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From our personal experiences, John Austen and I are well aware just how tough it is to be involved in organising and fronting exhibitions and conferences and ensure that not only do they go according to plan but that those who attend – either as an exhibitor or a visitor – enjoy themselves, have everything they need while they’re there and come away feeling that their money and time have been well spent. I couldn’t help but smile at this picture of Robert Stelling (left), Jos van den Berg (centre) with Rob den Hertog who between them have looked after us all so well at Interclean, Amsterdam. Jos was ‘head honcho’ when I first attended more than 30 years ago; he was succeeded by Rob who’s just enjoyed his last Interclean Amsterdam before he fully retires at the end of May, (enjoy it Rob!) having handed over the reins in 2021 to Robert. “For me last week was very special,” says Rob. “It was busy, full of meetings, full of new products and an extensive knowledge program with presentations and demonstrations, but above all it was fun! It is almost impossible to describe the energy you could feel during the show.” Everything a show needs then!
This morning I’m heading to London for another event where the buzz is exciting and tangible – the Kimberly-Clark Professional Golden Service Awards. I can’t wait to applaud those who will be there representing the winning teams and thank them for the great job they’re doing in keeping our environment clean and hygienic. And while applause and Awards are wonderful, I feel we mustn’t lose sight of our need to keep these folk ‘fed and watered’. Some of the companies that have impressed the Awards judges are recognised by the Living Wage Foundation for paying their employees a wage based on the cost of living, rather than something reflecting our Government’s National Minimum Wage - which is generally inadequate for those with rent to pay or a mortgage to service. With the way inflation’s increasing, it will be interesting to learn how our cleaning contractors are planning to keep pace and ensure that they can continue to pay their employees a Living Wage when their clients will be desperate to cut costs. Worrying times ahead, eh?
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26th May 2022