Las Vegas attracts a giant crowd of cleaning professionals

“The Cleanest Show on Earth” might be a good way to summarize the ISSA/Interclean show which was held in mid-November in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The event, which takes place annually, attracted over 16,000 professionals from the cleaning or Jan/San (janitorial/sanitation) industries. Although paper plays an important role in this business - and there were quite a few paper manufacturers present - the main emphasis of the show is on other areas.

Hugh O’Brian

The tradeshow floor was extremely busy during the days of the show, with visitors rushing from one booth to the other, and exhibitors’ agendas totally booked with one meeting after the next.

Just about every possible tool, device and chemical you could think of for cleaning services was on display. These include very simple mops and brooms, all the way up to very sophisticated robotic floor cleaning and polishing machines. Chemicals for sanitizing and cleaning are also a big component in the mix of exhibitors. Basic supplies such as garbage cans and garbage bags as well as tissue paper products of course, were also well represented.

Visitors to the show - which covered 25,000 m² of floor space - included a wide variety of functions and categories in the facilities management and cleaning chain, including facility owners and managers, municipal facilities managers, building services providers, food service professionals, distributors and wholesalers.

The True Value of Clean. ISSA has done a great job of gathering all sorts of information that present evidence of the value that clean facilities and services offer. Distributors and manufacturers of tissue paper products who have not been making use of ISSA materials in their own business efforts might be well advised to do so.

To quote from an excellent presentation entitled “the Value of Cleaning” done by ISSA: “Historically, cleaning has been viewed by facility managers and building owners as a cost center. Consequently, decisions about cleaning expenditures have been one-dimensional and focused on the amount spent to clean the facility.

However, a review of numerous studies reveals that cleaning activities impact a company’s bottom line in many ways and that developing a greater understanding of the economic benefits of cleaning will produce greater savings.

Data analysis supports the position that cleaning is economically efficient and thus a relatively modest investment in this realm produces substantial returns. Using this information, facility managers should be able to make better decisions to leverage the money spent here to improve the bottom line.”

Lost Business Due to Dirty Restrooms. As an example of how clean means better business, ISSA has produced data which shows how businesses lose out when they have dirty restrooms. This data could certainly be better exploited by the tissue business to further convince many customers in the Jan/San sector of the importance of clean and tidy restrooms. A giant 79% of surveyed people say that they would avoid doing business with a restaurant or hotel that has dirty restrooms. See Figure 1.

Likewise, the ISSA show has also done a very good job of explaining what cleanliness means to work productivity. For example, a cleaner workplace means fewer sick days per employee per year. It is estimated that sick days taken by employees in the US cost employers a whopping $225 billion a year in direct costs.

By simply maintaining a high level of cleanliness in many offices and work environments, a 2%-8% increase in worker productivity is seen in studies. Among the common services with the highest level of contamination include keyboards, mice and telephones; restrooms and washing facilities; and break room appliances such as microwave ovens, refrigerators and vending machines. For more information about these issues, the reader is recommended to go to www.issa.com/value.

Upcoming ISSA events. All in all, the ISSA Las Vegas show was seen to be a great gathering point for cleaning industry professionals, covering all angles of the business. For 2014 the big ISSA events will be ISSA/Interclean Amsterdam to be held May 6- 9, and ISSA/Interclean in the US which will take place in Orlando, Florida, on November 4-7. In addition, ISSA is launching a new event for the Eurasia market taking place in Istanbul, Turkey, on September 15-17. *

Login or Register to publish a comment