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Industry leader calls for trade show 'sanity'

Published 6th June, 2014 by Neil Nixon

Industry leader calls for trade show 'sanity'

Robert Burtinshaw urges the industry to back the Cleaning Show in London and avoid the danger of history repeating itself.

Robert Burtinshaw - the industry guru who has helped shape the UK's cleaning industry - has called for 'sanity' to avoid returning to the 'bad old days' of a two-exhibition industry.

“Some 35 years ago I was privileged to be a council member of the Janitorial Suppliers Association (JANSA) - now the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) - and in 1982 was one of the founder members of the British Cleaning Council,” said Burtinshaw. “During the preceding 20 years or so - up to 1982 - we had endured two competing national exhibitions, which was totally untenable.”

Burtinshaw set about bringing the situation to an end, planning a single event to better serve the needs of the UK industry. “In 1988/9, as vice chairman of the BCC, I was part of the cleaning industry team that negotiated with Paul Michael, then managing director of Turret Group, to set up the joint venture company, British Cleaning Council Exhibitions Ltd (BCCE). This enabled us to combine the two competing exhibitions into one national event, with the British Cleaning Council Exhibition (BCCE) - now known simply as The Cleaning Show - being 50% owned by the British Cleaning Council and 50% by Turret Group. This ensured that the industry had its say in running the UK's national exhibition, as well as receiving valuable financial income to reinvest into the cleaning industry.”

According to Robert Burtinshaw, this was the perfect solution and, for the first time in over two decades, the industry had what it wanted - one show, organised for the industry by the industry, that generated profits to support the British Cleaning Council and its member associations. And this situation has endured until now.

“This joint venture exhibition company - BCCE Ltd - has run successful exhibitions for the past 25 years and has recently listened to the industry and moved back to London, a decision which I personally fully support,” continued Burtinshaw. “There was not room for two competing exhibitions back in the 1980s and there certainly isn't room for two now - or in the foreseeable future! The Cleaning Show 2015 at London's Excel is breaking new ground, with exciting developments attracting exhibitors and sponsors alike. It will be the event this important industry deserves, but I call upon everyone to support it. A united industry with one event supporting our associations is the only way forward - a divided industry will struggle to attain a voice and will dilute its marketing potential. See you in London - one and all!”

The Cleaning Show 2015 takes place at London's ExCel from 10-12 March 2015. The organiser, BCCE Ltd, has recently announced that it is expanding the footprint of the show, with the original floorplan filling up with 10 months still to go. For further information, please visit or contact Vanessa Martinet on 01737 855041/

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