Pulire 2009, Italy’s largest cleaning show, held in Verona, June 9 to 12, drew an impressive and diverse crowd despite the difficult global economy. More than 19,500 attendees came to network and see the latest cleaning innovations.

The 19th edition of the show — Pulire is held every other year — featured more than 300 exhibitors showcasing everything from slim mopping carts to platform lifts capable of reaching 160 feet. The majority of exhibitors were Italian companies, but nearly 50 foreign manufacturers, including U.S.-based companies, participated as well.

Pulire is hosted by Afidamp Servizi, part of AfidampFAB, (the Italian Association of Professional Cleaning Equipment Manufacturers). The aim of this year’s show was to share optimism and deliver the message that innovation and communication are important for a company’s growth, even during a poor economy.

“We’ve always explained how the fair is first of all a meeting place and an ideal platform for the exchange of ideas,” says Toni D’Andrea, managing director, Afidamp Servizi. “From this standpoint, Pulire has once again proved an ideal platform in which the networking activity during the four-day fair has produced the greatest value.”

The show featured a variety of conferences and workshops covering educational facilities, green cleaning and other topics. There was even a chewing gum and graffiti removal demonstration held in the city’s Piazza Bra.

This year was the sixth time Afidamp presented the “Innovation Award.” Nine finalists competed. IPC Group was voted the overall winner by show attendees with their “HighRise” window cleaning robot. A jury of cleaning experts awarded other innovation awards for specific product categories: Arco Chimica won in the “chemical products” category with the Gynius Pack chemical vending machine; Piazza BVBA won in the “equipment” category with the Purleve hygienic door handle; and IPC and Ghibli were joint winners in the “machinery” category with HighRise and the Contaresa automatic scrubber, respectively.

At the show, winners of the first “Clean Green Afidamp Award” were also announced. Promoted by AfidampFAB, under the patronage of the Ministry of the Environment, the European Community Delegation in Milan, the Chamber of Commerce of Milan and Legambiente, the award was developed to reward companies who conduct business with respect to the environment. Dulevo International won for “machinery” with the 5,000 Zero methane powered sweeping machine; Falpi Srl won for “equipment” with the Microrapid 2 stainless steel trolley; and Tana Chemie - Werner & Mertz won for “chemicals” with the Green Care Floor System line of sustainable products.

“Sustainable-acting can no longer be delayed,” said Stefania Verrienti, AfidampFAB secretary general at the award ceremony. “AfidampFAB, through the ‘Clean Green Award,’ is suggesting to those companies, which still haven’t done it, to move on [green practices].”

The 20th installment of Pulire will be held in May, 2011.