3 Ways Trade Shows Can Help Grow Your Cleaning Business

Where else can you learn about the latest trends, do homework on your next equipment purchase and build camaraderie with staff and industry experts all in one place?
3 Ways Trade Shows Can Help Grow Your Cleaning Business
The Water & Wastewater Equipment, Treatment & Transport (WWETT) Show is the largest trade show for sewer and drain cleaning professionals, attracting more than 14,000 attendees each year.

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Trade shows like this week’s WWETT Show in Indianapolis offer a unique setting where you can get away from the day-to-day grind of the job and focus on the growth of your sewer and drain cleaning business and technicians. Making the most out of your trade show experience is up to each individual contractor, but most agree it’s time well spent.

1. Cutting-edge technology
When Bob Gallup, owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Indianapolis and Central Indiana, sends employees to a trade show he does so with two goals in mind. Most important is staying ahead of changes in the industry and meeting with exhibitors, but also taking advantage of any educational opportunities.

“New things are being developed in the U.S. and internationally, and we want to learn and be the first to adopt trends in our area,” Gallup says. “I try to send at least two technicians to the show who can learn and come back and disseminate knowledge to our crew. So it’s part education but also leadership training. They come back and present to the other technicians.

“I want them to help us get better. They are the experts. Who better to glean new knowledge than people doing the work every day?”

2. Wealth of new ideas
Horacio Franco, owner of H&R Plumbing & Drain Cleaning based in El Sobrante, California, has been traveling to the WWETT show for about seven years. He says the biggest benefit for him and his wife, Alejandra, who works with him in the company, is learning about the latest technology and attending the educational classes.

Franco says new equipment purchased at trade shows has opened up additional avenues to promote his business throughout his service area in northern California and parts of Oregon. He also remembers when he first learned about manhole rehabilitation, which he introduced to his customers, and now is an essential part of his basic menu.

“We will go to the Educational Day classes from 8 a.m. until the end of the day, and on the following days we will not only visit the vendors on the show floor, but attend other classes,” Franco says.

Because California is a long way from many trade shows such as WWETT, the cost of sending an employee can add up. Franco likes to pick up as much information as he can to help his eight employees in their jobs.

3. Growth opportunities
Pipe View America co-owner and managing partner Nick Mathey says his company has been actively attending trade shows for a number of years. They like to bring their “teammates,” as they call technicians, to visit with the vendors. Each technician has an assignment to search out at least two new or improved pieces of equipment, do their research and report back to the company.

Mathey says this makes things more interesting to the teammate, and gives them skin in the game. At least 12 technicians will attend this year’s WWETT Show.

 “I cannot see everything at a show,” Mathey says. “And I’m not actually using every piece of equipment like they are. This is great way to learn. We get great ideas.”

A recent find were two rodders made by RIDGID.


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