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Gold in This Here Desert: Prospecting at the Clean Show (Part 1)

Attending Clean ’17 is all about staying top-of-mind

SAN FRANCISCO — Have you planned your trip to the 2017 Clean Show this June in Las Vegas yet?

Clean ’17 represents a gold mine in many ways, in addition to exposure to the latest machines being offered in the industry.

Right now, you may be thinking that the national trade show is a couple months off so there is no need to consider attending yet. Possibly you even believe that it’s a decision that can be put off until the last minute when you know if you have time, money, equipment needs, energy, and inclination.

Of course, you can delay, but every two years, you have an exceptional opportunity to attend the industry trade show that possibly should be renamed to something like “Fabricare Wheel of Fortune” because of the contribution it can make to your business and profitability.

It might be possible that your drycleaning operation doesn’t need any bright, shiny, new equipment, no matter how appealing. Many operations are in the situation where the current equipment is a good match for the foreseeable production demand.

However, determining that you don’t need new equipment is no reason to avoid Clean ’17.

The most obvious benefit possibility is to see trends and improvements in all the ancillary products and services such as chemicals, packaging, software, marketing, safety gear, human resources, and productivity.

Beyond the products and services on offer at the show, there are important and beneficial reasons for you and your key associates to participate in this event. Some of those reasons are as follows:

Stay Top-Of-Mind

With constant turnover in our business, it is easy to be “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” due to the attention demanded by the new entrants. Industry influencers and experienced operators who are visible and accessible stay in the forefront of awareness and first in line for attention.

Build New Relationships

People prefer to do business with people they know and trust. Shows are a great place to introduce yourself and personally get to know your providers and industry experts so you can freely network and acquire valuable information. This opens the way for preferential access in the future when you do want to make a capital investment or need expert advice.

Ongoing Relationships

If you already “know” everyone from many years in the industry, updating and maintaining those relationships is easy to do in the open environment of the show with the instant access to all the key fabricare players. 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.

Industry Knowledge and Trends

To stay informed and current on best practices, seeing is believing. Clean ’17 is the most efficient and concentrated presentation of where the industry is going and how best to get there.

Efficiency – Better, Cheaper, Faster

There is usually a better, faster, and/or cheaper way to do most things. 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.

Meet and Greet Your Peers

It can be lonely at the top. Having a dynamic, involved, informed group of peers to call on for advice, best ideas, best practices, what didn’t work and why, and information of all kinds is a tremendously valuable resource that is not related to the latest exhibitor offerings for your operations.

Likewise, it can be lonely in the middle management level. There are boss, peer and subordinate relationships to consider. Showing weakness or lack of knowledge to the boss involves some risk of losing their confidence in management abilities. Doing the same with subordinates is even more fraught with the threat of not being taken seriously. Trade shows and industry interaction helps overcome the potential lack of knowledge and management challenges that are often inherent in the isolated management role.

Use the trip as a bonus for managers who have done a good job. Show that you appreciate them and that you are willing to invest in their education and leadership development as well as listen to their preferences about products.

As an owner, you will also benefit greatly from having a more educated and knowledgeable group of people around you. Their increased expertise will free more of your time to work at a higher level on moving the company forward rather than getting bogged down in the day-to-day operational management of the business. Exposing your team to the sources of your inspiration will also bring them onboard when you want to make changes to the operation because then they will have seen the benefits firsthand.

Check back Thursday for the conclusion.

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