As more venues and organiser realise the importance of an exceptional cleaning service, Scott Hudson, Operations Director at Stadium Support Services, reveals all about its successful first year at Farnborough International Airshow.

In recent years, the events industry has seen a real shift in the attitudes towards cleaning. More and more venues are realising the importance of a clean site to get repeat visitors ¬– whereas once it would have been the first item to be reduced on a budget to save costs. Venues have come to realise that the customer journey begins from the moment they enter the site not just when they take their seats. Cleaning has become something to champion, and the net result is happier guests that want to come back again and again.

Having got a feel for the site and gained the trust of clients and suppliers alike, we set about creating a battle plan. A site as unique as Farnborough comes with many challenges, the main concern was that an area might be missed as with more than 200 separate buildings, cabins and toilets to clean, one could easily be overlooked. To avoid this, the company used SmartTask to monitor and coordinate its cleaning operation. The advanced workforce management software provides real-time visibility and control to its 100-strong team.

We pride ourselves on the ability to identify and use the correct equipment for the job. For example, we used compact battery powered cordless cleaning equipment during the day so as not to cause any trip hazards, and larger industrious equipment available for the evening crew. Championing the use of the latest software and cordless cleaning technology, the company has been able to demonstrate unrivalled results and commendations from visitors and clients alike.

Farnborough International, the organiser of the prestigious Farnborough International Airshow, put cleaning as one of its highest priorities. In May, following a competitive tender, it awarded Stadium Support Services a six-year deal to be the official cleaning partner for the next three airshows.

The contract will see Stadium Support Services deliver more than 80,000 hours of cleaning services across the 770-acre site on behalf of the Airshow’s 1,500 exhibitors. There’s a lot that goes into planning and managing a cleaning project on such a vast scale. Now that the first airshow has finished – and with the cleaning operation a huge success – these are some of the things we’ve learned along the way.

Basing yourself on a new site as early as possible is key to the success of any operation. It enables you to meet the various clients and contractors and gain an understanding of how the site operates. Favours make the event industry go round and our aim when going to any new site is to help out as many people as early on as possible, because you never know when you might need a favour back.


We obviously made quite an impression on the client. Neil Theuma, Operations Director at Farnborough International, said: “We are really pleased with what Stadium Support Services has achieved at this show and we have received nothing but positive feedback and comments from our exhibitors and visitors. The cleanliness of our venue is a high-priority for us as in our efforts to maintain the highest standards of customer service. The organisation, dedication and effort by the cleaning teams at Stadium Support Services is exemplary.”

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