Just left my 1st my first Clean Show. It was fun to talk to attendees and exhibitors about how they felt it was different than the last (pre-COVID) show. Many felt that at the last one, technology was “optional” – tech forward operators were seeking out interesting stuff. At this one tech was “mandatory” – attendees had software vendors on their short list and you couldn’t walk by a POS vendor booth and not see a line during the first 2 days of the show.
I had the opportunity to interview a handful of vendors and I’ll post those videos soon, but here’s my top line thoughts on the show.
Biggest surprise, Atlanta is not Hot-lanta. I’ve been to tech industry shows in Atlanta pretty much every year for the past 20 years. Wow is Atlanta different….downtown and the GWCC look the same on the outside, but clearly more time is needed to recover from COVID shutdowns -- Bars downtown close at 11. Most of the restaurants in the CNN plaza are still closed – including the sitdown restaurants and the Starbucks and the Chick-fil-a!
Touchscreens everywhere. I don’t think there was a vendor who isn’t offering a premium model with a touch screen. But they aren’t put on there as a novelty – the thought and attention to design that has gone in to the user interfaces and to enabling us to upsell and market to our customers is really impressive.
Other surprises for me as I walked the floor.
The vending machine from Laundry Vending Products – a new product on the scene with a cool touch screen, inventory controls and remote reporting. Their pricing is very customer friendly and I’m purchasing one for my store.
The washer from Continental Girbau with the status light. We used to have these USB lights on our cubes so people would know if you are on a call – I was trying to find time for a science project to connect one to my Electrolux machines. But now Continental has done it and it’s beautifully executed.
Too many different types of payments. Ok, maybe not a real surprise, but to see them in person was well, a bit confusing. The breadth exists because of the diverse ways we operate our stores, but I can’t help but see a shakeout coming.
I’ll be posting my video interviews soon – I hope you enjoy. Let me know what you think in comments or email@example.com