The UK’s largest and most important event in the cleaning and hygiene sector, The Cleaning Show, welcomed more than 4,600 visitors through its doors when it made its triumphant return to London. It marked the industry’s first physical event since the UK’s national lockdown was lifted, coming at a critical time as cleaning lands high on the agenda of businesses across the country.
Industry experts take to the stage
Opening the event, Nigel Mills MP, Chair of the Cleaning and Hygiene All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), welcomed visitors and exhibitors, highlighting the important role the show plays in bringing the industry together to celebrate the sector and facilitate business. He paid tribute to the industry and the role cleaning and hygiene operatives have played over the past 18 months and highlighted how the APPG would help shine a light on an industry that was once overlooked.
Delving into the critical role of the Cleaning and Hygiene APPG, Jim Melvin, Chairman of the British Cleaning Council, took to the stage in the opening session of the event’s conference programme. He spoke passionately to the packed audience about the duty of the BCC as the voice of the industry, and how the APPG would recognise professionalism within the sector, fight for key worker status for cleaning and hygiene operators and establish a verified apprenticeship scheme. He highlighted the importance of recognising the efforts of the industry, citing New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, as an example as sheintroduced the ‘Thank Your Cleaner Day’ to celebrate the efforts of the industry in safeguarding the general public.
The Cleaning Show conference programme also welcomed Sebastian Bachellier, Programme Manager and Project Lead for the Recognised Service Providers scheme at the Living Wage Foundation, and Charlie Mowat, Founder and CEO, The Clean Space. Sebastian outlined the importance of the real Living Wage and the achievements of the programme to date, including bringing £1.5 billion to the pockets of low paid workers. He also revealed that the programme would focus on ‘Living Hours’ – which would go a step beyond the living wage and tackle the insecurity of working hours.
With sustainability high on the agenda for visitors and exhibitors alike, James Lee, Council Member, Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association declared that innovation alone wouldn’t solve the industry’s problems. He identified five pillars of sustainability: product, packaging, transportation, social and ethical values and corporate emissions, waste and water, while highlighting the challenges – from financial pressures to a resistance to change – that would need to be overcome for lasting change.
Speaking after the session, visitor Nick Hutchings, Business Development Manager, Electromech, said: “It’s interesting to see where the cleaning industry is going with regards to sustainability and eco-friendly products. The Roadmap Towards Sustainability conference session was particularly interesting to me as I feel that everyone should be paid fairly – it’s the difference between surviving.”
Day two of the programme saw technology take the spotlight, with Darren Marston, Executive Chairman of ICE, delivering a session on the rise of co-bots and how autonomous cleaning can support and enhance current cleaning practices. He highlighted the company’s role in pioneering autonomous cleaning and how customers, including Stratford’s Westfield – the largest shopping centre in Europe – had installed its range of Co-Botics machines in March 2021 to resounding success, with employees “embracing the technology and the future.”
In another session titled ‘Technology matters – employing new technology to deliver a modern cleaning service’, Dominic Ponniah, CEO and Co-Founder of Cleanology, shared key examples of innovation in the areas of sustainability, robotics and the digital revolution. He noted how solutions “don’t need to reinvent the wheel or be high tech to deliver a modern cleaning service”. Alongside cleaning solutions, he explored how data-driven technology “is the new gold”, helping cleaning businesses to report issues, provide alerts for predictive cleaning and maintenance, and record attendance through the use of geo-location and facial recognition.
The leading platform for new product launches
Highlighting The Cleaning Show’s position as a hotbed of innovation, several exhibitors used the show’s return as the opportunity to announce new product launches. Among the new products announced at the show, Killis revealed ‘Rex’ – a king-sized, autonomous cleaning robot targeting commercial and industrial settings, with complete remote handling. Lionsbot, a Singapore-headquartered smart robotics company, conceptualised Rex during the pandemic to empower the cleaning workforce and to keep them safe. It uses lidar technology to clean 4,032m² – the size of a football field – in one hour, the highest cleaning efficiency in its size class.
Speaking about the launch, Charlotte Killi, Head of Sales, Killis, said: “The Cleaning show has given us a chance to exhibit our latest innovations and display what we’ve been working on during the pandemic. It’s a super exciting time to showcase everything that’s gone on behind the scenes. We have unveiled our latest robot machine, Rex – which means ‘King’ in Latin – meaning it’s the King of cleaning machines,able to clean the size equivalent of 8 football fields in one charge of 8 hours. Everyone has been really excited and have been wanting to take photographs with our machines.”
Speaking about the event, Magdalena Kopec, Business Support Manager, Kingdom Cleaning, said: “The show is a great place to find new products. It’s good to physically see how new products work in person instead of seeing them solely online. It’s also a great place to network with new suppliers. I enjoyed seeing the robotic cleaning machines in particular, like the Killis robot machines.”
Demonstrating the growing importance of sustainability and a green approach to cleaning, first-time exhibitor FogPod revealed its electrostatic devices that produce a ‘positively charged’ spray that binds to surfaces giving 360-degree coverage. The company, born out of the pandemic in January 2020, offers both handheld devices and motion sanitiser stands, which offer no contact sanitisation. Elsewhere, ICE, the UK’s largest independent provider of cleaning equipment, introduced its handheld ICE Aquasmart Unit. The patented Diamond-Technology in the ICE Aquasmart Nano produces aqueous ozone – a natural cleaner, sanitiser and deodoriser that is more powerful than bleach but completely safe to use on all surfaces.
Speaking about this year’s event, Julie Kitchener, Head of Customer Service & Marketing, ICE said: “The show has been brilliant – it’s great to be back and have the chance to speak to the industry in person. We’ve had so many exciting leads. Most of the interest has been for the co-botics and we’ve had a lot of questions from visitors who want to see them in real life. We also launched our AquaSmart chemical-free units. The combination of the launch of AquaSmart and the fact our co-botic machines recycle water has demonstrated how important sustainability is and a big area of interest for visitors at the show.”
Exhibiting at the show is a highlight for many of the participating companies as explained by David Green, Commercial Coordinator, Lavor. He said: “I’ve been doing trade shows for 25 years and I can firmly say this is in the top five shows I’ve ever been to. The quality of the attendees is second to none and there have been no time wasters. We’ve had conversations with serious buyers, which proves that the event attracts the right clientele to make exhibiting worthwhile. Our stand and our products have been well received and I now have a pile of business cards to get through after the show ends! The Cleaning Show has been fantastic and we look forward to exhibiting in Manchester next year.”
Announcements at the show continued with The Worshipful Company Of Environmental Cleaners (WCEC) using the event to launchits Chartered Practitioner scheme to the entire cleaning industry. Demonstrating the industry’s professional commitment, skill and expertise, the scheme means cleaning professionals can now register as Chartered Practitioners, with Yvonne Taylor from OCS and Robert Sutherland from RAMS FM confirming their new status at the show.
Shaping the future of the industry
Demonstrating the industry’s most innovative and new technologies, The Cleaning & Support Services Association (CSSA) played host to the new CSSA Innovation Showcase – a pavilion dedicated to nine companies selected by a panel of industry experts and representatives. Selected from more than 30 entries, Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene Supplies (BCHS), Washroom Wizard, w’air, ICE, NextDynamics, Optiqo, Orion Eco Solutions, Selden, and Softbank Robotics provided attendees with a first-hand insight into the cleaning industry of the future with the latest products spanning new fabric care systems, autonomous cleaning equipment and IoT air care solutions.
Guinness World Record holder Terry ‘Turbo’ Burrows outshines the competition
Drawing in the crowds on the second day, the popular Window Cleaning World Cup returned, in partnership with the Federation of Window Cleaners (FWC). Ten times Guinness World Record holder Terry ‘Turbo’ Burrows returned to be crowned the winner with a time of 14.37. He was followed by Darren Ansbro of DA Components with a time of 16.16 and in third place Ashley Mackintosh of Northampton-based Mackintosh Clean with a time of 17.16.
Speaking about the event’s triumphant return, Stuart Dacre, Event Director, said: “It’s been a long wait but I can’t describe how good it feels to bring the cleaning industry back face-to-face for three action-packed days of inspiration, innovation and insight. It’s been particularly special to recognise the efforts of cleaning and hygiene operators and the critical role they have played in keeping people and places safe over the past 18 months. The response from exhibitors and visitors has been overwhelming. We’d like to thank everyone who has participated in this year’s show and look forward to opening our doors once again when we return to Manchester in 2022.”
The Cleaning Show returns to Manchester Central from 6-7 April 2022. To find out more, visit: https://cleaningshow.co.uk/manchester/