Up until last month, I’d spent close to two years at GreenEarth learning about the Clean Show and how it’s an opportunity to both meet fresh faces in the industry as well as reconnect with our Network. After all, in our founding year of 1999, this is where it all truly began.
So when I stepped foot into the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans on the first day, I felt pretty confident and well-prepared by those on the GreenEarth team who already knew the ropes. But there was a small part of me that was still worried. It was like I had an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other as I walked back to our booth. I was a marketer, not a dry cleaner. And what I did know about dry cleaning from my time with GreenEarth, would I even be able to speak to it in the heat of a conversation with a lead who had 20 years experience on me?
I let those doubts pass, though, and as attendees began to filter in, in-depth discussions came more naturally than I initially anticipated. If a question arose I couldn’t answer, I had the peace of mind that there was a great, knowledgeable group of people around me who I could turn to. While there was some remark from exhibitors that attendance was down compared to past years, it seemed like we were bringing in really genuine prospects. Both new and seasoned owners understood it was time for a change from traditional dry cleaning methods.
One of the highlights of my time at the Clean Show was meeting Affiliates in person I’d only spoke to over the phone or communicated with via email. There was this unmatched feeling to finally having the chance to put a face to a voice. Getting to know those faces even better in a more relaxed setting at our Affiliate Reception at the House of Blues was kind of the cherry on top to the whole thing for me.
We often refer to ourselves as the “GreenEarth Family,” and after witnessing and photographing a GreenEarth party in all its glory, that designation has never rang truer. It was a reunion in every way, shape, and form—too many hugs and joyful exclamations to try and count. The Clean Show was the culmination of our 20th anniversary, so what better way to celebrate than surrounded by those who have joined us in our journey and remained advocates of the GreenEarth vision?!
Ultimately, I think we all returned back home pleased with what we were able to accomplish in just a few days time. It may have been GreenEarth’s 10th Clean Show, but we also tried some ideas we hadn’t before. We held a press conference to announce our partnership with the Plastic Soup Foundation and PlanetCare, used Facebook Live to share demos by our technical team, and featured a photo booth at our Affiliate Reception decked out with green props. That’s the thing about working for one of the industry’s most innovative companies—there’s always a new approach to take.
See you in Atlanta come 2021!