It’s a Win-Win: New Deal to Create Enhanced Industry Event, While Building a Stronger Trade Association

The Clean Show Executive Committee has announced that it has finalized a deal to sell the biennial industry event to Messe Frankfurt, the largest trade show and event organizer in the world.

The Clean Show – the leading trade show for textile-care services in the Western Hemisphere – was recently recognized as one of the 50 fastest-growing events by Trade Show Executive magazine. Clean 2017, held in Las Vegas, featured 481 exhibitors and attracted more than 11,000 attendees.

“With the Clean Show, we have purchased America’s biggest trade fair for textile care and gained another module for our worldwide network of events for the textile-care sector,” said Wolfgang Marzin, president and CEO of Messe Frankfurt. “We now hold trade fairs in all major economic regions and offer synergistic effects for both exhibitors and visitors.”

The Clean Show’s first run as part of the Messe Frankfurt portfolio of textile-care events will be held June 20-23, 2019, in New Orleans. As a part of the acquisition agreement, the five industry associations that formerly owned the show will remain closely involved with this event. Those trade organizations include the Coin Laundry Association; the Drycleaning & Laundry Institute; TRSA – the Association for Linen, Uniform and Facility Services; the Association for Linen Management; and the Textile Care Allied Trades Association.

The show’s long-time management company – Riddle and Associates, led by industry veteran John Riddle – will again oversee the 2019 event on behalf of Germany-based Messe Frankfurt. Future Clean Show events are planned for Atlanta and Orlando in 2021 and 2023, respectively.

“Thanks to its expertise in organizing events for the textile-care sector and its leading international position, we see Messe Frankfurt as being the right partner to ensure the continued development of the Clean Show and to position it optimally for the future,” stated Clean 2019 Chair and TRSA President Joseph Ricci.

The purchase of the Clean Show adds to the impressive list of trade shows run by Messe Frankfurt for the laundry, drycleaning and textile service industries. Texcare International, the leading trade show for this business category, has been held in Frankfurt am Main and run by Messe Frankfurt since 1956.

In recent years, the company’s network has been expanded to include trade shows in China and the United Arab Emirates, as well as “Texcare Forum” conferences in several growth markets around the world.

The Vended Laundry Perspective

“The CLA and its partners were presented with a unique opportunity to sell the Clean Show at a premium valuation to a leading trade show producer with extensive experience in textile-care exhibitions worldwide,” stated CLA President and CEO Brian Wallace. “Messe Frankfurt will bring the latest strategies and technologies for trade show management to the Clean Show, which will enhance the overall experience for exhibitors and our attendees alike. With Messe Frankfurt producing the show, Clean is set to grow and expand into the future.”

The CLA will be a sponsor of the show going forward and will continue to present educational seminars, maintain a sponsor booth and host social gatherings at the show, including the CLA Member Dinner Celebration. The association also will be represented on the Clean Show’s advisory council to offer guidance and input into future events.

In addition, show exhibitors and attendees will continue to enjoy all of the many popular aspects of the Clean Show – such as live “working” exhibits, expanded educational sessions and the best production values in the trade show industry. And, with its large global network of trade shows in the laundry and textile-care sectors, Messe Frankfurt will work to expand the reach of the Clean Show internationally for education, exhibits and attendees to benefit all.

“In an environment of record valuations for trade shows, the opportunity to sell the show now puts the CLA in a position to maximize the value of its long-time ownership stake in Clean – while leveraging the sale terms that maintain the CLA’s role in the show, including its sponsor booth, educational sessions and signature social gatherings,” Wallace said. “For the CLA, the financial security resulting from the sale will enable the association to continue serving its members for many years to come, while accelerating the pursuit of our new strategic plan.”

“We are excited about the sale of the Clean Show to Messe Frankfurt for a number of reasons,” explained CLA Chairman Joel Jorgensen, vice president of sales for Continental Girbau. “A global leader in trade show and exhibition management, Messe Frankfurt will bring the latest strategies, marketing and technologies to the show – enhancing exhibitor and attendee experiences. The CLA will remain active in its role as a key show contributor and sponsor. Simultaneously, Messe Frankfurt will continue work to expand the show’s reach to the many laundry and textile-care channels in North America and internationally. These are all good things for our industry.

“Now, free from many of the time-consuming logistics Clean brings, and with a new financial security, the CLA can zero in on its members, serve them for many years to come, and accelerate our strategic plan for delivering value-added services, networking and education products,” Jorgensen added. “It’s all good for CLA members as well. While Messe Frankfurt promises a better show and greater reach, the CLA frees up time and dollars to provide its members with valuable methods and tools for improving their vended laundry businesses.”

“Our goal with the sale of the Clean Show was to ensure that the new owners would continue to make the show equal to or better than ever before,” said CLA Immediate Past Chair Ron Kelley, a multi-store owner based in northern California. “This is an exciting opportunity for us, as the new show ownership works to further enhance this critical industry event. And, in 2019 in New Orleans, laundry owners can expect the same exciting event that they’ve come to love and enjoy through the years.”

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