5 Questions for Stefan Seitz, Director ISH Brand Management ISH
In 2022, many related industries started again with trade fair presentations, showing how important and necessary personal exchange still is. ISH, the leading innovation show for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Water will be back in March 2023. Five questions for Stefan Seitz, Director ISH Brand Management ISH, about the relevance of the upcoming international industry meeting place.
1. The time until ISH 2023 is passing quickly. With what expectations are you looking forward to the upcoming event?
Stefan Seitz: “Anticipatory, very attentive and excited - I think that sums it up quite well. There was an ISH digital in 2021, but the personal encounter was simply missing. In this respect, I am very much looking forward to visiting our exhibitors at their stands, discovering the innovations for a sustainable future for myself and entering in direct exchange about them. After all, the themes of the ISH absolutely hit the nerve of the times. At the leading international sanitary and HVAC event, national and international companies present the industry's marketable solutions for water, heating and air. But I am also realistic and know that we are currently influenced by external factors, whether geopolitical or economic. Therefore, I am at the moment very focused on how the situation will develop further, but my basic attitude is of course optimistic.”
2. What topics will be in focus?
Stefan Seitz: The motto of 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 very big topic. It is 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 will 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 last extremely dry and hot summers have clearly shown this to us.
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.
3. What kind of ISH can we expect in 2023? Will the market leaders be there?
Stefan Seitz: The last regular ISH took place in 2019. A lot has changed since then. This concerns both the dynamics of the industry and the trade fair as a marketing instrument. Corona, geopolitical developments and the partly gloomy economic forecasts in submarkets of the ISH 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. In parallel, it leads to individual exhibitors deciding at short notice to withdraw from their participation in ISH. Unfortunately, this is currently the case, but only in the Water sector and mostly with national manufacturers. The main reasons given by the companies are the declining willingness to invest in the sanitation market, higher energy prices and the general global political situation. Nevertheless, they all continue to emphasize the importance of the ISH as the leading trade fair for the sector and that the decisions were very difficult for them. 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. This corresponds to 70% compared to 2019. In addition, there are 320 companies that currently have a placement proposal or will receive one in the next few days. Therefore, it is currently difficult to estimate the final number of exhibiting companies.
Today, I can say that we have the support of the majority of all ISH exhibitors. At the moment, the reporting will focus on which cancellations have to be announced. However, it is worthwhile to look at who will be there. Because that is still the majority of companies, and they are looking forward to ISH in March 2023.
The ISH Contactor at www.ish.messefrankfurt.com/contactor provides a daily update on all exhibitors taking part.
4. What will ISH 2023 look like - what is new and what themes can be seen where?
Stefan Seitz: In the ISH Energy segment, we are placing an even stronger focus on the technologies of the future in the heating market. Electrification is progressing strongly in this segment. That is why we are concentrating suppliers of heat pumps, home energy management systems and energy storage, as well as manufacturers of complete heating systems, in Hall 12, whereas in Hall 11.0 we are focusing on suppliers of wood heating, waste gas technology as well as heat generation and heat transfer. In Hall 10, visitors will continue to find everything to do with home and building automation, energy management, together with monitoring, control and regulation technology, as well as testing equipment. As at the previous event, the focus in Hall 9 will be on solutions for heat distribution and in Hall 8 on refrigeration, air-conditioning and ventilation technology.
The Eastern part of the fair ground is all about Water. 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 at home in Halls 2, 3, 4 and the Forum. The International Sourcing section will be located in Hall 1. Thus, the unique, practical and international range of products for the sanitation, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning sector in March 2023 invites visitors to discover solutions for the most important questions of our time.
5. How digitally is the industry positioned for March 2023?
Stefan Seitz: 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. Messe Frankfurt has meanwhile tried out many different event formats. The learning from this is 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. Parallel to the industry meeting point in Frankfurt, we will provide the ISH Digital Extension. It will then be available for use for one week longer, until 24 March 2023. This means that everyone can make the most of their time at the fair and, for example, view missed programme items afterwards. Another advantage is the possibility to make targeted contact. Using AI-supported matchmaking, suitable business partners can be found and contacted at the fair or digitally.
The ISH site plan at www.ish.messefrankfurt.com/fairground will help you find your way around the exhibition grounds.
The ISH will be held from 13 - 17 March 2023.
The world’s leading trade fair HVAC + Water
Image: Stefan Seitz, Director ISH Brand Management (Source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH / Pietro Sutera)