Building an established brand that’s renowned and revered in this industry is no easy task – it takes a certain kind of person to propel it to new heights and create an identity that gets everyone talking. In the fifth part of our Behind the Scenes of Interclean series, we take a look at the woman in charge of making this happen – our Brand Marketing Manager, Hilke de Vries.
Promotion is everything
As a show, Interclean thrives because it connects with the people who attend it – they’re what make each exhibition truly special and create great word-of-mouth feedback about the brand itself. Gathering a mix of people from across the world who share the same passion for is a challenging task. However, it’s something that Hilke is incredibly adept at – and, if the ever-growing number of participants every year are anything to go by, it’s plain to see her approach is working.
The way Hilke finds these opportunities for promotion comes down to her commitment to the industry and her knowledge of everything there is to offer. She’s constantly working to stay on top of the latest marketing developments and trends within the industry, while looking for ways to give Interclean its best chance at reaching the most people.
By understanding the concerns of the industry, she’s able to develop content and messages that resonate and really create conversations between professionals. These discussions might start in locations all over the world, but they all end up in the same place – the exhibition halls of Interclean.
Developing the world’s largest professional cleaning show isn’t just about promotion. Building a brand like Interclean means sharing a consistent message – one that connects with your audience and shows them you’re the ones they absolutely have to listen to. In the case of Interclean, this message is all about building on the community that exists between professionals within the industry, providing that community with the space to share and develop new ideas and innovations.
Finding ways to connect with professionals in a personal way is integral to what Hilke does – and it’s also what she enjoys most about her job. She loves to provide people across the industry with content that’s relevant to them and helps them stay ahead of the changes within the sector.
As she says herself, “it’s my job to keep the industry talking about Interclean,” and it’s something she’s clearly doing right, as every year since she started working at Interclean in 2006, the numbers have continued to grow.
Although the trade show is booming now, there have been some obstacles along the road. The shows that took place just after the start of the financial crisis weren’t without their fair share of challenges. Also, the 2010 edition had to contend with a volcano eruption just a few days before the opening; and the 2012 event was a little chaotic following a strike by Dutch cleaners.
But, despite these (often last-minute) challenges, the shows that followed them were some of the events that Hilke loved the most – finding solutions and working against the odds only served as motivation to work even harder to make the shows as successful as they could be. Her sheer dedication to Interclean, and everything it could be, has been the driving force behind some of their greatest successes to date.
In fact, two of her biggest challenges were the 25th anniversary in 2014 and the latest edition, where they presented their rebranded version of Interclean for the first time. Though the pressure to get these shows exactly right was immense, Hilke’s determination to make them a success could certainly be felt through the bustling exhibition halls. It’s fair to say that, without Hilke and her team, Interclean wouldn’t be what it is today.