Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online
November 2012 Consultant's Corner
Welcome To ISSA

The Cleaning Bell Rings

The 2012 ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America trade show draws a crowd from around the world.

November 1, 2012

First, let me give my compliments to ISSA, its management staff, show exhibitors and conference attendees on a job well-done.

Everyone I talked to at the recent ISSA/INTERCLEAN North America trade show was pleased with the turnout, the events and the quality of visitors to their booths.

Okay — that’s what we say and hear every year.

Show management tells us the crowds and show floor were larger than last year, but each year it looks smaller and it seems like there are fewer people there.

Welcome To ISSAMaybe I need new glasses.

Don’t get me wrong: I love the annual ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade show and think everyone should attend.

In fact, I don’t understand why there aren’t 50,000 or more people at the show.

It’s the best thing anybody in the cleaning industry can do each year to educate themselves and make contacts with industry movers and shakers.

At the same time, I’ve come to the conclusion that trade shows and conventions are headed the way of magazines, newspapers and saddle makers.

Nobody wants to admit it, but the world is changing faster than we realize — right under our feet and before our very eyes.

The reality is that there will be winners and there will be losers.

History tells us that tomorrow’s winners must be willing to let go of the comfort of the past in order to take advantage of the opportunities that come with the future.

We May Have It Wrong

Instead of trying to get more people to come the ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade show and fudging the numbers when they don’t show up, we should take the show to the masses via live streaming video on the Internet.

What would happen if we had 50,000 or 100,000 people around the world watching live in their homes and offices as events unfold at the show?

To me, that is an interesting thought proposition, and it’s in tune with future trends, sustainability and what’s actually happening around the world in other industries.

Here’s my big idea: Let’s have an International Cleaning Day during the ISSA/INTERCLEAN trade show and stream it live around the world.

I think that, if people could see and participate online, it would actually encourage more people to attend the show in person.

The greatest challenge will be figuring out how to make a streamed event more profitable than a live event.

It’s important to mention that portions of this year’s show were streamed live to monitors on the show floor and to the ISSA website.

Here’s a link if you’re curious:

The Keynote

Tom Brokaw was little dull, but I liked him anyways, being we are both from South Dakota.Tom Brokaw

Here are some tidbits from his presentation:

  • There is nothing quite like the American Dream; there is no French or Russian Dream
  • The U.S. is a special and unique place in the world where anything has always been possible, a place where people from anywhere in the world can live free and achieve their dreams
  • Running for President is the toughest job in the world; it’s like going to the public square of your local town and taking a bath stark naked each day at noon
  • Two wars have been fought by less than 1 percent of population — all of whom are volunteers — while the other 99 percent have not been asked to give anything
  • This campaign has been focused on small ideas that divide us rather than large ideas that would unite us
  • There is a great divide in the political arena today, but the government should represent the interests of all the people because we are all in this together
  • You can’t be prepared for something you haven’t seen and can’t imagine
  • Small business is getting a lot of attention but not much help
  • There are no bad or inappropriate questions, and someone needs to challenge the status quo.

If you like to travel, there are international shows during 2013 in Poland, Mexico City, Italy and India. I'll see you there.

From The Show Floor

I found great booths and activities everywhere I went.

Don Aslett’s Museum Of Clean was great and gives you an idea just how far we have come.ISSA logo

The Intellibot Robotics booth with its robotic autoscrubbers and vacuums provides a peek at where we are going.

The Barangle booth with its shoe-mounted and dustmop-mounted inspection lights let us see what we have missed.

Other notables include:

  • The OmniFlex from Kaivac, called “the poor man’s autoscrubber” by many
  • Compostable trash bags from Natur-Bag
  • Super abrasive floor polishing pads from Lavina
  • Coverings for doorknobs and faucet handles from SafeHandles
  • Proactive floor safety signs, banners, blockades and fans from Hurricone.

There was a lot more, but with limited time and space, that’s all I can cover here.

For information on the ISSA’s Innovation Awards winners, visit:


The Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) continues to grow and get a foothold in various segments of the industry.

I actually talked to one contactor who didn’t like CIMS, and when I asked why, she made a face and said that they can’t compete against it and now they are going to have to do all of this extra work to improve how they do business.

Go figure.

CIMS has had quite an impact on our industry; there are around 160 companies and organization now certified, 12 assessors and over 1,000 industry consultants trained to assist organizations in meeting the CIMS requirements.