The Cleaning Show 2021, which returns to ExCeL, London from 2-4 November, has announced the first details of its comprehensive conference programme. Over 7,000 attendees are expected to join industry experts as they discuss the latest insights and technological developments, and consider the critical next steps for an industry that has placed itself on the frontline of public health and safety delivery.
The lasting legacy of the coronavirus pandemic
As we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, the cleaning industry needs to remain focused on the safety of the public and ensure that the emphasis and importance of front-line staff continue into the new normal.
Demonstrating the growing importance of the cleaning and hygiene sectors to public safety, a dedicated session exploring the critical role of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group (AAPG) will be led by Jim Melvin, Group Chief Executive of The Exclusive Services Group Ltd and Chairman of The British Cleaning Council. Inaugurated earlier this year and sponsored by the British Cleaning Council, the group is one of the biggest and most credible APPGs to be established with a total of 53 MPs and three members of the House of Lords already members. With the profile of cleaning and hygiene never having been so prominent, this presentation will look at the work of the APPG and its critical role in keeping cleaning and hygiene at the top of the political agenda.
Another session dedicated to exploring the critical role of the cleaning industry post-pandemic will be delivered by Jamie Wright, Managing Director of Incentive QAS Ltd. He’ll address the importance of focusing on public safety, as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, and why an emphasis on the importance of front-line staff continues into the new normal. In this presentation, Jamie will explore how the cleaning industry as a multi-faceted sector can work in cohesion to promote the importance of the essential services that it provides to keep people safe.
Focusing on the workplace, Lorraine Davis, Director of Cleaning Services at MITIE will offer a ‘non-healthcare’ guide to infection control. Her session will cover all the measures that should be taken to ensure cleaning practices do not increase the risk of cross-infection, including the simple changes that can be made in cleaning practices/methodologies to deliver a safe and hygienic working environment.
The future of cleaning technology
Another key theme of the 2021 conference programme is the role of technology in the future of cleaning. The cleaning industry has slowly been moving towards technology-led solutions for some time, but it is only in recent years it has become a key differentiator between companies. The impact of the pandemic and COVID-19 has and will continue to accelerate the trend towards tech innovation in new ways.
In a session titled ‘Technology matters – employing new technology to deliver a modern cleaning service’, Dominic Ponniah, CEO and Co-founder of Cleanology will take a look at an industry that now uses robotics and smart sensor technology to help facilities management professionals manage workplaces in a new post-covid era. Elsewhere and with a continued focus on robotics, Darren Marston, Executive Chairman of ICE, will deliver a session on the rise of the Co-Bots, outlining how autonomous cleaning can enhance cleaning practices and productivity efficiencies whilst providing a dramatic return on investment.
The heart of the cleaning industry
Alongside robotics, a human-centred approach to cleaning will also be discussed at the conference, with a particular focus on training. Delia Cannings, Director at Environmental Excellence Training Development Ltd, will lead a session on training opportunities, focusing on apprenticeships and funding. The presentation will include a review of the current needs of the cleaning industry with a focus on the lessons learned during the pandemic and will provide recognition of the contribution cleaning teams across the world have made in the pandemic recovery. Cannings will also take an insightful look inside the work of the apprenticeship trailblazer group and will provide an overview of recent professional developments including grant opportunities for apprenticeship funded programmes and tailored educational provision.
A session led by Neil Spencer-Cook, COO at BICSc, and his colleague Michelle Iland, Marketing and Events Manager will consider training and delivery styles for cleaning service providers. Covering the importance of training and the delivery methods that are available within the sector, the session will provide commercial cleaning providers with a holistic look at the various training options and their benefits, and what could work best for their organisation.
Elsewhere, Sebastian Bachelier, Programme Manager and Project Lead for the Recognised Service Providers at The Living Wage Foundation, and Charlie Mowat, Founder and CEO of The Clean Space will come together to discuss how cleaning has shifted from an invisible workforce to one of key workers, and why the real Living Wage matters now more than ever. With a record number of organisations publicly signing up to the Living Wage Foundation and with a growth in demand for front line workers in cleaning, catering and security, they will provide food for thought on why now is the perfect time to champion the real Living Wage in employee contracts.
Other highlights of the conference programme include Lorcan Mekitarian, Chair of the CHSA in a session on the rise of unscrupulous traders, using examples of dishonest behaviour to help buyers understand the challenges and learn the questions they need to ask to make sure they get products that are fit for purpose. James Lee, Council Member of the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) will examine the association’s roadmap for sustainability, developed in response to member feedback, while a representative from Darwin Clayton will explore the role of insurance in delivering a comprehensive cleaning service.
Neil Nixon, Conference Director at The Cleaning Show, said: “We are thrilled to have so many leading names from the sector joining us this year. Across the programme, we’re confident that every single attendee will leave with valuable insights and actionable learnings. With the opportunity to network, learn and engage with thought leaders on a range of hotly anticipated topics, the conference programme will provide attendees with the chance to stay one step ahead when it comes to planning for the future and tackling the challenges of both today and tomorrow.”
Stuart Dacre, Event Director at The Cleaning Show, commented: “We’re incredibly excited to announce further details of the 2021 conference programme, which is shaping up to be a fantastic spread of experts and topics. The coronavirus pandemic has had an untold impact on every corner of the cleaning industry and we are delighted to share a platform for discussion about how we continue this momentum and drive the industry forward.”
Jim Melvin, Chairman of the British Cleaning Council, added: “The Cleaning Show conference is always one not to miss and given the fact that within the industry, we have all been affected by the pandemic over the last 18 months, I would argue that this is even truer this year. I’m delighted to open the first day of the conference focusing on the all-important APPG. The pandemic has allowed the industry to be seen in a different light and we must ensure policymakers are aware of the vital work carried out by cleaning operatives and promote the importance of the industry to the wellbeing of people, health and safety, and the protection of the environment.”