortunately, the majority of the leading companies are still present in all areas of ISH. Currently, 1,250 companies have already signed their contracts. The ISH Contactor provides a daily update on all exhibitors taking part.
Q: What's new and what themes will we see at ISH 2023?
A: The absolute novelty here is Hall 5, where the ISH is one of the first events to feature the newly built hall with installation technology and software. Installation technology will also be on show in Halls 4 and 6. Tools and mounting materials are also to be found in Hall 6. The Bathroom Experience is in Halls 2, 3, 4 and the Forum. The International Sourcing section will be located in Hall 1. The range of products for the sanitation, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning sector in March 2023 will enable visitors to discover solutions for the most important questions of our time.
Q: How digitally is the industry positioned for March 2023?
A: At the last ISH 2021, the industry came together purely digitally. That was a valuable experience, but it also showed that face-to-face meetings are indispensable, and that digital offerings are a perfect complement to the physical event. That is why we are accompanying ISH 2023 in Frankfurt with a digital platform, and we will provide the ISH Digital Extension, which will be available until 24th March 2023. This means that everyone can make the most of their time at the fair and view missed programme items afterwards. Another advantage of this is the ability to make targeted contact. Using AI-supported matchmaking, suitable business partners can be found and contacted at the fair or digitally.