NORTHBROOK, Ill.—October 15, 2020—Trade Show Executive’s October 2020 cover story features John Barrett, executive director of ISSA. The article, written by Sue Pelletier, delves into ISSA’s growth on the global stage, how the pandemic has affected the Association, and how ISSA has adapted its events portfolio in response.
John Barrett became ISSA’s executive director five years ago with a goal to grow the organization both internationally and in the U.S. through strategic partnerships. Thanks to Barrett’s efforts and the ISSA Board of Directors’ strategic planning, ISSA is on track to have more than 10,000 member companies in more than 100 countries by the end of this year—nearly doubling the membership levels from just four years ago.
The article highlights the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on ISSA and the industry at large. Barrett points out that proper cleaning and disinfection is more important now than ever and professional cleaners are seeing their work valued in a new way, which raises the bar for ISSA. On the other hand, certain sectors of the industry have been impacted by the economic problems of reduced demand and shrinking revenues, in addition to the public health toll of the pandemic that impacts all of us. As with many industries, ISSA has had to change the way it does business, especially regarding in-person events like the Association’s trade shows and education programs.
Barrett explains in the interview that ISSA partners with Informa to put on its annual flagship event, ISSA Show North America. The event brings more than 16,000 attendees from around the world to 230,000 square feet of exhibition and educational space. Equally large is the ISSA show in Italy, produced by Pulire, and Barrett notes that ISSA also hosts shows in Canada, Australia, Mexico, and Russia. Like others in the trade show industry, this year ISSA has had to shift to all virtual events for the safety of attendees. While the in-person events will be missed, Barrett says he is confident ISSA will be able to produce a high-quality virtual alternative, and he notes that “Future events will almost certainly be hybrids, with virtual supporting the essential in-person strategy.” The ISSA Show North America Virtual Experience is scheduled for November 16-19. Read the full interview with John Barrett in Trade Show Executive’s October 2020 issue.