We talk to Stefan Seitz, brand management director for bathroom trade fair ISH, about what visitors to this year's ISH digital can expect, and why bathroom retailers in particular should take time out to engage with it.
Q: Tell us about ISH this year
A: Nowhere else is there so much expertise, so much supply and demand, to be found at the same time every two years as there is at ISH, and ISH digital 2021 is sure to be no different. There, the international sanitation and HVAC sector will meet to exchange knowledge, to present new products and to reveal the latest solutions and innovations.
The water section will focus thematically on drinking-water hygiene and the emerging trend towards greater hygiene in the bathroom. With a product spectrum including dirt and bacteria resistant surfaces, touch-free operation and hygienic electronic bidets, the sanitation industry is set to present smart solutions for increasing expectations on hygiene. ‘Pop up my Bathroom’ will review the top themes and, on this basis, present three exclusive, long-term trends for bathroom trends at ISH digital 2021.
Q: Are there any particular highlights that visitors can look forward to?
A: Well, in addition to a host of product innovations, the focus will be on sanitation and HVAC themes and an extensive programme of events. The ISH programme of events will look at trends and developments in the sector from a practical standpoint and actively bring together visitors and exhibitors, experts and other interested participants. Special shows, expert lectures, panel discussions, competitions and tours offer great opportunities to gather information, hold discussions and make new contacts. Parallel to this, there will be three channels focussing exclusively on the exhibitors with their information and product shows.
So you see, we will have many highlights, all of which can be found on our website on ish.messefrankfurt.com/events. There is for sure something for everyone.
Q: Are there any key trends that you expect to see in evidence from exhibitors?
A: The top themes of the ISH water and energy sections constitute the thematic hub of the exhibitors and the programme of events. They will generate impulses for the various formats, in which visitors can take part flexibly and individually in accordance with their interests and areas of expertise.
So the water section will focus thematically on drinking-water hygiene and the trend towards hygiene in the bathroom. The Green Deal is one of the important, future-oriented subjects to be discussed in the energy section of ISH digital 2021. Naturally, the heating solutions and systems that make a decisive contribution to achieving climate targets will also be shown. Additionally, the spotlight will also be on the enormous significance of ventilation and air-conditioning equipment, especially in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: One of the great advantages for visitors to the live event every year is the networking element – how will that be replicated in a virtual format?
A: The heart of the event is the ISH digital platform, which will host the online live event from 22nd to 26th March 2021. There, all exhibitor activities will be concentrated and intelligently linked to the services offered by Messe Frankfurt. This platform gives all companies and interested parties from around the world the chance to meet and, therefore, make new contacts on a scale available nowhere else.
Additionally, there will be live-stream and on-demand transmissions of the programme of events, as well as an appointments system for online meetings with exhibitors. Visitors have the opportunity to take part as they wish in panel dissussions, product shows, presentations, special shows, and so on. Moreover, during the lectures and live sessions, they will have the opportunity to interact with the speakers and ask questions.