“Down in the trenches” at Mikefest 2011

mikefest-2011-tennesseeCarpet cleaners are always up for a party and that’s exactly what is happening down in Nashville right now!  Yet another “informal get-together” of cleaners and restorers are here on today and tomorrow and your valiant SFS reporter will give you “all the dirt” and even some of the good stuff.  Right now Jeff Cutshall is presenting a min-VAST seminar focused on how your techs (and you) can consistently create Customer Cheerleaders.

jeff-cross-mikeyfestJeff Cross of Cleanfax magazine is putting on a great seminar on rethinking marketing for the cleaner.  And you’ll note that Jeff still won’t smile for the camera!  (Well, OK, maybe HALF A SMILE!)  Chilly temps, warm hearts and lots of HOT truck mounts with our very gracious hosts at Sapphire mean we’ll be having fun AND maybe even learning something!  More to come …

mark-cermak-mikefest12:00 Noon update: The Cermaks are throwing a deluge of SEO and web site tips out that are leaving most cleaners in attendance totally bewildered and awash in a ton of resources.  (Or maybe it is just me!)  This section just reinforces my personal view that most cleaners are infinitely better off to stick to their knitting with what they do best- cleaning carpets and leave the heavy Internet lifting to a dialed-in expert.  (Of course, you do need to know enough to hold your web guy’s feet to the fire!)

My “cut to the chase” analysis of a very intense and deep seminar?  Mark just said something that seems to me to be very smart:  “Play by Google’s rules.  Quit looking for short cuts and stick to the basics.  Don’t get freaked out by daily changes.  Get lot’s of fishing lines in the water with a massive web presence by niche marketing with multiple micro-sites.”  FINALLY something a simple rug-sucker like me can grasp!


2:00 PM update- Jim Pemberton gave an intensely personal and non-traditional view of upholstery cleaning.  Great stuff but you aren’t going to find this information in a traditional upholstery seminar.  Hands on with lots of problem fabrics.  Chances are the attendees paid for their travel costs just with the sofa they won’t have to recover!


5:00 PM update- A fast moving panel discussion from a five member panel including SFS members Steve Cameron, Brian Robison and Greg Crowley.  Questions answered included the dumbest mistake (Brian Robison: “Not letting go soon enough”) to what made you decide to grow.  Mikey P was throwing some tough questions but the panel was giving it their all at “press time”.



10:00 AM update- Things were a little slow getting off the mark this morning.  (I wonder if the very active Nashville nightlife might have had something to do with this tardiness?)  But things are rolling now with Round Two of the Two Jeff’s show- Jeff Cross and Jeff Cutshall with dueling classes.  Even better, some great camaraderie and tips from everyone who is working on the Front Lines.  More later …

2:00 PM update- Scotty Warrington did a urine removal seminar as only Scotty can do and Lisa Wagner is now presenting a great program on rug cleaning.  (You can tell Lisa has been there- done that.)  Unfortunately the clouds are rolling in which puts the outside TM people in a tough situation- but hey- they are carpet cleaners!  And the show will go on …

Wrapping things up … Kudos go out to a lot of people involved in this very informal and relaxed event.  In contrast to bigger industry sows all of the speakers were actual cleaning experts, not just some generic Talking Head shilling for their latest over priced consulting/marketing program.  I couldn’t see any high pressure selling going on at all- just some nice people trying to help cleaners down in the trenches.  And there was a lot of fun being had too!

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