ISSA/Interclean North America attracts plenty of fresh supplier exhibitors

Reflecting the dynamic growth in the cleaning and hygiene industry’s supply-side, some 107 exhibitors out of the 645 booths were new participants in the ISSA/Interclean Show, Las Vegas. Bill Griffin* gives an insight into the show. The ISSA staff did a great job with the recent ISSA/Interclean Show in Las Vegas. It seems that every year […]
The opening ceremony takes place

Reflecting the dynamic growth in the cleaning and hygiene industry’s supply-side, some 107 exhibitors out of the 645 booths were new participants in the ISSA/Interclean Show, Las Vegas. Bill Griffin* gives an insight into the show.

The ISSA staff did a great job with the recent ISSA/Interclean Show in Las Vegas. It seems that every year they do a better job. I’m already looking forward to attending next year’s show at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

If you missed the recent ISSA/Interclean Show, you missed out on a golden opportunity to grow; 2011 was the best ISSA/Interclean Show I’ve ever attended. There was so much to do that you couldn’t do it all, even if you tried. The exhibits were excellent, aisle after aisle of the latest chemicals, equipment and products to make your work easier and your cleaning more effective.

So many new things that I wish I could have spent another two days discovering them and learning from the people willing to share their experience and information. The seminars and presentations were all top notch.

President of Cleaning Consultants Inc, Bill Griffin

Tom Peters wooed the crowd as he paced from one side of the stage to the other. What energy that guy has, and only he can get away with yelling at the top of his voice and calling it a presentation. The Poker Lady was great, with lots of management concepts, although I’m not about to step up to a poker table anytime soon. Time flew by fast and before I knew it, I was headed to the airport with bags in hand for the flight back to Seattle.

The ISSA/Interclean Show has grown into a big event; one that truly encompassing the entire cleaning industry, and I expect this trend to continue as other associations and groups continue to jump on the ISSA bandwagon.This year the International Executive Housekeeper Association, The Building Service, Contractors Association, and the Association of Residential Cleaning Service International held their annual conventions around the ISSA/Interclean Show.

A growing number of private companies and non-profit organisations participate in the show and hold meetings before, during and after it. As the ISSA kept telling us each day, this year’s show was the start of something big, and I have to agree. This was a big show, with a big agenda and even bigger plans for the future.

Only so much time and energy

I always try to attend as many events as I can at the show, and this year was no exception. However, I must be getting older. Although there were many evening parties to attend, I only went to one and that was the party hosted by the Spartan Chemical Company. Spartan are known to hold a great party and are so gracious in welcoming anyone who shows up at the door that it has become the ‘go to/don’t miss’ event for anybody who can spell ‘Spartan’. As ever, the food, drink, music and friends to chat with were all fantastic. Thank you Spartan, for continuing the tradition in grand style.

Oh, the exhibits

What can I say? Put on your most comfortable shoes and grab a bag to collect all the literature, pens and candy you can carry. I always get a kick out of seeing first timers to the show. You watch them come in the door, stop, look around and wonder silently, ‘where did all this come from’, as they try to decide which way to go first?

This year there were so many booths and so much to do that I just couldn’t get enough time on the show floor to visit each one, so I know I missed a lot of new things on the market. Here’s a review of a few products that did catch my eye, which I thought were innovative and useful:
• Mint-X Trash Bags – These bags contain a natural mint scent that is repulsive to rats and mice. I’m not a rat, so to me they smelt quite good.
• WearMax Ceramic Floor Coating – 50 times stronger than normal polymer floor finish and harder than industrial diamonds. Chemical and stain-resistant, and increases slip resistance, even when wet.
• Permanon Surface Protection – Easy-to-apply nano-particles provide a brilliant shine to all solid surfaces without buffing or polishing. Electrostatically bonds and fills pores and pits making cleaning easier and faster. Resists acids, alkalis and solvents, and provides UV protection.

Hurricone Wet Sign and Floor Dryer

• Hurricone Wet Sign and Floor Dryer – A wet sign and fan combined.  Feature loaded; cordless and rechargeable, up to 8hr run time, decreases drying time by 90%, flashing red light, motion detector, scent cartridge, dries floor around unit for up to 4.6m.
• Sporicidin Mold-resistant Coating – Water-based, zero VOCs, non-toxic, fast drying, and EPA registered antimicrobial coating that prevents mould growth on porous and non-porous surfaces. Designed for high moisture areas and is anti-scratch, anti-abrasion and stain blocking.
• High Tech Water – Several companies were exhibiting water enhancing processes that claim to eliminate the need for chemicals when cleaning, degreasing and sanitising surfaces.
Check these out:,,

Don Aslett’s Museum of Cleaning

History of mops at Don Aslett’s Museum of Cleaning

Even though I received free entry, a visit to this booth alone was worth the price of admission. It was interesting to see how far we have come from wooden buckets, hand pump vacuums and polishing poles to today’s robotic scrubbers, nano-technology coatings and chemical-free cleaning with micro-fibre cloths. Seeing this exhibit made me realise that today’s wonders will, in time, be tomorrow’s history. Visit the museum online at:

It’s about cleaning and a whole lot more

It used to be that if you were a janitor or custodian, your job was to sweep the floor, vacuum the carpet, dump the trash, clean the restrooms and go home. Today, we still do those things, but cleaning now involves so much more. We have to use the right products and procedures, we must be aware of security concerns, and recycling, along with energy and resource conservation, we have to know about indoor environmental quality, green cleaning, quality control, and computers. And that’s just a partial list. It seems as though our responsibilities, and the need to know more about things that last year we didn’t even know existed, continues to grow on a daily basis.

Our jobs today aren’t just about cleaning. For someone to be truly successful as a professional cleaner, custodian or janitor, they have to get an education and then keep on learning about all the new products, guidelines and criteria that impacts what we do on the job each day. You just can’t afford to say or think that you’re an expert anymore unless you spend at least some of your time and energy researching, learning and keeping up to date. You may know what you used to do, but if you aren’t reading, monitoring the chats, attending seminars and trade shows for several different industry segments on a regular basis, you are out of touch, behind the times and at risk of being replaced by someone who does stay on top of what is changing in the workplace and the world.

There will probably always be work for someone who does a good job of cleaning, but the really good jobs in the new prestige buildings where they pay the best wages and benefits and have the latest equipment and work environment, where you feel like part of team that is doing something good, will go to those with the most current education and skills. That’s the reality in any field.

It’s not that education and information isn’t available, because it is, far more so than ever before. There is so much information available today about cleaning that even I can’t keep up with it and that’s all I do from sunrise to sunset.

I talked to a man yesterday who is a salesperson for a local distributor, and I asked if he attended the recent ISSA/Interclean Show in Las Vegas. His response was, “no, our company didn’t send anybody this year”. This same company in its heyday, 10 to 15 years ago used to send 30 or 40 people. Granted, the company has been bought and sold a couple of times, and is now part of a large corporation, but to me, that is no excuse for the company not sending its staff or for the salesperson for not attending on his own. To me, it appears to be the beginning of the end for both parties. I could tell he was a little frustrated and it made me sad.

Did you attend the recent ISSA/Interclean Show in Las Vegas or were you like my salesman friend and stayed home because no one would pay your way?

Opportunities for success are right in front of us every day. Yet we look the other way and find excuses for our failures to take advantage of them. You can’t make more money, give better service or get a better job by looking the other way.  Next year there will be the ISSA/Interclean Amsterdam Show and ISSA/Interclean North America, Chicago. Where will you be; at either of these shows learning and preparing for a better and more prosperous future or once again, making excuses to stay at home and miss out? Do yourself, your family and the cleaning industry a favour; plan now to attend at least one cleaning industry trade show in 2012. I’ll be there looking for you.

2012 ISSA/Interclean facts:
• 15,900 people attended the show, a 13% increase over last year in non-exhibiting attendees, including 13% international attendees from 69 countries
• 3800 people attended Tom Peter’s Keynote presentation
• 27 countries were represented on the exhibition floor
• Sold out exhibition space, a 15% increase in space over the last Las Vegas Show
• 107 new exhibitors out of 645 booths
• Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) program held its largest class ever with 150 in attendance; bring total number of ‘ISSA Cleaning Experts’ (I.C.E) to more than 1000 professionals.

*President of Cleaning Consultants Inc, Bill Griffin is a leading industry educator and trainer.


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