The Clean Show is just weeks away, and if you are one of the few thousand folks planning to brave Atlanta’s mid-summer heat and humidity this year, here are some tips and suggestions for making the most of it.
First, if this is your first time attending Clean Show, I guess I should say congratulations, and hopefully, it will be worth the time, effort, and Covid exposure. I have attended every Clean Show since 2000 from the vendor’s side of the booth.
My first suggestion is to have realistic expectations; if you are a dry cleaner, understand that less than a third of the show is dedicated to this sector. Commercial and industrial laundry will make up the bulk of what you see. With some planning, you can easily see everything in a day, and with a two-day plan, you can have sit-downs with any vendor you want.
Four days on the floor will only lead to someone asking if you are lost.
Do you have a need? New pressing equipment, cleaning equipment, service provider? If so, schedule a time with them, either in advance or see them right away and ask for a time to sit with them in the next few hours or days. Every vendor will be happy to carve out time for a one-on-one meeting, and you won’t be waiting for so and so to finish up with someone else or come back to the booth.
Understand there are no “show specials:” almost any deal you think you can cut on the floor can be made directly with the company any time of the year, and most equipment that is sitting on the floor was sold weeks ago to someone and is just there to put a sold sticker on.
A vendor can easily spend $100K or more to participate at Clean; that’s a lot of money for most companies to shell out every two years. The money they could have been passed on as discounts to their clients, so if you’re coming to Clean to get the best price, maybe save the travel expense and pick up the phone.
Every live demonstration is designed to work, notwithstanding the occasional mechanical hick-up, shirt finishing, garment sorting, cleaning, and stain removal demos that have been planned well in advance, so potential clients see successful outcomes.
That doesn’t mean the equipment or product doesn’t work, just that you see a best-case scenario. Be realistic about things; if you want to see a specific type of garment being finished or processed, ask if they have it; if they don’t, you will want to ask what to expect.
Every vendor would like to talk to you; stopping at booths is expected, and most likely, someone will approach you to ask if you have any questions. It’s OK to say you are just looking, or feel free to engage the person with questions even if you have no intention to buy anything.
The people in the booth are there to help you, not convert you.
If you are taking the time to go to Clean, don’t spend it walking the center of the aisle, walk into booths, pick up literature, talk to people, and take business cards. You never know what you might find out. If you make an appointment with someone, keep it.
As business evolves, trade shows may become a thing of the past. We look forward to this event to spend time with current customers and meet people interested in what we have to offer.
We’re partnering with Miele for wet cleaning demonstrations at their booth so you can see wet cleaning in action. I hope you stop by Kreussler’s booth to say hello and schedule an appointment. We’re here to meet with you!