The Return of In-Person Events
By Amanda Hosey
After a year in which most events and networking took place staring at a screen, the cleaning and restoration industry is finally getting back to in-person events. The Cleanfax team is looking forward to seeing all of our wonderful readers again this year.
In June, we headed to the RIA’s Restoration Convention + Industry Expo in Orlando. It was such a treat to get to catch up with old friends, talk with new ones, and meet, in person, people we’ve only previously known virtually. The show was full of restoration industry pros, exploring exhibitor offerings and learning new skills. Time and again, the conversation turned to the pandemic and how everyone had been affected differently and in the same ways.
In September, we took our first trip back to Las Vegas for The Experience since the arrival of COVID. In many ways, the show will feel like old times: Former Cleanfax Editor and current ISSA Media Director Jeff Cross presented on marketing strategies; Cleanfax frequent contributors Sonny Ahuja and Lisa Wagner held sessions as well; I greeted people at our booth and mingled with attendees on the show floor; the flood house was flooded and repaired.
But also things were different. Everyone was wearing masks, both the vaccinated and unvaccinated, per Nevada’s mandate, and people many still maintained distance between themselves and other attendees. The important thing, though, was finding that sense of camaraderie we feel at industry events and experiencing that sense of normalcy we’ve all been missing.
The shows will continue. Cleanfax’s parent association, ISSA, will hold its flagship event, ISSA Show North America, November 15-18 in Las Vegas, as well. Event organizers for the show, known for bringing together professional cleaners from all over the world, have worked with local, state, and federal agencies to follow the best guidance and set up safety protocols to keep attendees safe.
All these shows have worked hard over the last year and a half to find ways to keep the cleaning industry meeting up, still learning and growing. So, mask up and head out to some in-person events, and remember what it feels like to come together as peers.
The show must go on.
Amanda Hosey is the managing editor of Cleanfax. She has worked as an editor and writer for more than six years, including four years with Cleanfax. Reach her at [email protected].