My Atlanta trade show review. First let me start out by saying it was a great show. There was not the large turnout of Clearwater or Vegas but what I did notice surprised me. The cleaners who showed up were more engaged than I had seen since i started going about 10 years ago. There were no “tire kickers’. Cleaners there were serious about taking their business’s to the next level. I saw Howard Partridge and Bruce DeLoatch and they agreed. I did miss 6 figga. I expected to see him since it was in his hometown and both his mentors where there. I wanted to see if he is the same in person as he is online. I did get a chance to meet Matt Wood and he is a genuine guy. Oh well, maybe next time for 6. I digressed. Lets address the pros and cons. Believe me when I say you will only see the pros on other forums. With vested interest they will avoid the cons. But staying in line with TMF’s inception I will recount them. Staying now with the pros, I mentioned the pro above about engagement. For good reason. People were walking out with purchased equipment and the classes were relatively full. It was mostly the same old same old. There was not much new equipment wise except for the prototype Bonzer by Rotovac. The Bonzer has a Zipper look and feel. Some liked it and some didn’t. Many voiced strong opinions especially the loyal Zipperites. But the fact remains it has potential. To quote Cliff Monsoons words “this is a prototype that is available to 25 people. The 25 pay for the tool, offer real world suggestions to tweak it and Rotovac will implement them within 90 days. After the 90 days if any of the 25 do not like the unit they can return it for a 100% money back guarantee. Interesting. Time will tell how this one turns out. (JFR the Zipper is a great tool) Odorcide released a cool line of new more affordable deodorizers. They all were up to date and fresh smelling. Here is a little known fact in our industry that Odorcide doesn’t always get credit for. All of their deodorizers are non carcinogenic. Nice to know when your a cleaner and have to address so many pet issues. It seems that most homes these days can benefit from deodorizers. It is my number one up sale to date with my cleaning company. We track all up sales. You should too. Lastly, the newest and I think coolest thing was the Reel Innovations dual independent electric vacuum reels. It really is an amazing feat considering reels have not changed much in our industry for the last 50 years. These reels are revolutionary as they are adjustable, take half the space, are available in awesome powder coated colors and are built much stronger and thicker than whats available these days. I picked up a set and put them in the new van we showed at the Experience and cleaners jaws dropped when they saw them. They just stood and stared in amazement. They are that nice! Love them! Thats it for the new stuff. I stopped in a few classes. My son Tre put on 2 great classes about websites and social networking. The question and answer sessions really helped attendees take in the tips and tricks to getting more jobs from the internet. Many shared their ideas and like iron sharpening iron I am confident many walk out and will be able to add jobs immediately. The other classes were informative as always. All in all the pros were great. But what about the cons? Lets go there. Overall it was a great show. I give it an A-. Props to everyone who put it on. But like any trade show or event there will be those with agendas. Namely to push their products, services and media outlets. No one wants to look bad and to ensure that they don’t they take large measures to hide the agendas. The trucks were to be lined up in a row. The layout was set and my truck was supposed to be right in the middle where the actual demos were. But since I was not allowed to participate they went to the big wigs and I was told to move my truck to the end. Nice, no agenda there. So yes I was moved but this didn’t stop me from watching. I was saddened by what I saw. Some of the techniques used on the stair and uph demos of all the different tools were really improper. I really wanted to say something but I know it would not be welcomed by the group demo'ing. And let me get this out of the way. Everyone, including those from other forums were extremely nice in person. Many we went out and got dinner and drinks with. Amazing how many come across as hard noses online but in reality they are awesome people. But there were 3 or 4 people who would not greet me or shake my hand. Rude, but such is life. Now back to the event. I checked the stairs, the carpets were still really wet and the bullnoses were not addressed properly. Always address bullnoses as this is the achilles heel of many cleaners who clean stairs. They will brown out fast and clients will be disappointed when they take a lot time to dry, off gas a foul odor and brown ugly out a day or two later. Just keep that in mind. But the worst was yet to come. There was a cleaning challenge between HWE and VLM. I cringed when I watch it. The demo area was a an entryway of the back of the hotel that was severely neglected. The cleaning steps were rushed and some not even performed. Leaning on their truckmounts they got spanked by a garage made VLM unit thats priced at 8500. 8500? Really? I wish I could have taken my 4200.00 laser made Hos Orbot Sprayborg VLM beast out but of course it was not allowed because it was with me. So what were the results? The next day I snapped a pic. They both looked worse than the results that both methods produced the day before. However as I suspected the VLM side still looked noticeably better. As most know I am a strong proponent of VLM for CGD. Really, a combo or use of both nets best results. The only way HWE could have won was if more cleaning steps were implemented and much more time spent on the cleaning steps. It seemed they just leaned on the power of their big trucks and mixture of 10 chems in a sprayer to try and nuke it. That doesn’t work, esp on thrashed CGD! They ended up spending triple the time than the VLM guys netting poor results and even came back the next day and spent about 2 more hours trying to get it up to par. It didn’t work. Proper steps cannot be eliminated. While watching I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. It was sad because it was more of a male measuring contest than a cleaning comparison challenge. I know I will take hits for saying this. Other forums have taken down the videos and pictures to hide the results. The good ole boy club is alive and well. Overall, the trade show was a hit. Just be aware of the show within the shows if you catch my drift. But many are tired of the over shilling these days but most won't say anything. I do speak up and take hits for it. No big deal Im a man and can take the hits. The facts are the facts. Everyone wants to jump on the latest and greatest tool to take them to the next level. That sounds good but in reality, its not the equipment that makes the man, its the application of sound fundamental cleaning steps that win everytime. Anyone can go out and buy some Tiger Woods golf clubs but it doesn’t mean they are gonna play like him. And yes, thats why Ive seen guys with less powered portables out clean big truckmounts. The truckmount guys sometimes lean on the power of their big trucks and fancy tools instead of going the extra mile. And they pay for it, just like happened at the Experience. They got their butts handed to them by a garage made OP VLM machine. After watching them behave towards me for 3 days I am not surprised. Pride comes before a crash. And they surely crashed and burned! Rob Allen Truckmountforums PS:Because of the many reasons above we started a TMF training center which has the feel of a trade show with virtually every brand machine, tool and accessory. This way anyone who comes and takes the classes or just visits can test any and everything to see what fits their cleaning style, their budget and business model the best. And I’ll be there to share the 35+ years of experience in this cleaning industry including the administration of Truckmountforums for the last decade or so. Here is the link below. Watch it as we will be adjusting the classes and itinerary soon. School link; https://www.truckmountforums.com/pages/school/ Trade show picture link; https://www.truckmountforums.com/threads/headed-to-2016-atlanta-expo.87576/ TMF thread discussion link; https://www.truckmountforums.com/th...erience-trade-show-review.87838/#post-1276636 And please, do not use stair tools on upholstery.