Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Still Has That New-Car Smell

It would be quite difficult, if not impossible, to dispute the idea that ICS Cleaning Specialist holds up the Connections Events in something of a, um...positive light.

Yes, we clamor and clang, we rant and rave, we shout from the rooftops and swing from the rafters in total, complete, 100 percent support of the Connections Conference and Exhibition down in Florida and the Connections Convention and Trade Show coming up this month in Las Vegas. ICS is a proud sponsor of the Events, and we encourage people to go and do our best to tell others what they missed. And do you know why?

Because the shows work.

I don't pretend to understand the workings of the inner sanctums of the Connections Committee and Textile Consultants, the two bodies most responsible for the Events' success during the last three years. It takes a lot of effort and focus to pull off an event of the size and scope of a Connections show. But to be fair, there are a lot of industries that hold a lot of shows in a lot of cities at a lot of convention centers, year in and year out, and it takes just as much effort to put on those events as it does Connections. So what makes this show different? What makes Connections work?

Simple: it's fun.

The first Connections Convention in 2003 had the added draw of a curiosity, a first-time event that could raise the bar to new heights or crash to the tarmac in a fiery heap. No one knew exactly how things would play out, and that put an extra charge in the air. And when all the cylinders started firing in sync, you just knew you were in the midst of something special.

2004 showed that 2003 was no fluke. More exhibitors were on the show floor and more visitors traversed the aisles and viewed the demonstrations. But it still felt lean, hungry; again, credit the show organizers with the foresight and patience to not let everything spiral out of control into a bloated, torturous debacle of empty promises and angry show goers. You've been to those events, you know what I'm talking about: barren aisles on the show floor, seminars with two attendees in the front row surrounded by empty chairs, awards dinners with fewer guests than a Holiday Inn in Fallujah. ,p>In "Field of Dreams," Kevin Costner's Ray Kinsella is told, "If you build it, he will come." Sure, the first of anything will draw a crowd. The real trick is figuring out how, if you build it, to keep them coming back.

It's a trick the Connections Events planners have just about mastered.

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