SAN FRANCISCO — Question 1: The Clean Show is getting closer, are you planning to go?

Answer: If you are, great. If you haven’t yet decided, you should consider attending — and start planning. Planning increases the likelihood of implementation and reduces the chances of last-minute distractions that interfere with actually making the trip.

Question 2: Why should I spend the time and money to attend if I don’t need any equipment?

Answer: Seeing new equipment is just one benefit of attendance. Even if you don’t need anything, keeping current on industry advancements, and networking with experts and peers, keeps you aware of opportunities and alternatives.

Not only is Clean Show involvement a benefit for owners, it can be a powerful incentive and morale boost for key staff as well.

To stay informed and current on best practices, seeing is believing. The Clean Show is the most efficient and concentrated presentation of where the industry is going and how best to get there.

NEW IS NEW

Even if your equipment inventory meets all of your current needs, there may be a better, faster, cheaper way to improve a process. Exposure to alternatives keeps your operation sharp and efficient.

Shows provide demonstrations of the alternatives so that when the time comes to make a change, you will be aware of the choices and in the position to choose wisely with confidence that you are making the best decision for your operation.

Comparing alternatives to the process now used in your operation also keeps your management skills sharp.

Running a return-on-investment (ROI) calculation on any change that might improve efficiency or effectiveness keeps your thought processes sharp and opens your mind to better alternatives. These ROI calculations may surprise you with their contribution to the bottom line.

Delegating ROI calculations to managers can get them on-board for making improvements instead of resisting change, which is human nature when decisions are all top-down. Many alternatives can be completed without capital investment, but there is still a cost to cover planning, training and change implementation.

Determining that you don’t need new equipment is no reason to avoid trade shows. They represent a gold mine in many other ways in addition to exposure to the latest machines being offered in the industry.

Before you reject the idea of attending the 2019 Clean Show “because you don’t need anything,” remember that you and your team can benefit by witnessing trends and improvements in all the ancillary products and services, such as chemicals, packaging, software, marketing, safety gear, human resources, productivity, and improved bottom-line profit.

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Your Team: In this ultra-competitive hiring and retention market, good employees are being bombarded with alluring offers. Treating selected team members to a professional visit to a trade show in an attractive locale can build their loyalty to you and give them better skills at the same time.

A more informed, more effective team will benefit you exponentially, as the owner, allowing you to delegate to better skilled and informed players. Show attendance can also be a reward to them for a job well done, so present it as a privilege to be earned and valued.

Your Current Suppliers: How often do you get the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the decision-makers at your vendor companies?

The Clean Show gives you a chance to make an impression on a supplier that might take your business for granted or whose service has slipped. It is also a time to thank the dealers that have gone the extra mile on service and/or product development.

By introducing your team to the vendor team, you are strengthening the relationship on both sides and allowing them to attach a face to a name, so the bond becomes more personal providing motivation to say yes when you need special attention.

Each participant makes a significant investment of time, energy, personnel, and money. To be represented, and showing your appreciation of their efforts by participating, is valuable for your continuing education and service relationship. It keeps you top-of-mind for innovation and feedback.

Check back Thursday for the conclusion.