Best ever ISSA/INTERCLEAN Amsterdam26th of July 2012 Article by Rob den Hertog
Rob den Hertog, project manager for ISSA/INTERCLEAN, looks back at the success of this year's Amsterdam show with a round-up of the results.
In the weeks before the opening of this year's ISSA/INTERCLEAN Amsterdam event, we already sensed a positive atmosphere in the industry and we were expecting it to shape up to another good show.
Actually the general feeling was that it was the best ever show. The figures afterwards showed that the attendance went up, by 20 per cent, as did the appreciation from visitors and exhibitors. It is very rewarding that after more than a year of intensive preparations and all the plans we made, everything came together for this one successful event.
The two key words for this edition were wet and busy. Many Interclean veterans told us that the weather was exceptional, normally the sun is shining and the temperature is far above 20 degrees. But this year's rainy weather didn't stop the people coming to Amsterdam.
Visitor numbers went up and also the number of countries they came from. Attendees from 130 countries were counted, that is more than half of the officially registered countries in the world. Seventy-two per cent of visitors came from outside the Netherlands.
Countries with the highest visitor representation were Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Scandinavian countries, Spain, Russia and United States. The biggest growth came from eastern Europe (Russia, Latvia, Estonia), South Africa, Asia (India, UAE, Japan) and Turkey. Almost one-third of the visitors were distributors and 25 per cent cleaning contractors - overall we welcomed 40 per cent new visitors.
Together with the 30 per cent first time exhibitors, many new relationships must have been established. Confirming ISSA/INTERCLEAN Amsterdam's role as a marketplace where you can truly extend your customer and/or supplier base.
As a result of our continuous growth in size, we decided to group exhibitors based on the segment of their business activities this year. Our surveys show that segmentation of Washroom and High Pressure on the show floor is well appreciated and seems to please the visitors by making their visit more effective.
One of the most important reasons why people visit trade shows is to find new products, systems or services. This year there were numerous products launches and over 170 European or world first products were introduced. Nearly half of them competed in the Amsterdam Innovation Award.
Two other important aspects of our show are knowledge exchange and demonstrations. The keynote speech by Prof Michael Braungart on Cradle to Cradle gave us all something to think about and the lecture by Prof Didier Pettit of the World Health Organisation was fascinating, interesting and gave new insights for future developments.
Actually using products for themselves offers visitors an experience in new technologies. That is why demonstrations are essential at the show floor - demonstrations like the MiniSkills competition between teams from The Netherlands, Hungary and Austria which are entertaining to watch and provide a closer look in the daily practice of new cleaning methods.
The outdoor cleaning area at the front square was the venue for demonstrations of outdoor cleaning machines. The High Pressure demonstration area and The Demo on the Job were both appreciated with a high score by the visitors.
Networking was and is always an important aspect which we support by creating several seating areas at the Elicium, show floor and some other hospitality areas as extra service. Also the Central & Eastern Europe and African network happy hour that were organised together with the ISSA reception and member drink, were well attended and gave many the opportunity to talk to like minded and potential business contacts providing a unique regional platform.
Looking back at all the survey results coming in from exhibitors and visitors combined with the many spontaneous reactions we received via our extensive international agent network, we can really say that this was the best Interclean show since 1967. We trust that the follow-up of the visitors and exhibitors will lead to many new and intensified business relations.
And that is what this business is about - bringing people together to exchange information on how to improve their business and trade in a friendly environment.
The next ISSA/INTERCLEAN Amsterdam takes place from May 6-9 2014, when it will celebrate its 25th anniversary. We are looking for stories and pictures from this very first edition in 1967 and would very much like to hear from people or companies who were there.
Email me at: R.d.Hertog@rai.nl