ISSA Show North America Virtual Experience recap

The week-long experience attracted 13,500 unique platform visitors from 79 countries.

The 2020 ISSA Show North America took place November 16 – 19, 2020 and connected influential leaders throughout the worldwide commercial, residential, and institutional cleaning industry through a one-of-a-kind Virtual Experience.

As the first edition of the show in a virtual setting, the 2020 Virtual Experience broke down traditional barriers by giving the worldwide cleaning industry access to global business solutions from anywhere and at any time.

The week-long experience attracted 13,500 unique platform visitors from 79 countries, with more than 6284 creating personalised Virtual Planners and/or registrations.

“We were grateful for everyone’s willingness to try something new,” said Lindsay Roberts, Group Director, ISSA Show North America.

“We understood a virtual event would never replace the in-person experience, but we also knew people still wanted to unite as one industry.

“They wanted and needed education, products, and connections. We focused on bringing these critical elements to the platform. Plus, we knew after a tough year, people were seeking motivation and inspiration. I was so impressed with the audience’s open minds and positive attitudes.

“And equally impressed with their ability to quickly learn to navigate the elements of virtual experience platform. It proved what we already knew. That our industry is resilient, resourceful and adapts quickly,”

The Virtual Experience not only preserved the same in-person elements seen at the traditional event but included expanded features, events, and offerings to the virtual show including:

  • 12 networking events
  • Three spotlight speakers
  • Innovation of the Year Awards
  • 250+ exhibitors
  • 150+ exhibitor events
  • 40+ live sessions
  • 25+ on-demand sessions
  • Matchmaking and video appointments
  • Interactive events and entertainment.

The Virtual Experience had high levels of engagement with the virtual booths, products, and educational content:

  • 71,000+ virtual exhibit views
  • 17,500+ virtual exhibitors added to agendas
  • 25,000+ education session page views
  • 19,900+ education session adds to agendas
  • 2,500+ on-demand session YouTube views
  • 1,879 confirmed video meetings took place over the four-day event, drawing 88% engagement with exhibitors.

Participants left the experience with knowledge from lessons learned while working together towards strengthening the global community by increasing the appreciation for cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment, and an improved bottom line.

Registration remains open

It is important that the industry remains connected entering into 2021. In order to do so, registration for the Virtual Experience will remain open through March 31, 2021 making it easier than ever for industry professionals to participate on demand from wherever they are at their own pace.

Attendees can gain access for FREE by creating a Virtual Planner or by registering for an All-Access Pass that grants access to the complete program of product and service innovations, and educational insights. For further information on registration visit

An industry united

ISSA Show North America welcomed back co-located partner events which took place in conjunction with the Virtual Experience including: ARCSI, a division of ISSAHealthy Green Schools & Colleges by Healthy Schools Campaign; and IEHA, a division of ISSA.

“From the virtual exhibits and networking opportunities to a captivating lineup of expert speakers and a few fun activities along the way, the show provided an excellent outlet for all segments of our industry at this critical time,” Barrett said.

“We were very pleased with the Virtual Experience and we are optimistic that we can reconvene for the show in person next November in Las Vegas.”

Show attractions expand virtually

ISSA Show North America preserved the traditional show features and events while introducing new attractions to the Virtual Experience. Highlights included Virtual Exhibits, Live and On-Demand Education, Networking Events, and Industry Awards Programs.

Virtual exhibits

The Virtual Exhibitor Directory allowed participants to meet—virtually—with the companies that are shaping the future of cleaning. Through the Virtual Experience, participants could connect directly and in real time with exhibitors through Virtual Business Cards, Product Listings, Exhibitor Hosted Content, Product Demonstrations, Networking Events Hosted by Your Preferred Vendors, Exhibitor Collateral, New Product Gallery, Show Specials, Video Promotions, and Industry Product Leaders.

Matchmaking program– an extension of the Exhibit Directory and My Virtual Planner – allowed participants to connect directly and in real time with exhibitors through 1-to-1 or 1-to-8 video appointments, request meetings, and chat live with exhibitors and industry peers. The Matchmaking Program was available to all registrants through Thursday, November 19, 2020.

Sponsored thought leadership sessions – available to all registrants each day, each session addressed different aspects of the industry from subject matter experts. Participants lefts with a greater focus, clarity, direction and understanding of how-to best leverage resources moving forward. 2020 sponsors included: Charlotte ProductsDiverseyEcolab Inc.Excel Dryer Inc., I.C.E. RoboticsReckitt Benckiser ProfessionalSofidel GroupSpartan Chemical Co. Inc.Sunbelt RentalsTork, an Essity brand, and Unimed-Lighthouse Distribution. For further information, please visit the My Virtual Planner Thought Leadership Session Page.

Industry product leaders – the best in the business provided the industry with the latest in commercial, residential, and institutional cleaning through representing key product industries. The 2020 Industry Product Leaders include: Diversey – Infection Prevention & Control, GOJO Industries – Cleaning Agents, Hoover Commercial – Floor & Carpet Care, Rubbermaid Commercial Products Inc. – Cleaning Tools & Supplies, Tork, an Essity brand – Paper Products & Dispensers, Restroom Care & Service, Services & Technology and Skin Care & Personal Hygiene. For further information, visit the Industry Product Leaders Page.

Virtual journeys  – offered attendees customized experiences for distributors, wholesalers, education professionals, hospitality professionals, and infection prevention & control professionals.

Live and on-demand education

100-plus Live and On-Demand Education Sessions provided something for everyone with curated tracks targeted towards: commercial cleaning, distributors, green clean schools, healthcare, hospitality, infection prevention and control, residential cleaning, and restoration and remediation.

For further information on the spotlight speakers and sessions, visit the Spotlight Speaker page.

Networking events

Virtual roundtable event – Provided by ARCSI, a Division of ISSA, the Virtual Roundtable Event sparked discussions among industry peers by guiding discussions on industry-related topics that answered questions, concerns, and challenges faced in 2020.

ISSA general business meeting ISSA – ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, welcomed ISSA members to attend the annual ISSA General Business Meeting. The meeting included: Updates on Association Business, Introduction Information Classification: General of Incoming Board Members, Farewell Address, Incoming President Address, ISSA Charities Report, and the award announcement for the Jack D. Ramaley Industry Distinguished Service Award.

Daily activities  – Experts from different industries guided the Virtual Experience participants through inspirational lessons sparking learning and activity. Activities included: Golf tips and tricks to improve your game no matter what level of play, How to Win at Poker – Tips and Tricks from the Prince of Poker, How to Make the World’s Best Margarita, and Virtual Events Shouldn’t Result in a Stiff Body – Stretch it Out!

Virtual experience closing ceremony – The Virtual Experience Closing Ceremony wrapped up the week-long Virtual Experience with the 2020 Innovation of the Year Award Winner announcement, closing remarks, and exciting entertainment by Electric Avenue bringing the ‘80s TV experience right to the comfort of the participant’s home!

Industry awards

Star Award winners honoured – 2020 Award Winners received recognition during the Virtual Experience Kickoff & Welcome. The Star Awards honor industry legacy companies who consistently exhibit at the ISSA Show North America while maintaining ISSA Membership and have reached 40, 50, 60, and 70 years in the industry. The 2020 Star Award recipients are: National Chemical Laboratories Inc. – 60 Years, Rubbermaid Commercial Products – 70 Years, Tork, an Essity brand – 60 Years. For further information on the Star Awards and other industry awards visit the Industry Awards Page.

Innovation program – In its 11th year, the 2020 edition of the Innovation Program featured 18 ground-breaking products and service solutions from all areas of the industries. Entries are new products and services from top manufacturers and suppliers throughout the cleaning industry organized into five categories: Cleaning Agents; Dispensers; Equipment; Services and Technology; and Supplies and Accessories.

Innovation of the year award winner announcement  – Following the online voting from September 1 to November 18, the 2020 Innovation of the Year Award Winner TASKI® IntelliSpray for swingo by Diversey was honored during the Virtual Experience Closing Ceremony.

Category award winners announcement – The five category award winners were announcing during the Virtual Experience Kickoff and Welcome Session. The 2020 Innovation Category Award Recipients are:

The Innovation Category Award Winners, Honorable Mentions and Innovation of the Year Award Winner will join the Innovation Hall of Fame winners. The complete list of entries in the 2020 Innovation Program are available online at

Save the date – 2021

ISSA Show North America returns to an in-person event November 15–18, 2021 at the newly expanded west hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV, USA. Stay tuned for more information on 2021 at

INCLEAN is published by The Intermedia Group on behalf of ISSA

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