ISSA Cleantex Africa 2019 Reflects Growth in Visitors and International Exhibitors  

Celebrating 21 years since the inception of the show, ISSA Cleantex Africa 2019 marked the first edition hosted in partnership with ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association. This year's event took place June 4–6, in Johannesburg and offered a variety of new features, which led to a strong turnout of 2,459 visitors and delegates—88% of which had purchasing authority. 
ISSA Cleantex Africa presented an array of the most advanced technology, products, equipment, sustainable chemicals, and consumables available to the professional cleaning sector. Many of the world's largest cleaning equipment and product manufacturers and key local distributors represented a total of 102 brands, with a marked increase of new exhibitors from outside of South Africa. Countries including China, Spain, Mauritius, Qatar, Turkey, Pakistan, and Russia launched products at the show for the first time, and their results led to very positive feedback. 
"We are thankful to ISSA Cleantex Africa and African Cleaning Review for putting a lot of effort to organizing such a wonderful event," said Paresh Gadhai, director of sales for Global Detergent Factory Betco, based in Qatar. "This event has helped us to get good visibility in the South African market, and we look forward to participating in such events in the future."
"ISSA Cleantex Africa provided us with an opportunity to meet potential customers and to make valuable contacts with local companies. We are confident that the outcome will soon allow us to announce our presence in the African region," said Waqas Hanif, Colgate-Palmolive (Pakistan) Ltd.
ISSA Cleantex Africa is the continent's only exhibition that brings together contract cleaners, distributors, facility, health care, retail, and food service managers, as well as other professionals within the commercial cleaning, hygiene, health care, hospitality, property maintenance, and government sectors.
"We were very happy to see so many new faces at this year's event and to find that the average attendee also participated longer due to the increased amount of activities provided," said local show organizer Johann van Vuuren, publisher of African Cleaning Review.
Some South African associations, such as the National Contract Cleaners Association (NCCA) and the BEECA Cleaning Association, held their own member events during the trade show, and emerging members grouped into a section of booths supported local attendance. 
Apart from South Africans visiting from various parts of the country, the exhibition also attracted a formal delegation from the Contract Cleaning Association of Ghana (CCAG), led by national chairman Sammy Laing. In addition, visitors travelled from Nigeria, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, and South Sudan to attend the biennial professional cleaning show and its co-located educational events.
Positive responses from foreign visitors and delegation leaders indicated that they experienced valuable business contact and educational opportunities and, therefore, expected increased foreign attendance numbers at future ISSA Cleantex Africa exhibitions. 
"Not only did I hear from multiple exhibitors that they successfully met quality business prospects from multiple countries this year, but I also was pleased at how often I ran into visitors connecting with each other and sharing valuable experiences," said Dianna Steinbach, ISSA vice president of international services. "When someone from Sudan can collaborate with people from Nigeria and Ghana to brainstorm ways to improve professionalism in their markets, then we have done our job to elevate the industry."
A new international networking dinner offered this year was sold out and brought together a large group of visitors and exhibitors from more than a dozen countries to make valuable business connections. The event's main cocktail hour on the first evening also drew a strong mix of top decision-makers. 
This year, the three-day trade show opened its doors on a Tuesday, leading to a strong first day of visitors compared to previous Monday starts. The event also took place earlier in the month than in the past.  
Another new feature this year included innovative, co-located international certification workshops that boosted attendance and created a platform to interact and learn from subject-matter experts. Fifty-eight internationally recognized certificates were bestowed during the Estimating Made Easy and International Accredited Auditor workshops. 
The Health Care Forum presented by Zainudeen Popoola-Aromire (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, U.S.), Marietjie Swanepoel (MS Consulting), and Sr. Lesley Devenish (Infection Control Society SA) addressed the importance of infection control in health care facilities. The extremely insightful presentations armed delegates with invaluable knowledge and statistics relevant to this specialized field of cleaning to prevent health care-acquired infections (HAIs). 
The Next Generation Young Executive Forum hosted by the ISSA's Manuela D'Agata on the final show day featured an industry panel discussion led by Lee Zama (FEDHASA President), Xolile Sizani (Servest Group CE), and Patrick Makhubela (Neledzi Cleaning Services CEO). The forum offered an open discussion with audience interaction, and centered on the important subject of young executive mentorship and development in this essential industry.
The well-attended exhibitor cocktail party and sold-out official networking dinner created additional opportunities for both visitors and exhibitors to meet new contacts. 
Essentially, the 2019 edition of ISSA Cleantex Africa offered visitors more content, and it reflected a cleaning sector that is increasingly embracing innovation while offering a diverse range of solutions to meet the cleaning challenges of tomorrow.
The next event on the region's professional cleaning industry calendar will be the second edition of the ISSA Summit Africa, scheduled to take place in September 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.

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