Wholesalers and manufacturers shared their reactions to the inaugural ISH North America trade show.

"I guess that from my perspective, it was encouraging to see that our industry leadership is not letting the slowed economy dampen their enthusiasm," said Robert Machaby, senior vice president of vendor relations at Hughes Supply, Orlando, Fla. "No thumb-suckers here! The first ISH North America trade show seemed to be a hit. I'm not sure if attendance should be the only barometer, but there was also excitement and a sense of urgency in the air. The skyline, outlined by construction cranes, helped to add to the vibrancy of the city. Ahh, Toronto. Good pick!"

"From the wholesalers' and contractors' perspective, it was a very well done show and especially well attended by contractors," said Jack Hester, president, F.W. Webb Co., Burlington, Mass., who served as president of the American Supply Association for 2002. "However, I believe that many ISH exhibitors were disappointed by the wholesaler turnout. I heard many comments that the ASA Supply Chain Summit meeting with wholesalers, manufacturers and manufacturers reps was excellent."

"I think the concept of ISH North America is great, but until all of the shows can agree to come together under one roof, it will never have the prestige of ISH Germany," said Stanley Dreyfuss, director of purchasing for SG Supply Co., Calumet Park, Ill. "Some vendors had lots of support at their booths, while others were just standing around. I really don't think the number of 10,000+ visitors for three days is anything outstanding. When egos and personalities go out of the picture, we will be able to have the combined show that will bring success and prestige to our industry."

"It's been a great show - we've had a lot of traffic - both customers and prospects," said Thad Zylka, director of base accounts for NxTrend. "We've had excellent buyer interaction and it's been great to be located with other technology-based companies. We can't wait to exhibit in Las Vegas next year."

"I heard that the seminars were fantastic," said Ingrid Mattsson, marketing communications manager for Uponor Wirsbo. "I understand keynote speaker Rich Trethewey from the television show "This Old House" had a wonderful presentation and Dan Holohan packed his room."

"I think ISH North America definitely accomplished the goals of trade show consolidation," said Seth Guterman, vice president, sales and marketing, American Valve. "We saw the same people that would normally have been at any of the shows that were consolidated into this show. We had better traffic and spent more useful time with our customers, vendors and other people in the industry."

"We received a lot of good response at our booth to our new products," said Graeme Lennox, manager/advertising and marketing services at American Standard's head office in Canada. "We were very impressed with the customer turn-out."

"Toronto was a great choice," said David MacNair, vice president/marketing at In-Sink-Erator. "The show was successful. We're definitely looking forward to next year's event in Las Vegas."

"The quantity and quality of the Canadian attendees was exceptional," said John Pearce, director of sales at BLANCO Canada.

"We were really pleased with the level of traffic through our booth and the interest in our products, as well as the range of people that came to the show," said Raymond Farley, vice president/general manager at Myson. "We've seen people from all across Canada and the United States. Business leads are coming in."

"The visitor traffic to our booth was steady and of high quality," said Kenneth Webster, marketing manager at Viessmann.

"This show has been fantastic," said Brent Westover, sales manager for Parker Hannifin Corp. "It was great as far as who attended - contractors, sales representatives, other manufacturers - it also provides a great display stage for products."

"It was an outstanding opportunity for us to come to this show," said Richard B. Doody Jr., owner/president of True Blue Software. "We've met a lot of our customers as well as new prospects. We're planning to go to Vegas."