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The UK Cleaning Show is over for another two years and the next time it is held, in March 2015, it will have moved to its new home at London's ExCel. Generally this move was seen as a positive one by those at the show although there were a few people who weren't so sure. John Austen recalls the time that a large and busy cleaning show was held regularly in the '80s in London's Olympia and I went along to one in the early '90s I believe, which was very successful, so it's been done before and there's no reason why it can't be done again. And of course Excel is a far better exhibition centre than Olympia. And London compared to Birmingham? Well, there’s no contest, is there?
This show might be smaller than its predecessor in London all those years ago but in terms of business done – or likely to be done anyway – it appears to have been a real success. Those who’ve been in the industry for a while will know what I’m referring to when I say that this event used to be considered by many visitors to be a good day or so out of the workplace, with the opportunity to gather some freebies, meet up with old friends and spend most of the time drinking beer on someone or other’s stand. Those days are long gone; there was very little alcohol to be seen at the show and it was very clear that people were there to do business. The industry has matured and it shows.
Several exhibitors told us that they had benefited from the absence of many the larger manufacturers, in as much as they attracted far more visitors than they would have done had the bigger players been there. Bearing in mind the fact that so many of these visitors were willing to part with their cash, I have to agree that this is one heck of a benefit! The visitors we spoke with said they were enjoying the fact that there were so many new companies to discover – including a number of foreign exhibitors - and interesting new products to see (yes – there really were!) so as far as I could gather, everyone was really happy to be there.
On the downside, this is the UK cleaning industry’s show and a chunk of the profits go into the British Cleaning Council’s coffers. I find it rather sad that many of the larger manufacturers who chose not to support the show, are members of the associations that go into making up the BCC. If funds are tight, there’s no need to buy an enormous stand that overshadows everything around it. A small one will be enough to stop people condemning you for letting down the rest of the team…
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28th March 2013