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Clean Show Strut (Conclusion)

See more, talk more, get more ideas: All about learning and connecting

CHICAGO — At Clean ’19, drycleaning owners could find everything they were looking for to help them improve their businesses. The show was upbeat, personable, and full of great ideas! That gave everyone lots to strut about at the big show back in June in the Crescent City. Exhibitors and attendees alike described it with the phrases: “quality show”and “positive attitude.”

Let’s get some basics out of the way: Was Clean ’19 in New Orleans a success?

Yes. Positively. So positively!


Because many exhibitors and drycleaning attendees over the four hot, steamy, muggy June days in the Crescent City, that I talked to at the show, told me so in a resounding way. Clean ’19 was, in effect, a “jazz-infused jam session” of great ideas, if you will, where fabricare industry manufacturers and attendees came together to lay down some upbeat vibes all their own.

The convention center was nicely air-conditioned and kept the 430 exhibitors and 11,000 show attendees cool — and that was wonderful when the heat outside was 110! The show sold out space at 224,500 sq. ft., notes Messe.

What made Clean ’19 a big success?

....For that we’ll take some comments:

“Having a positive attitude makes a difference not only in your sales, but in your life,” says early morning (before the doors even opened) first day speaker at Clean ’19, Bruce Hamilton, author of No Bad Days. He set the tone.

Those words would prove true over and over, in many subtle tones and bold notes, all during the Clean Show held at the Ernest Morial Convention Center.


Educational sessions drawing packed crowds included the session titled Extending Customer Experience: How To Use Digital Tools To Engage Customers, by Nick Chapleau, co-founder of Starchup, and Rachel Delehanty, customer success, also from Starchup. The session is hosted by Mary Scalco and Brian Johnson of DLI.

Scalco provides a great opening remark in her introduction of Chapleau, saying, “They will tell you how to take your customer experience from your front door to online.”

Chapleau says to an attentive gathering: “The customer journey has three parts: The first impression, when people click to find you; the engagement, when there is a call to action; and the retention, when you use digital tools to bring them back.”

He reminds attendees: “The cost to acquire customers today is growing. Make a better online presence.”

Another educational session, held on day two of the Clean Show, was presented in the convention center’s grand ballroom, which holds about 800 at full capacity. Business Apps To Make Your Life Easier was the topic, and the speaker was Crystal Washington. She asked the big standing room only crowd, “Why are apps necessary?”

Then she answered it with their help by asking if attendees would write down how many tasks in their lives today’s smart cell phone has eliminated. An attendee in the front row had listed 17 things!

“Apps help you do things!” Washington belted out. “Things that you don’t have time for anymore. Use automation tools like Google Alerts which are very fast.”

Again, like other sessions, audience cell phones were recording her words. (Hey that’s yet another task eliminated — by use of an app on a smart phone!)

And yet another Clean ‘19 general session: Helping You Tell Stories That Sell, by popular speaker Brian Rashid, was full to capacity again in the same grand ballroom setting. His message: “Your ‘brand’ and your ‘sales’ are separate. Brand describes you, as a confident owner; you have ‘the knowledge’; and it means your reputation. Build those ideas, then sales will follow.”

On day three, Jason Loeb, owner of Sudsies, talked to a rapt audience about Being Good Isn’t Good Enough.

John Meijer of DLI introduced his program with these cool words, “Jason’s operation rated the best ever in our DLI Secret Shopper program.”

Loeb gets everyone’s attention with this opener: “Keep sharpening your saw.”

He relates: “Make your business all about yourself. I feel the passion and I show it. You wear your brand. Your message goes out to your team. It’s you!”

His message is all about how he strives for world-class standards; showing his staff a world-class experience. He says the way they train is key, along with this: “Understand the people you serve.”

Accolades and milestones also strutted at Clean ’19.

The Clean Show wished a very happy retirement to longtime show manager and friend of us all, John Riddle. TCATA presented him with a plaque and a cowboy cap and gave a warm, loving and also tearful sendoff into that happy land of cattle roping and fishing, surrounded by colleagues, friends, and his son. And at another, separate event, we were introduced to the new show owners Messe Frankfurt and new show manager Greg Jira! “The new John,” as they said, in a smiling, upbeat transition.

Messe Frankfurt, in a press conference, noted they were, “Honored to continue the Clean Show and develop it more in the future.”

Constatin von Vieregge, president of Messe North America, said: “The show is about people doing business. We will continue to provide that platform in North America and we will offer exporters a global opportunity within our worldwide network. We want to continue to make exhibitors happy and look forward to seeing you in 2021 in Atlanta!”

Joe Ricci, Clean ’19 executive committee chairman, and president of TRSA, in the same press conference added an explainer about the new ownership transition process: “We weren’t looking to sell; three years ago we found out John was going to retire and we talked to Messe about managing the show.” It evolved from there and he relates that, “We felt Messe would best be suited to service the show. We have a 10-year agreement to continue the Clean Show and we hope it’s longer than that,” he notes with a smile. “This Clean ’19 show has educational sessions with big themes, such as apps, sexual abuse prevention, and marijuana use.”

At yet another event, we met new DLI president Dennis Schmidt who takes over for Leland Waite. Mary Scalco, DLI CEO, received a recognition award for all her great service to their membership, from the DLI board.


At the GreenEarth Cleaning booth in the 4400 aisle, this exhibitor displayed a new microplastic filter prototype that Tim Maxwell, president, is telling attendees about. His company reports it has joined forces with two other companies, Plastic Soup Foundation, an advocacy group to tackle plastics pollution, and PlanetCare, a developer of specialty filtration equipment for the removal of microplastic fibers.

The partnership is designed to help keep microplastic fibers out of our oceans, it notes. GreenEarth has performed alpha tests on the initial filter design and is beta testing in California, and planning a 2020 U.S. rollout, it writes.

Royal Basket Trucks debuted the Stair-Climber at the Clean Show. Cindy Lapidaikis demonstrated in the company’s booth how it can be moved up steps. She also said that for dry cleaners, “the drop-in divider accessory on their carts are very popular and the scale cart is popular in the drycleaning industry, mostly the six-bushel capacity.”

Rusty Smith at Forenta USA pointed out the new equipment they rolled out at Clean ’19: “We introduced a new line of drycleaning presses available in both the scissor press format and the clear buck format.”

About Clean ’19 impact, he says, “The interest shown in these improved presses was everything we had hoped for.”

Marcelo Rangel at Fabricare Systems said, “We rolled out our Fabricare University offering monthly webinars, and had great interest at the Clean Show.”

Sam at Itsumi had a new press that was getting attention and selling. The CleanCloud Locker rollout was going great, co-founder John Buni told us. Steve Henley at Realstar/Union said they made sales and added, “It was a successful show; we met with key distributors and it’s always good to keep in contact with partners.” Diane Rue, VP at EZPi, announced “EzBarTM, an improved version of the 100 year old Z-Bar that has been used by dry cleaners to store and transport garments on hangers.

The Kelly family at My Shoe Hospital was creating quite a traffic jam in the 4900 aisle with their Shoe Repair Kiosk.

Stephen Langiulli at Columbia/ILSA’s booth right on the main aisle was getting lots of attention, especially at his machine running Sensene demonstrations all during the show and at one point, Jan Barlow, owner of Jan’s Professional Cleaners, threw some ink pens in the machine with clothes as a demo, right on the spot to see how they cleaned. (It was a fun, spontaneous moment at Clean!)

Mark Jones at SPOT said this about the Clean Show: “I believe the quality of attendees this year was exceptional. We had 118 people attend our SPOT/CompassMax user group on Wednesday at the convention center and 450+ attendees visit our booth at the show. Thursday, Friday and most of Saturday our booth was rockin’!”

At Sankosha, Wes Nelson, company president, said they were having a wonderful show, saying, “Clean ‘19 is going great and our booth is making sales!”

Other roll-outs at the show included Leonard Automatics showcasing their new Coatmaster machine, “Perfect for lab coats as well as executive shirts,” Sherry noted. Cleaner’s Supply who was showing their new video program; Hi- Steam demonstrating their new Turbo-440 deluxe tensioner shirt finisher; and at Poseidon, Stucky and Jeff were demonstrating their new line of wet cleaning machines and programmable dryer.

Stucky said he was, “Showing my own personal suits I used to wear, and I’ve wet cleaned them 70 times and they’re still looking real sharp.” He adds, “You buy the technician expertise.” About the show he relates, “We don’t sell, we plant the seeds here to produce a great harvest!”

Sensene, co-exhibiting with its U.S. exclusive distribution partner Seitz, said they, “Attracted lots of foot traffic.”

Drycleaning owner of Sunshine Dry Clean in Boynton Beach, Fla., Husein Jivaji said, “I’m getting ideas here, and I need to improve my sorting of clothing, and I’m looking for conveyors. We still do it the old-fashioned way. I’m also looking for bar-coding. But I’ll find it. There’s everything here,” he says with joy. He’s been a dry cleaner for three years and was a real estate agent when a friend told him about a store. “An opportunity came my way so I bought it.”

Another drycleaning owner, Joe Ferrante, Duro Cleaners in Pittsburgh said, “Here at Clean I’m finding everything I’m looking for!” Big smile and away he goes!

Yet another drycleaning owner, Craig Bamberg from Naples, Fla., came over saying that he just wanted to say hello, and tell me he’s been an owner six months.

“I love everything about the business and I’m here to learn and to buy. This is the place. The sessions are very educational and the show is awesome!”

He’s a co-owner with his brother Chris. With a brisk handshake and a big warm beaming smile, off he goes with a wave — to see more, talk more, and get more ideas!

That is the positive attitude! Learning. Connecting. And doing that strut! And that was Clean ’19!

To read Part 1, go HERE.

clean 19 attendees enter strutting in on opening day web7

Oh When The Attendees Go Strutting In!  Clean ’19 participants made a grand entrance, as shown here. Attendees were led in by a raucous local Louisiana jazz band playing the tune When The Saints Go Marching In. Plenty of struttin’ as the Clean Show kicked off another great fabricare industry event for people connecting and learning what’s new. The next Clean Show is in 2021 in Atlanta.  (Photos by Tim Burke)

clean 19 gen session on apps web

Big Issues, Big Attendances!  Clean '19 general session titled: Helping You Tell Stories That Sell, by popular speaker Brian Rashid, was full to capacity with more than 800 attendees in the grand ballroom at the Ernest Morial Convention Center. His message: “Your ‘brand’ and you ‘sales’ are separate. Brand describes you being confident, having the knowledge, and it means your reputation. Build those ideas, and then sales will follow.” 

clean 19 a.l. wilson booth w the wizard web

The Gee-Whiz Of It All!  There was plenty of time to have a meaningful conversation about the industry, about products and services, and about the grid-lock of cabbing it to the French Quarter! Here at the A.L. Wilson booth an attendee (by coincidence it's our front cover of the August issue struttin' guy) talks over stains with Randy Schwarzmann, on far right, and Jeff Schwarz, aka The Stain Wizard.  ....He’s the Wiz, and nobody beats him!

clean 19 husein jivaji owner sunshine dry clean fl web

Ideas.... Find Me!  Husein Jivaji, owner, Sunshine Dry Clean, in Boynton Beach, Fla., came to the show to, “Find ideas, improve my sorting of clothing, and check out conveyors, right now we do everything the old-fashion way.” He bought his cleaners three years ago and has six employees. 

Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Dave Davis at [email protected] .