ATLANTA — There were many questions about participation as the July 30 opening approached for The Clean Show presented by Texcare at the Georgia World Congress Center.
At an event the night before, Mike Floyd, president of Girbau North America, said, “I think people are tired of being cooped up and want to be at a trade show.”
Floyd was right as as Show Director Greg Jira said on the final day of the show that attendance was running within expectations, a few hundred below that of 2019 in New Orleans (around 11,000) for what is formally known as the World Educational Congress for Laundering and Drycleaning, visiting the booths of approximately 350 exhibitors, learning during nearly 30 hours of educational sessions, and enjoying events both on- and off-site.
Show organizers are tallying the final numbers and hope to be able to report them soon.
“We haven’t been here since New Orleans, and I’m so happy to be here at Clean in Atlanta, my hometown,” shares Grover Evans, laundry manager at Emory Decatur Hospital. “I’m looking forward to hearing all the new things that we’ve got going on here today.
“I wanted to find out some answers, and this is the best place to be to get to know all those things.
“And I’m looking forward to seeing the new innovative equipment that we have out here today. We’re going to make it happen!”
And the industry did make it happen.
The ceremonial ribbon cutting took place Saturday morning with Messe Frankfurt North America’s partnering associations— Association for Linen Management (ALM), Coin Laundry Association (CLA), Drycleaning & Laundry Institute International (DLI), Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA) and TRSA, the association for linen, uniform and facility services.
Afterward, laundry professionals crowded escalators to reach the show floor and visit booths and learn more from the exhibitors.
Representatives from companies sharing equipment, products and services on the show floor called traffic consistent and reported plenty of business taking place.
“Overall, we’ve had good continuity, a continual flow of traffic,” says Jeff Landry, managing director global supply chain for textile provider American Dawn. “There’s always somebody at the booth.”
Besides a consistent, steady show floor, educational sessions and after-hours events held by exhibitors and other show partners were well attended.
Many education locations were standing-room only, and attendees were more than happy to network and enjoy Atlanta during the after-hours events.
But the focus of the show was the floor, and attendees were pleased with the results while exploring exhibitor booths.
“I’m definitely finding what I need here,” says Kent Anella, owner of The Complete Cleaning Co. Inc. in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
“I’m looking at a small tunnel since area hotels are asking me to do more, but labor’s a problem.”
While the industry still faces pandemic-related and other challenges, most who were in Atlanta agreed that it was great to be face-to-face once again—to have a bit of normalcy.
For more from The Clean Show, check out the September issue for an expanded First from the Floor report. The October issue will feature a roundup of news from a sampling of exhibitors from the show.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Matt Poe at [email protected] .