LAS VEGAS — New Orleans will host the next Clean Show exactly two years from this week, on June 18-21, 2009, show manager Riddle & Associates announced at Clean ’07.
The Crescent City was to have hosted this year’s event, but the Clean Executive Committee decided in 2005 to shift the show to Las Vegas in light of the extensive damage Hurricane Katrina inflicted on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.
In announcing that decision two years ago, Brian Wallace, president/CEO of the Coin Laundry Association and chairman of the Clean ’07 committee, said, “We want to contribute to the city’s recovery and expect to return to New Orleans for a Clean Show in the future.”
Now that Clean has contracted to return there in two years, some industry vendors question New Orleans’ readiness to host a trade show of Clean’s magnitude and its ability to effectively attract show attendees.
During the exhibitor meeting traditionally held on the show’s final morning, June 14, marketing representatives from G.A. Braun and Ecolab – two of the event’s largest exhibitors – expressed strong reservations about showing in New Orleans in 2009.
Braun rep Pam Simonetti says her company wants to see Clean moved to a three-year cycle, or shortened to three days if the biennial schedule remains. Ecolab’s Jackie Nerby says her company also favors a three-day event.
Charles Berge of American Laundry Systems challenged Clean’s sponsoring associations to schedule their individual meetings in New Orleans before Clean ’09 to clear up conceptions about the city and its ability to attract and host large gatherings.
There is no contract in place for the 2011 Clean Show, but it’s the Clean Executive Committee’s intent to bring the show back to Las Vegas then, according to Wallace.