Following the negative impact of the pandemic on exhibitions world-wide it is indeed exciting to learn that the Interclean Amsterdam show will return from 10-13 May this year as an in person event. As the South African tour to The Netherlands became a regular occurrence over the past years African Cleaning Review asked tour leader Steve Braham, a veteran show visitor of over 20 years, to elaborate on the history of the tour and to provide an update of this year’s highlights.

I must admit that the number of South Africans that made their way to the world’s largest cleaning and hygiene show every second year have literally grown from a mere handful to more than a hundred that attended the previous (2018) edition.

During my early visits to the show something became abundantly clear to me in that while the visitor numbers were increasing, many South Africans found it a daunting experience to book flights for the trip, obtain visas and eventually find their way around the bustling city to their hotels and then to secure the correct tram to the exhibition centre. Also, there was no fellowship amongst travellers and although one might have bumped into fellow South Africans at the local watering hole situated across the road from the exhibition centre no group activities were formulated.

With the 2012 exhibition in mind I then decided to put together an organised South African tour and managed to secure a delegation of forty two travellers representing eighteen South African companies. I am pleased to say that since then the group grew with every following event to reach a delegation of fifty that represented twenty eight companies which attended the 2018 exhibition, many of them repeat clients. The groups previously enjoyed arranged excursions to other Dutch towns, the Heineken Brewery, and the famous sunset boat cruise where South African’s merrily make their way through the famous Amsterdam canals.

In my opinion this year’s Interclean exhibition will be the most relevant ever due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world. We will most certainly witness the latest cleaning and hygiene technology to combat the virus and render healthy and safe facilities. Let’s face it, cleaning and hygiene is now at the forefront of people’s minds therefore the various seminars and talks at the exhibition led by industry experts will address the most pertinent issues and continue the conversation around cleaning for health.

South Africa has become renowned as the largest tour group (per country) to attend the exhibition and therefore one of the main benefits of being part of the group is the invitation that follow from the various associations and companies to attend presentations and networking functions.

It is not all about work though, the tour offers other activities including a fun excursion in an airconditioned coach, a cocktail function and the farewell dinner, this year booked at the floating Chinese restaurant, which adds to the experience of visiting the Dutch capital. Hotel accommodation is arranged at the Double Tree hotel by Hilton situated close to Central Station. The 2022 tour package includes an added night in the hotel to allow for a free day and most of Saturday to take in the sights and sounds of Amsterdam.

Finally, I want to close off with my favourite excerpt from one of our industry leaders when I previously asked him to say a few words at the farewell dinner; “We arrived as adversaries and we leave Amsterdam as friends”

For more information about the upcoming Amsterdam tour contact Steve at:
+28 83 2651268 or e-mail: steve@swbagencies.co.za