Trend programme at ISH 2023: Talks, innovations, lectures and trends with added value


Hotspot Water isn’t just a trend forum dedicated to the bathroom, water and lifestyle, it’s also a discussion platform for the entire bathroom sector. The forum is jointly organised and hosted by the German Bathroom Sector Association (Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitärwirtschaft e.V./VDS) and Messe Frankfurt.

In addition to current developments in the bathroom industry, The Bathroom Experience also presents forward-looking solutions for sustainable, cosy and urban bathrooms for the coming generation. At ISH, the world’s leading fair for HVAC and water that takes place in Frankfurt from 13 to 17 March, experts from a wide range of disciplines come together to discuss the key issues facing the industry. Located in the midst of the inspiring exhibition at the Pop up my Bathroom trend platform, which is located in Hall 3.1 this year, the talk forum is an informative hotspot. Initiated by the VDS in close collaboration with Messe Frankfurt, the programme is primarily aimed at a professional audience from the trades, bathroom planning, interior design and architecture.

“Since its premiere back in 2013, the Pop up my Bathroom Atelier forum has evolved into an information hotspot. This time round we’re particularly focused on an interdisciplinary exchange – we’ve never had so many experts on the stage as this year,” says Jens J. Wischmann, managing director of the VDS, in anticipation of some intriguing discussions on a wide range of topics.

Talk, talk, talk: panel discussions top the agenda

Besides panel talks on the four trends identified by Pop up my Bathroom (the Sustainable, Wellbeing, Emotional and Tiny bathroom typologies), there will also be discussions focusing on two other current developments that are affecting the private bathroom: cosiness and colour in the bathroom. Under the heading Industry Talks, there will also be a series of fascinating panel discussions on women in the trades, design expertise in bathroom planning, emotionality in the bathroom and barrier-free accessibility. On the last day of the fair, a final panel talk will look at the future of the bathroom and the developments affecting dealers, the trades and industry.

Keynotes provide an overview of the sector

In addition to the panel discussions, the programme also includes a series of keynote presentations. Each day, trend researcher and design journalist Frank A. Reinhardt will kick off the programme by describing the 10 most important bathroom trends and identifying developments that are relevant to the bathroom.

This year too, in conjunction with related associations, the VDS is looking at a range of topics that affect the industry. figawa, for instance – Germany’s Association of Companies for Gas and Water Technologies – is presenting the topic of hygienically safe drinking water in terms of the materials that come into contact with drinking water, as well as the “Fit for Drinking Water” training initiative. There will also be a presentation in collaboration with ZVSHK – the German Sanitation, Heating and Air Conditioning Association – covering various aspects of rainwater harvesting.

Barrier-free accessibility is an important point when it comes to planning a bathroom. What are the differences between “barrier-free”, “age-appropriate” and “care-friendly”? What about grants and funding? And what needs to be taken into consideration with regard to barrier-free construction? These aspects will be the subject of talks by Daniela Heinemann (Barrier-Free Bathroom Campaign) and Martin Schäpermeier (Kaldewei). How does a bathroom showroom become a sales factor? How can it generate an emotional response from customers? How should a showroom differ depending on whether it’s for a dealer or the trades sector? Those are just a few of the points that interior designer Christian Wadsack will be covering in his presentation.

It goes without saying that the recurring themes of bathroom design – colour and light – will be on the agenda at this year’s ISH trend forum too. Colour expert Dr Hildegard Kalthegener looks at the current colour palette and makes some predictions about coming colour trends, lighting expert Thorsten Moortz illuminates the emotional and smart side of lighting design for the bathroom, and Torsten Müller looks at the overall bathroom design from an emotional perspective.

New on the agenda: CEO Talks and Speed Briefing

Is the bathroom business in crisis? Or does the sector have its eye on several growth markets right now – is it predicting “gold taps”, high drinking water quality and barrier-free bathroom interiors? In Hotspot Water, CEOs from exhibiting bathroom companies answer critical questions from Inga Wiedemann and Nikolaus Klein (both from SHK-TV). Eight CEOs from some of the sector’s leading brand-name companies will talk live about strategies, their brand presentation at ISH, current communication activities and their latest new launches, as well as the outlook for 2023, which promises to be an important year. The following CEOs have confirmed their participation: Stefan Sallandt (burgbad), Antonio Linares (Laufen), Cyril Stutz (Geberit), Georg Lörz (Villeroy & Boch), Jürgen Kalmbach (Hansgrohe), Reiner Habermann (Kermi) Stephan Tahy (Duravit) and Thilo C. Pahl (Bette).

Another new point on the agenda is the Speed Briefing scheduled for the Tuesday: 10 exhibiting companies will present their ISH highlights in quick succession. Each will focus on their innovations, new launches or collections in 8-minute presentations – an impressive and compact showcase of the relevant innovations from The Bathroom Experience at ISH 2023. Finally, on the Friday, the programme will end with a talk with Stefan Seitz, who will take stock of this year’s trade fair and sum up the outlook for ISH 2025.

As always, the Pop up my Bathroom Atelier will also be hosting crowd-pulling talks on the latest trends with some of the biggest names in the sector, including Sandra Hunke, Gesa Hansen, Sebastian Herkner, Christian Werner, Eva Marguerre & Marcel Besau, and kaschkasch.

All talks will be simultaneously translated into English or German as appropriate.

Location: Hall 3.1, Booth D67

An overview of the programme for each day can be found here.

The complete programme can be found here.