The partners in ISH North America have been working together to develop a new concept, tentatively called a “Combined Industry Conference,” that will ultimately provide a whole new educational and business experience for all attendees. The Conference will be held in conjunction with the table-top (conference booth) event that will now take place in odd-numbered years (opposite ISH North America in even-numbered years).

The Combined Industry Conference will provide its attendees, whether they're ASA members, or members of PHCC, RPA or any other affiliated association, with the opportunity to hand-pick the events they'd like to attend. The associations will work together, with the coordination of Messe Frankfurt (who produces ISH North America), to develop an agenda that includes top-notch keynote speakers, industry training programs, consolidated social programs, and other educational and networking sessions of interest to all. The Annual Meeting portions of each of the associations' programs will continue to be held separately.

However, for the first time, multiple associations will combine their resources to provide the best of all worlds for their members, giving them a “cafeteria style” menu from which to pick the events they want to attend.

The highlight of the Combined Industry Conference will be the table-top conference booth program, where manufacturers and service providers can meet with their customers in a low-pressure, low-cost environment focused on relationships and information, rather than on products.

What does it all mean? Here's the skinny:

For Wholesalers And Contractors:

A new paradigm that allows you to choose from among the best educational, business and social functions offered by a cooperative of trade associations who are working together on one event. And, a schedule that alternates a full product show with a table-top event that offers a relaxed, business-oriented environment to talk “shop.”

For Manufacturers And Their Agents:

An opportunity to focus on building relationships with your customers in an environment that is not fueled by large exhibits and fancy product displays (every other year starting in 2005), while continuing to offer the ISH North America venue (in even-numbered years) for important product displays and new innovations. Plus, Combined Industry Conference sessions will also be geared to address manufacturers' and trading partner issues, providing the maximum value to participants.