It's not all glitz & glamour
04 August 2015
From award ceremonies to art galleries, Cleanology carries out cleaning at a range of high profile events and venues across London. Group CEO Dominic Ponniah looks at what it takes to compete in this specialist area – and why many contract cleaning companies won’t touch it!
For many years Cleanology, a privately family-owned and run business, has worked at many different events and leisure venues. Each has their own quirks but the work is fun and refreshing compared to the usual cleaning. Working on an event requires precision planning and timing with quick turnaround times as venues have to run continuously. In my experience, they normally always go over budget and overrun, which sometimes makes our job challenging.
Exclusive London venues cleaned by Cleanology include Selfridges, Harrods, and some of the most prestigious galleries such as Hauser & Wirth, the Saatchi Gallery and The Photographers’ Gallery. The most high profile and biggest event the company has been responsible for is the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in Berkeley Square, Mayfair.
Rolling out the red carpet
The Glamour Awards, hosted by Glamour magazine every year gives out different awards to honour high profile inspirational women from a variety of fields, including entertainment, business, sports, music, science, medicine, education, and politics. It has become one of the most talked about events in the celebrity calendar, generating a huge amount of PR both nationally and internationally.
Working in partnership with the live events management company to deliver first class service standards, the organised and dedicated team at Cleanology ensure the venue looks spectacular and the whole evening experience is fabulous and flawless, as the red carpet hosts a number of prominent celebrities.
Staff normally start late morning, with a finish time of 6pm. Guests and celebrities start arriving at 7pm. The area is vast – and involves around six cleaners vacuum cleaning debris off the floor all afternoon. They then have to work around all the set-up crew – lighting, florists, caterers, bar staff, sound engineers, production staff, and – of course the presenter – Jonathan Ross!
It was challenging because we knew how long it would take to clean the whole area once, but we didn’t always know how many times we would have to clean each area which set us behind schedule. Often we would finish two minutes before 7pm due to the scale of the job in hand and the absolute attention to detail required by the client.
High profile environment
Cleanology’s cleaning staff are trained in certain skills required for this type of cleaning which is totally different from regular cleaning and understand that not only is attention to detail essential but that great care is required. From the outset they have the knowledge of working in a vibrant and high profile public environment, so extreme professionalism and trust is vital.
This specific cleaning team has to be flexible and adapt to the situation as the event has its own individual requirements. Sizeable teams are required for short periods to clean in between different stages of set up – not often is a whole day allowed to do a job but all operations have to be efficient and effective so that the venue runs continuously and when the crowds assemble everything is ready and in place. At the end of the event, the hard-working team is fully flexible and ensures an exceptional standard to cleaning to keep the venue maintained at its best.
The people who run these venues are professionals, the same as we are professionals in cleaning. We train our team to the highest standard which can be then applied to other types of clean, such as builders cleans. Our experience of event cleaning has been one of great benefit to our business. It has opened doors to other work, is profitable and has given our teams good training to be disciplined in timekeeping, quality of work and customer service skills, given its very ‘customer facing’ nature. It is an area of cleaning often overlooked and seen as a ‘hassle’, but that is not our experience.