The Manchester Cleaning Show returned to Manchester in April for its first face-to-face event in the city for over three years. With cleaning continuing to be an essential service, the Manchester Central Convention Complex experienced a wave of traffic as visitors and exhibitors reconnected and sought out the latest product innovations.
Recognising and rewarding the industry
Opening the first day of the show, Delia Cannings, Deputy Director of the British Cleaning Council (BCC), remarked on the sector’s progress and stressed the importance of the industry’s commitment to support initiatives that push for a better future for all. She said that the pandemic had proved just how crucial the cleaning industry is, stating: “We’ve been on the front line during the pandemic, cleaning tirelessly for two years and we are now burnt out. The Government see us as ‘just cleaners’ but we should be recognised and valued as key workers.”
Cannings outlined how the Apprenticeship in General Cleaning – which is being driven and championed by the BCC – is at a pivotal juncture ahead of its expected September launch. She also updated visitors on how the BCC is challenging the government on how the levy should be used, as well as discussing other core issues like overseas workers, minimum wage and modern slavery with a group of 50 engaged MPs.
Moving towards sustainable solutions
With sustainability at the top of the agenda for this year’s conference programme, the first day of the show saw Nina Wyers, Marketing and Brand Director, The Floorbrite Group leading a session on ‘Cleaning for climate change’ where she offered insights on how businesses can extend their commitments to green cleaning solutions across the whole supply chain.
Also reiterating the need to ‘act now’ to stop climate change, James Lee, Council Member, Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA), explained the CHSA’s five-pillar initiative that helps companies migrate towards environmentally sustainable business through the standards on product and packaging quality, ethics and corporate environmental impact.
Additionally, Steve Courtney, Product Specialist at Robert Scott offered his expertise in sourcing products which have the correct sustainable credentials for businesses that are looking to reduce their environmental impact. Addressing the challenges of killing germs and viruses in large spaces, he emphasised how using chemical-free cleaning systems also harness the power to cut costs and single-use plastic waste, as well as reducing carbon emissions.
Commenting after the session, Karim Samani, Managing Director, TechDisinfect, said: “The session has challenged me to think about how we can change our processes and the chemicals we use in our cleaning products, and to think more holistically about our impact on the environment and climate change.”
The rise of technology in cleaning
After a long awaited visit to Manchester, it was clear that many businesses in the cleaning and facilities management sector were eager to display the latest innovations and technologies in cleaning equipment, utilising the many opportunities that the show floor offers to re-connect with both new and existing customers.
Tibor Killi, Managing Director at Killis, the Manchester show’s official Innovation partner, explained how collaborative robotics can ease a human-intensive workforce whilst freeing up valuable time and making cleaner, healthier spaces. This was proven on the show floor where live product demonstrations concluded each day of the show, leaving visitors impressed with the agility of its exclusive range of LionsBot, ICE (Intelligent Cleaning Equipment), Tersano, Greenspeed and Soap2o brands.
Commenting on this, Andrew Bodle, Managing Director of Hygieia Group, said: “The show was well set out with a good variety of exhibitors and everyone we would want to meet with. We have connected with a number of new suppliers who we will definitely be following up with after the show with a view to doing business together. We also thoroughly enjoyed the live robot demonstration – it was the highlight of the show.”
Another session saw Stephen Lynch, Sales Director of Cleanology, speaking on the rise in robotics and the demand for new technology to deliver a modern cleaning service. Ponniah enlightened visitors on how technology-led solutions can ease workplace management and assured cleaning professionals on the positive impact technology can have in the workplace in a new post-COVID era.
Finding value in the session, Jamie Mead, Director of Perfect Finish Cleaning Group, remarked: “This is my first time visiting and it has been a real eye opener – new machines, new technology, and software. Many of the companies here we have not spoken to before so it has been very helpful and saved a lot of time in sourcing new suppliers. We will definitely be putting in orders when we get home so it has been a productive day.”
Maintaining clean spaces
Elsewhere on the show floor, both visitors and exhibitors were able to see how the show’s official hygiene partner – Reckitt’s Dettol® Pro Solutions – had developed protocols and trusted products that could be used across an event to ensure maximum hygiene.
Leading Reckitt’s first session at The Manchester Cleaning Show, Stuart Bainbridge, Global R&D Director, and Dr. Lisa Ackerley, Director of Medical and Scientific Engagement, Hygiene at Reckitt, heralded “the new normal” post pandemic, and shared survey results which showed that people are now more conscious about germs post pandemic, and businesses are putting more measures in place to protect working environments.
During the second day of the show, Reckitt’s Global Business Solutions Commercial Director, Jonathan Weiss and Global Regulatory Director, Katy Slater, led an in-depth panel talk on the psychology of consumer behaviour and shared actionable advice for businesses to ensure patrons and staff remain vigilant to drive improved hygiene behaviour post pandemic.
Speaking about the event’s successful return, Paul Sweeney, the new Event Director of The Manchester Cleaning Show, concluded: “Day 3 of my new role was the opening day of the show, so what a fantastic opportunity for me to spend two days talking to people within the sector. Seeing the cleaning industry gather with such enthusiasm was very rewarding. Every exhibitor I spoke with was really pleased with the high-quality discussions they’d had over the two days of the show. It was evident that the opportunities the show brings to businesses is phenomenal, and it’s very clear to see how much the show is valued. I’m really looking forward to being part of the cleaning sector going forward.”