Members of the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute unanimously reiterated its support for one major, national, annual trade show for the building products industry at its spring 2002 meeting.

"The first stumbling block to consolidation is generally the fact that trade shows provide a major portion of the revenue for the trade association to operate," said Todd Talbot, PMI president and co-chair of the Trade Show Consolidation Issue Committee.

"It is critical, at this point, to focus discussion on how to make trade show consolidation 'revenue neutral' for the organizations involved," Talbot said. "That means however much profit is generated by the trade show, the association is guaranteed that amount of revenue at the show's inception and through its developing cycle."

PMI membership has adopted a "Revenue Neutral Formula" which includes its support of significant increases in booth space costs in conjunction with a plan that develops a single, extended, annual building show format. For example, the consolidation of three existing shows could warrant a 40% increase in the cost incurred by PMI members and their peers.

Messe Frankfurt issued the following comments in response to PMI's statements:

"ISH North America show organizers continue to focus on trade show consolidation. ... The Plumbing Manufacturers Institute has been supportive of this consolidation effort throughout the recent years and continues to lobby for this goal.

"Since the announcement of ISH-NA several other industry associations have expressed their support. So far AIM/R, MCAA/PCA, RPA and The PVF Roundtable endorse the effort and will hold meetings in conjunction with ISH-NA. Additionally, LonWorld USA, a show sponsored by Echelon and focusing on the automation sector, will be co-located with ISH-NA. ISH-North America has also integrated the largest annual meeting of the three original sponsors: ASA, CIPH and PHCC.

"While this 'small consolidation' already represents an important step in the direction desired by the industry, the show organizers remain in active contact with several other related trade show organizers. Also, while ISH-NA is currently scheduled as an annual event, it remains a goal to bring the show to an every-other-year rhythm -- at least for those industry segments that prefer such a cycle.

"Messe Frankfurt and its partners welcome PMI's continued support of the consolidation process. The proven ISH-concept offers the best possible platform to achieve this objective."