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Success in Poland30th of June 2011
Marek Kowalski from the Polish Cleaning Chamber of Commerce reviews the recent ISSA/INTERCLEAN CEE show in Warsaw.
We are through the fifth ISSA/Interclean Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) event - another successful show. The number of exhibitors grew by 10 per cent, the exhibition area by 20 per cent and the number of visitors by 33 per cent. Still, it is not the numbers that count here. More important was what was going on behind the scenes.
The highlight of day one was the Professional Cleaning & Maintenance book launch by Jolanta Sergot-Kowalska - the first attempt at developing a professional handbook for cleaning industry personnel in Eastern Europe. It attracted much interest not only from Polish companies, but also businesses from Russia and the Baltic States.
Jolanta Sergot–Kowalska has been working in the cleaning industry for 20 years. She started her career as a distributor for many industry-leading brands, and for the last 10 years has specialised in training and consulting.
A special mention should also be made of the conferences on standards of cleanliness maintenance in healthcare and at railway stations. It was the Polish cleaning industry that first set standards - making service provision and its control easier. It is a sort of guarantee that Polish railway stations will be clean and health service facilities safe. The standards will be made available in printed form by the end of September.
Day two's programme was dedicated to studying the eastern European markets. Yet from the beginning it was clear the problems presented at the conference were not only specific to eastern Europe but also to western Europe and even the African continent. I have never heard such a lively discussion as that moderated by Keith Baker (ISSA), Andrew Large (World Federation of Building Service Contractors) and Andreas Lill (European Federation of Cleaning Industries). The discussion was also joined by Tibor Ritz (Hungarian Cleaning Association Matisz), Vera Ushakova (Russian Cleaning Companies Association), Helge Alt from Estonia, Clive Damonze from South Africa, and myself representing the Polish Cleaning Chamber of Commerce.
In the course of the discussion most problems mentioned turned out to be common for all the participants. Still, the issues most often raised were the problem with public tenders (lowest price criterion) and lack of international standards of cleanliness maintenance. The latter was regarded as especially important due to the free flow of services in the European Union.
Representatives from Russia and Estonia pointed to the lack of professional training schemes in their countries, or publications on professional cleanliness maintenance technologies.
The participants decided that both ISSA and EFCI should get involved in helping Russia, Estonia and other post-communist countries. Polish and Hungarian federations’ help in the enterprise seems only proper as these two countries seized the opportunity and effectively buried the gap between them and western Europe.
I think the fifth edition of ISSA/Interclean CEE can be summed up the following way: "Let there be more such successful trade fair events and as many interesting trade fair accompanying events.”