Industry trade shows are a collective showcase of product marketing and company branding.
Latching on to one of several hot button buzzwords, companies tend to stick to an agenda regarding the attributes they tout about specific offerings or an overall corporate culture.
With the exception of the infection control calamity following the pandemic H1N1 influenza outbreak of 2009 — what many simple call swine flu — when hand sanitizing stations were more prevalent than business cards, the most visible push of the past several years has been the notion of green cleaning and sustainable operation.
Unique classifications and entire product lines have been developed around the notion of environmental preferability and the interconnected relationship of sustainability’s three legs: People, planet and profit.
But, as green notions become the norm and sustainable thinking seeps into every facet of business, we are seeing a shift in trade show messaging.
This year’s “green and sustainable” was undoubtedly chemical-free stripping.
Some are strapping small, backpack-like vacuums with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration to their apparatuses to minimize dust and other airborne particulates when removing finish without lubrication from water.
Others are developing task-specific pads and rollers — some impregnated with precious carbon allotropes — that can be quickly changed to transition from one surface to another, allowing chemical-free stripping gear to morph into multi-use machines that can scour away finish and hone stone surfaces to a shine.
While various benefits are touted by each company with such an offering, the overriding theme is constant: Chemical-free stripping is green cleaning and sustainable thinking in action.
While neither supporting nor demonizing the act of floor finish removal by physical force rather than chemical means, I found the prevalence of such technologies on this year’s show floor nothing short of curious.