When I was freshly out of college, I tried my hand at freelance writing and toyed with the idea of starting my own freelance business. I accumulated clients for full-time work where I’d wake up, move to my desk and start writing. Maybe I’d have a call or interview that day, but most days, it was just me in front of a computer. My husband would come home at the end of his day and I’d talk his ear off, just because it was nice to be around another human.  

It didn’t take me long to realize I needed a job where I had more personal interactions, and I’m happy to say I chose the right one. At the time of this writing, I’ve just returned from a very busy travel month attending two big industry events where I was face-to-face with a lot of different readers. 

Clean Buildings Conference was held in Baltimore in March, where it was co-located with the very well-known and respected facilities show NFMT. What an amazing opportunity to rub elbows with so many members of the industry. Exhibitors were on hand to provide product demos and host intimate and detailed conversations with the huge array of facility cleaning managers and building service contractors walking the floor.  

Personally, I was so grateful to see so many familiar faces and catch up on trends impacting their departments. I learned about products that are reshaping how cleaning is accomplished. And I witnessed technologies that will no-doubt result in cleaning efficiencies moving forward.  

What made the event even better was the fact that it was co-located with NFMT, an established event with exposure to information on facility energy, security, preventive maintenance, leadership and staffing. At no other event can you truly benefit from this level of facility perspective. I loved it and I certainly wasn’t alone. The industry is already abuzz about next year (scheduled for March 25-26 in Baltimore — Save the date). 

On the heels of that event, I hopped across the ocean to Amsterdam where I was honored to represent the U.S. on an international panel of judges for cleaning product innovation. Mums still the word on that progress, but I can say that there is some serious industry innovation happening and I can’t wait to share it with each of you.  

It's easy to sometimes feel like we are working in a vacuum because we show up for work, see the same people, and tackle the same tasks. That’s why these in-person events are so beneficial. They open our eyes to new possibilities, new relationships and new opportunities to improve. They remind us why we love doing what we do.