NEW YORK — Most laundry-related exhibitors at this week’s International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show (IH/M&RS) reported light booth traffic amid a robust hospitality industry marketplace, one driven by aggressive construction and growth, Matt Alexander, an industry consultant, tells American Laundry News.
The IH/M&RS, which wrapped its annual four-day run at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Tuesday, featured more than 1,250 exhibitors, including 270 exhibiting for the first time, according to George Little Management, the show’s management firm.
Total trade attendance was estimated at 35,000, which the firm described as being on par with last year’s figures. Exhibits covered a total of 222,000 net square feet.
Many laundry exhibitors indicated continuing demands on textile service suppliers as luxury textiles in bedding, food-and-beverage outlets, spas and uniforms continue to take center stage in the branding of the hospitality industry, according to Alexander.
Several exhibitors reported that environmental sustainability is becoming a priority among hospitality clients, with packaging, utility conservation, affluent discharge, and labor and distribution efficiencies becoming critical factors in many purchasing decisions.
P&G Professional, for example, backs its commitment to environmental responsibility with a “Green Guarantee.” P&G’s on-premise laundry chemistry provides outstanding performance while meeting high standards for human and environmental safety, the company says.
Terry Satchwell, Pellerin Milnor Corp., tells Alexander that Milnor’s continuous-batch-washing systems – which are stingy in the use of utilities and labor while producing record amounts of textiles per square foot of building space – are in extremely high demand as hotels attempt to conserve resources and get the most out of their facilities.
G.A. Braun, UniMac and Continental Girbau all spoke to the advantages of new machine controls that offer user-friendly interfaces. UniMac touted its new control as having unmatched management information, including production records and preventive maintenance scheduling.
Textile manufacturers report a growing trend toward imported products and a demand for higher-thread-count sheeting, pillowcases and duvet covers that continues unabated.
For Alexander, who’s based 40 miles northeast of New York, the IH/M&RS is “a must-see event.”
“For the 20-plus years I’ve attended the show, it has always proven to be a great meeting place for hoteliers and suppliers, and is a wonderful place for me to take hospitality industry clients to meet manufacturers and suppliers and to see the latest textile offerings.”
This year’s event hosted Guestroom 2010, a project that featured more than 50 different technologies discovered following a worldwide, comprehensive search of existing, cutting-edge and future guestroom innovations.
The Hospitality Leadership Forum, now in its fourth year, attracted a record 750 registrants on Saturday, George Little Management reports. The Forum included two morning keynotes, a luncheon presentation by James Carville and Mary Matalin, eight afternoon breakouts and two networking receptions.
Watch AmericanLaundryNews.com for details on new laundry/linen products and programs that were introduced at this year’s IH/M&RS!