DALLAS — ISSA Show North America 2018 enjoyed a solid week with an impressive slate of seminars, workshops, and special events peppering the schedule.

With an education track list that included health care, green cleaning, residential and commercial cleaning, distribution issues — and much more — were busy all day with official agenda events, followed by spontaneous networking into the night.

And the selection for the 1,200 industry professionals who signed up for various workshops and classes was staggering. There were more than 40 events to choose from on day one alone as part of the ISSA menu of offerings. One attendee quipped, “I wish I could clone myself.”

How did all this come about?

“In the early days of 2018, the entire ISSA team that touches each member segment with education came together to discuss the vision for Dallas,” according to Brant Insero, who oversees all ISSA education.

The initial brainstorming culminated in a historic slate of educational opportunities for attendees. “During that time, we determined that we wanted to have an opening ‘spotlight speaker,’ more sessions than ever before, and a laser focus on topics that are important to each member segment. The overall reach for the ISSA Show continues to grow, and so does education.”

And the early efforts that kept the ISSA team busy paid off. Seminar and workshop meeting rooms were packed. Discussions were engaging. The takeaways were endless.

Right out of the gate Monday morning, the proven value of ISSA’s impact on the industry was commented on during the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) session. Gary Wolfe, a business services liaison with the West Virginia Association of Rehabilitation Services (WARF), said his organization doesn’t use CIMS as much for the valuable competitive edge it provides building service contractors, but instead for quality control purposes. It’s working. His non-profit organization works closely with state government on contracted work that benefits disabled workers, and he has seen a $5 million revenue increase in the past six years. He credits CIMS certification as an important component to his organization’s success.

Highlights from the event included:

  • A standing-room-only inspirational and rousing presentation by David Goggins, a retired Navy SEAL and a Guinness World Record holder for the most pull-ups in 24 hours, among many other accomplishments. His discussion on Complacency Kills kept everyone on the edge of their seat as he helped them see what each could do to overcome obstacles and challenges they face not only in their work, but in their daily lives. From a motivational video on his passion of running to images of his missing toenails because of it, the practical takeaways were endless.
  • A special State of the Industry Panel included four experts who have experienced the ups and downs of all segments of the cleaning industry. The bottom line as the discussion ended was how to keep planning, never become stagnant with your business or work in the industry, and remain competitive no matter how good things are right now. The “Amazon” effect was mentioned more than once, how those in attendance must keep an eye on trends and happenings in the industry and keep pace with them — or exceed them.
  • Multiple “big events” including the ISSA Charities Party for a Purpose Topgolf Event and the Team ISSA Welcome Reception.
  • The Backlot Bash, which was an amalgamation of several networking events at past shows. This year, everyone came together for a huge, industry-exclusive street fest with free food and drinks, live entertainment, celebrity appearances, and, of course, ample networking. All proceeds from the event went to ISSA Charities.
  • A “fireside chat” between Former President George W. Bush and ISSA President John Barrett, which closed out the show to a packed audience.

From marketing and management, to infection control and cleaning for health — and much, much more — the activities tied to ISSA Show North America 2018 offered an exciting look at the cleaning industry today as well as a look into its future.

If you missed this year’s ISSA Show, don’t make the same mistake in 2019. Put ISSA Show North America 2019 on your calendar today.