Clean - 2013
Every other year (on the odd year) the laundry industry holds a huge convention titled "Clean". This year Clean 2013 is being held in New Orleans from June 20th thru the 22nd.
Clean 2013 - The biennial event call "Clean" will have more than 10,000 attendees and over 400 exhibitors showing off their wares. Clean is a unique convention, because it brings together several Laundry sub-industries into the same huge exhibition hall. You can be walking down the convention aisle and pass a small top-load washing machine (used in apartment buildings) and then bump into a huge tunnel washer that continuously produce 10,000 lbs. of clean laundry per hour. The Laundry sub-industries are Coin (or Vended) Laundry, OPL (on-premise) Laundry, Multi-Housing (apartments), Dry Cleaning and Industrial Laundries. OPL Laundries are non-vended washers and dryers commonly used in hotels, nursing homes and clubs to wash towels, bed linen and table linen. In addition to the equipment you have payment system, card systems, parts suppliers, computer systems, linen providers, bill changers and bill breakers, drain troughs, conveyors, bulkhead manufacturers and many more vendors. Once every other year all of these organizations come together in the event call "Clean".
Education - Clean is also a place to learn and be educated. Throughout the 3 day convention there are numerous seminars and discussion on a variety of topics. As a sponsor of the Clean Show, the CLA (Coin Laundry Association) will provide more than ten hours of education geared towards making laundry owners & operators more successful and will cover an wide array of topics pertaining to the coin laundry industry including:
- Coin Laundry Trends for 2013
- Internet Marketing Success Stories for Coin Laundries
- Social Media: Which Tools Should Laundry Owners Embrace?
- Best Practices for Wash Dry Fold and Commercial Accounts
- Advanced Laundry Lease Analysis
- The ABCs for Potential Laundry Owners
- The Keys to Successful Multiple Store Management
For a full list of Coin Laundry topics click on the attached link. http://www.coinlaundry.org/clean-show/schedule-of-events/
Continued Education - Many time we are in our own little world and do not have as much interaction with fellow Laundromat owners. Why would I like to sit down and talk to my competitor? Clean is your once changer every other year to meet likeminded people who share your same passion. Attend as many seminars as possible. There are the structured learning events where a tremendous amount of information is dispensed. These seminars are lead by industry leaders and are well worth the time. If you miss a seminar, purchase the audio from the CLA and listen once you get back home.
Planning Ahead - To get the most out of the convention (and to save yourself from tired feet) it is best to plan out your visit to "Clean 2013". Before you even set foot in the convention center, I recommend think about what you "need to see" and visiting the Interactive Floor Plan on the Clean website. This will allow you to highlight different categories of equipment and located them on the Interactive Floor plan.
Interactive Floor Plan: http://www.cleanshow.com/cleanshow2013/public/FloorPlan.aspx
For example - I have gone to the Interactive Floor Plan map and highlighted all the card and cash-less payment systems. Once you have completed the map, you can print it out and now you have a road map to see the show. A down side of the Interactive Map is that you can only highlight one category at a time. It would be so much better if you could keep on highlight different categories with different colors so you would have a multi-colored road map, (maybe in 2015). Do what I did and print out the map and then use a yellow highlighter to mark the rest of your "must see" exhibitors. I use different colors for different categories of equipment.
Goal - The entire purpose of Clean is to learn. If you can "take-away" just one new idea then your trip has been a success. Remember that you must be an active participant. Don't sit back and wait for someone to talk to you; reach out and start a conversation with a stranger. You may be sitting next to a "laundry expert" (someone with 30+ years experience in the industry) or an equipment manufacturer. Put yourself "out there" and build the network. By networking, you will become a better operator and a more profitable businessman.
My Interactive Map Printed out & Highlighted
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