In 2005, Orlando, Fla. was ranked the second largest convention city in the United States (behind Las Vegas). At least part of that recognition can be attributed to the behind-the-scenes workers who spend their days making sure every trade show goes off without a hitch. This year, all eyes will be on those workers as the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) hosts the worlds largest trade show for the cleaning industry — ISSA/INTERCLEAN® North America 2007— on October 23-26.

“As a member of ISSA, I am in a state of exhilaration at hosting this trade event at ‘my house,’” says Pam Cavanaugh, CSP, building services supervisor at the convention center. “My staff and I do take pride in our facility and I firmly believe it shows.”

Changing With The Times
With a total of 7 million square feet to clean, Cavanaugh and her staff are always on the go, but make sure to stop and examine what new innovations could make their jobs easier. In fact, while industry professionals camp out in Orlando in October, keep an eye out for newer products or procedures from the cleaning crew.

One aspect of the job that the cleaning crew is particularly proud of is waste removal and recycling. In fact, the building services department recently received the third-party ISO 14001 certification for its Environmental Management System — the first convention center in the United States to ever receive such recognition.

In addition to the recycling program, Cavanaugh’s crew is working on a number of pilot programs.

“We are currently piloting products such as waterless urinals, no touch hand soap and sanitizer dispensers,” she says. “I have also started using several green products such as floor finish stripper, floor finish, all purpose cleaner, post consumer toilet tissue and hand towels, and even a few air hand driers with low energy usage — to name a few.”

Employee Benefits
Not only is hosting the industry’s largest trade show a big feather in the cap, but it offers the opportunity for Cavanaugh to show her staff what lies outside OCCC walls in the world of cleaning. During the three-day convention, the cleaning staff will have the opportunity to walk the show floor and learn what the cleaning industry has to offer.

“[The show offers the staff] the opportunity to see how big our industry really is,” Cavanaugh says. “The amount of product and knowledge this industry provides is astonishing. Generally they see the trade shows that have no impact on what they do, other than to generate waste. This is a show for them!”

The building services department doesn’t do anything different to prepare for this show than they would for any other. Instead, they focus on cleanliness, convenience and safety for every person who walks through the door.

“We want to give all our guests and visitors the cleanest and safest environment when they come to the Orange County Convention Center,” says Cavanaugh. “We treat all guests with the same consistent great service.”