The 2006 Connections Conference and Exhibition made waves in Clearwater, Fla., at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort, May 4-6. The warm weather and ocean breezes provided the perfect backdrop for the hundreds of cleaning and restoration professionals who made their way to the Gulf Coast.
The Connections Events - The Conference and Exhibition and the Convention and Trade Show being held at the Las Vegas Hilton Sept. 20-23 - are those rarest of events: large enough to attract the biggest manufacturers and mainstream speakers and educators, yet intimate enough to keep you from feeling lost in the shuffle. It is in that balance where the professional recognizes the value.
As you might guess, the Conference is just that - an opportunity to gather and hear from some of the foremost authorities in the areas concerning today's cleaners and restorers. Health issues, structural drying, business management, carpet construction, specialized cleaning techniques, odor removal and water damage were just some of the topics addressed during the three-day event.
The major keynote address, "Cleaning - Emerging Issues in Health and Our Industry," was presented by Gene Cole, DrPH, BYU. With an emphasis on infectious agents such as avian flu, Norovirus and the like, as well as an eye-opening look at fungal infections, asthma and the growing importance of green cleaning, Cole examined the role of cleaning professionals in American society today.
"The number one health care environment is the home," Cole said. "You may call someone in, a physician or other health care professional, but it is the number one environment, and very little attention has been given to it.
"How can you measure cleaning, and cleaning effectiveness? The cleaning profession needs to be involved," he said.
But just because it is a conference does not mean that education rules the roost. Remember: balance. More than 90 exhibitors filled the trade show floor, unveiling the latest in chemicals, equipment, marketing programs, and more, even spilling out into the sunlight where attendees had the chance to see truckmounts, dehumidifiers and more be demonstrated.
Much of the success of the Connections Conference and Exhibition is due to the support of its sponsors, many of which you know and work with. Those sponsors include Air & Water Center; Bridgepoint Systems; The Carpet and Rug Institute; Dri-Eaz Products; Dry Air Technology; Excellent Supply; FLIR Systems; ICS Cleaning Specialist magazine; Indoor Air Management; the IICRC; Jon-Don, Inc.; Pro's Choice; Prochem; and Water Out Drying Corp.
Connections is a coming together of 13 trade associations, a focusing of energy and initiative that wouldn't be possible otherwise, and it is only proper to recognize them for their efforts:
- Association of Wisconsin Cleaning Contractors (AWCC)
- Carpet & FabriCare Institute (CFI)
- Carpet & Rug Cleaners Institute of Illinois (CRCII)
- Carpet Cleaners Institute of the Northwest (CCINW)
- Floorcovering Institute of Ontario (FIO)
- Low Moisture Carpet Cleaners Association (LMCCA)
- Mid-South Professional Cleaners Association (MSPCA)
- New England Institute of Restoration & Cleaning (NEIRC)
- New York Rug Cleaners Institute (NYRCI)
- Professional Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners Association (PCUCA)
- Professional Cleaning & Restoration Alliance (PCRA)
- Society of Cleaning and Restoration Technicians (SCRT)
- Tri-State Restorers & Specialty Cleaners Association (TRSCA)
The Connections Convention and Trade Show will be held at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Sept. 20-23. For more information, go to www.connectionsconvention.com.