The Manchester Cleaning Show took place at Event City, Manchester, on 6 and 7 April - and attracted unprecedented press coverage and visitor numbers.
The Manchester Cleaning Show - the regional launch event based on its parent, the Cleaning Show in London - was open for business on 6 and 7 April...and was an instant hit with exhibitors and visitors alike.
Even before the doors had opened, exposure on BBC Breakfast had created considerable interest and a real buzz of excitement in the hall. The TV news programme's business presenter, Steph McGovern, broadcast each of her business news 'slots' from the show floor between 6 and 9am on the first morning, riding on and using a variety of equipment provided by exhibitors. This was followed by two appearances on the BBC's local North West news programme, and a couple of features on Radio 5 Live. Steve Diprose, managing director of Quartz Business Media - a 50% partner in BCCE Ltd, the organiser, a company jointly owned with the British Cleaning Council - said: “Having BBC Breakfast and BBC North West broadcasting was fantastic - add to that the articles in the Blackpool Gazette and Yorkshire Post, plus features on Radio 5 Live and the Steve Wright Show on Radio 2, and you have an incredible result. I do not know of any other B2B show that has received such media coverage.”
And this star-spangled start was a taste of things to come. From the moment the doors opened, the crowds flocked in. The total attendance figure has been confirmed at 2308 - a phenomenal result for a regional two-day show, particularly as this was its first outing.
Exhibitors and visitors were full of praise for the inaugural event. Jackie Bromley, national account manager at Nilfisk and one of the stars of the BBC's extensive coverage, said: “The show has been fantastic. We've run out of some sales brochures, and we're almost out of sales lead forms! We have received really high quality leads, all day, both days. And visitors have been here to buy, not just look. The TV coverage was great for Nilfisk, but also a real shot in the arm for the industry as a whole. It provided an excellent opportunity to raise the industry's profile to the public at large.”
This was a view echoed by exhibitors throughout the event. Craig McKay, sales and marketing director at Karcher UK, said: “It's been a fantastic show, attracting very high numbers of visitors to an excellent location. The venue is first class and has been part of the draw. As well as our prominent stand within the hall itself, we have also been able to demonstrate a number of larger ride-on machines in the outdoor area. The excellent coverage provided by the BBC Breakfast team was a real plus – both for the event and the industry as a whole. We're very much looking forward to the London event next year.”
What impressed many of the exhibitors was the number and quality of visitors that attended - and not just from the North West. Senior buyers from most of the major contract cleaning companies made their way to Manchester, and many visitors were there to spend money too. Peter Morley, managing director of Morclean, said: “It's been a great show – we sold our demo machine off the stand during the first morning, followed by a second machine sale shortly afterwards. We have received excellent quality leads from far and wide – major companies based in Ireland, Birmingham, Oxford, Epsom, and London – in fact, we sold our demo machine to a visitor from Malta! There has been a real buzz throughout, and a great atmosphere from start to finish.”
In addition to the exhibits, a number of companies ran competitions, and the popular Window Cleaning Competition was once again organised by the Federation of Window Cleaners and Terry 'Turbo' Burrows, the world's fastest window cleaner. Karcher staged a 'ride-on challenge', Unger and Greyland organised competitions, and Floorbrite had a 'cyclone' machine on its stand, awarding a prize each day for the winner. Nina Wyers, marketing director at Floorbrite, said: “Our 'cyclone' created a storm at the show, and drew crowds to our stand on both days. We are delighted with the success of the show – our first one. It has been more than we could have hoped for. The BBC's coverage was amazing, and the feedback we have received as a result has been incredible. We will definitely be back.”
The event also featured a seminar programme which ran over the two days. Featuring topics such as immigration, cleaning for the food industry, health and safety, pest management, healthcare cleaning, and technology - to list just a few - the seminar attracted large crowds of interested parties throughout. In addition, Andreas Lill, director general of the European Federation of Cleaning Industries, provided the opening keynote, offering a European perspective on current challenges facing the cleaning sector. Neil Nixon, editor of C&M, said: “The seminar was an excellent collaboration between C&M - the event's media partner - and the British Cleaning Council. Between us, we put together a very engaging programme that was clearly of interest to our visitors. I would like to thank all the speakers for generously giving up their time, and the BCC's Pat Wherton for her enthusiasm, ideas, and support in putting the programme together.”
Back on the show floor, Simon Hollingbery, chairman of the British Cleaning Council, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the outcome of this event. I am extremely impressed by the show itself, and the buzz in the venue throughout the two days has been evident for all to see.” Emma Tomkins, category marketing manager at Vax Commercial, concurred: “It has been a really good quality show with very high quality leads. We thought it would be a good event, but it has far exceeded our expectations. Being in Manchester hasn't limited the visitors – we've seen people from all over the country.”
Which leads on nicely to the next big event in the Cleaning Show series - The Cleaning Show in London next year - 14 to 16 March at ExCel. Make sure it's in your diary now - judging by the success of the Manchester event, the main London show should be fantastic.
The final word goes to Tibor Killi, sales director of T L Kill's, who took part in both the Radio 5 Live features broadcast during the show. Somewhat tongue-in-cheek, Tibor did comment that at one point the show was a bit too busy! The company had two stands on opposite sides of an aisle and during the first morning Tibor counted 100 visitors on his stand at one time. He said: “The quality of visitors has been exceptional – we're delighted. The turnout has been excellent, and we've seen every one of the major contract cleaners over the past two days. We've also had meetings with a number of our customers – old and new – based in the north of England. In addition, the exposure we received on BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Breakfast was incredible – you simply can't buy that!”
See you in London - 14 to 16 March 2017 - and then back in Manchester in April 2018.