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London calling: The Cleaning Show 2015
Two weeks ago Cleanzine met with Martin Scott, who used to organise the established Cleaning Show on behalf of BCCE, to find out why he has now set up the Cleaning Expo, which will launch at the NEC, Birmingham, in March 2015.
Last week we met with representatives of the Cleaning Show: Douglas Cooke, Chairman of the British Cleaning Council and Vanessa Martinet, who is now tasked with making the event a success, representing the two organisations that make up BCCE - the BCC and Quartz Business Media. We wanted to find out why the decision was made to move the Cleaning Show to London from its long-time base in Birmingham and what effect this move - and the new competitive event launched by Martin - is having.
"This year's Cleaning Show, which was held in March, was co-located with a handling exhibition and out of the 11,000-plus visitors to the two events, just 5,300 were there specifically to visit the Cleaning Show," explained Doug.
"Visitor numbers have been falling for years and the show has lost the support of many of the major manufacturers. It was clear that something needed to be done to reverse this trend as the Cleaning Show provides vital funding for the cleaning industry, with 50% of the profits going to the BCC, which uses the money to raise the profile of the industry and provide funding for the associations that make up the BCC membership.
Photo below shows Doug Cooke (left) with Mark Woodhead (right) at the Cleaning Show in March 2013
"We needed to inject something new and fresh into the event - to create a new platform - and decided to move the show to London for 2015 following overwhelming support for a London-based event from buyers and specifiers across this industry as well as those on the periphery.
"At the last Show, only 17% of visitors came from London and the South East, so we've been missing a huge part of the industry and we needed to address that. If the Show's in London, these people - if they're really busy, can go for just the day or even visit between appointments. Every show that's moved to London has grown if it's been promoted properly.
"London is recognised as one of the world's most important financial, cultural and business centres and we believe that, with all the visitor attractions a London-based show offers, visitor numbers in 2015 will once again reflect the importance of our industry. We also feel that overseas visitors, who perhaps did not feel drawn to Birmingham, will be persuaded to come to London and perhaps take a day or two to enjoy some of the delights that London offers, either prior to the start of the Show or once it's finished.
"And one mustn't forget that most of the major contract cleaning companies are based in London, and these, together with key government departments and public sector organisations, have already confirmed that London is their preferred venue, as have many other major businesses from around the UK and Europe."
Asked what was being done to attract the visitors to London, Vanessa said that as well as the exhibition itself, there would be a strong conference, a gala dinner, a seminar programme supported by key industry authorities and associations, a series of social and networking functions and the internationally recognised Cleaning Show Innovation Awards. BCCE is also considering employing an agency that will put together travel and accommodation packages, as well as an evening event programme to ensure that visitors get the best out of their time in London and that those who may be visiting alone are not left wondering what to do with themselves once the Show closes its doors in the evening.
"We're expecting that this will provide an unrivalled networking event for the industry in the UK," she said. "Those who attend will make valuable new contacts while strengthening existing business relationships."
But what about the exhibitors? What's being done to ensure that they come to London?
"If we can assure them that the visitors will come, then they'll book space," said Vanessa. "And although many of them - and particularly the large manufacturers - have said that cost isn't an issue, those taking advantage of the Early Bird Rate will pay the same as they paid in 2013. The money doesn't have to be paid immediately either and companies have the option of paying in instalments.
"For BCC Association members booking before 30th July 2013, the rates are £229.00/sq.m (space only) or £279.00/sq.m (shell scheme) plus VAT. For those booking after 30th July 2013, this increases to £255.00 and £305.00 plus VAT, respectively.
"Non association members booking before 30th July 2013, will pay £265.00/sq.m (space only) or £315.00/sq.m (shell scheme) plus VAT. This increases to £295.00 and £345.00 plus VAT, respectively, for those booking after 30th July 2013."
So if it's not cost that's kept the major manufacturers at bay, what is it?
"There are several factors," explained Vanessa. "We've been talking to them, we've listened and we've taken on board what they've said, which is that if we market the Show properly and add value to the event, they'll exhibit.
"This means a strong marketing campaign which is starting now. It will involve sending out targeted press releases and e-casts as well as advertising across several sectors in a much wider selection of magazines than we have in the past. It means using social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn. It also means making improvements to our website - which we've already started - to ensure it is much easier to navigate and that it contains everything anyone might wish to know about the event.
"To add further value, any company that's a member of an industry association will have the opportunity to put on a seminar and these seminars could enable delegates to obtain qualifications or CPD points.
"We're in talks with the European Federation of Cleaning Industries to see if we can bring the annual conference to London to coincide with the Show. And of course while the delegates are here, they'll visit the Show!"
Doug explained that there is a good demographic of show visitors on the database, with the majority at management level or above. "642 of them have an annual budget of £1million to spend on cleaning products and equipment and if they're spending that as a result of visiting a show then there will be some very happy exhibitors about! But more generally, 93% say they influence the sourcing of products and services and over 93% say they have a purchasing responsibility. Over 60% of visitors attend the event to source new products and services and companies that don't exhibit will miss out on what will potentially be an awful lot of business."
The Show will take place from Tuesday 10th March, to Thursday 12th March 2015, in ExCeL London - a multiple award-winning venue located in London's docklands, just five minutes way from London City Airport and within three hours of many European locations.
ExCeL London's unique campus environment is home to six onsite hotels covering some 1,400 rooms, over 40 onsite cafes, bars and restaurants, three Docklands Light Railways stations (of which two are linked directly to the venue) and 3,700 parking spaces. England's only cable car links ExCeL to the 02.
"We already have a huge amount of reserved space and we're putting our full force behind the association members," said Doug. "We're going to make this work."
Vanessa Martinet - T: 01737 855041
Sales contact for Italy, Spain and Switzerland, Mr. Fabio Potesta / Ms Elda Guidi
T: +39 010 5704948
Sales contact for P.R. China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Ms. Nora Song
T: +86 21 5107 9291
20th June 2013