The Master Pools Guild saw high attendance and rolled out several new marketing initiatives at its latest meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.
“It was the most positive meeting that we’ve had since the downturn of the economy,” said Dick Covert, executive director of the Richmond, Va.-based builder group.
Approximately 250 individuals, including vendor staff, attended, with 79 member firms represented.
The group’s new initiatives will utilize multiple media platforms — video, mobile, print and Web.
Perhaps most ambitiously, starting in May, the MPG will run in-flight videos promoting the pool lifestyle as well as the organization’s brand. The spots, by pool builder/videographer Doug Johnston, will appear on United Airlines and Virgin America flights. It is projected that 4.4 million travelers will view the pieces.
“The video is like a visual diary of what life can be like for the swimming pool owner from the time they get up until the end of the day,” said Terry Wiltshire, Master Pools’ special projects manager. “The woman gets up, goes outside, and at first is not even in the pool — she’s doing yoga poolside. Then she swims laps while it’s still quiet. Then her [family] joins her. ... The day really unfolds around the pool.”
On the mobile front, the organization will activate its own smartphone app, designed for consumers as well as Master Pool members. Expected to be available later this spring, the app will allow consumers to find a member builder, view informational videos, enter contests and perform other functions currently available on the group’s website. Members can access and download materials, view vendor information and perform other tasks.
“They’ll have it in the field, and they’ll have everything on their phones that they need without having to work for it, including our gallery,” Covert said.
Finally, MPG is printing a brochure originally made available online. Called “Top Ten Design Trends in Swimming Pool & Spa Design,” it will be enhanced with embedded codes that work similarly to QR codes, allowing those who’ve installed the Master Pools app to scan a photo and trigger additional images, videos or information pertinent to the features depicted. The brochures have been a printed, but the codes will be activated later this spring.
“A few years ago, when the consumer started to be very involved in the different platforms of social media, we went there to find them and we had great success,” Wiltshire said. “Then we started to engage them with video and we’ve had good success with that. Now all statistics point to a massive growth in mobile traffic. This is our way of weaving mobile into the vast majority of our marketing programs.”
The MPG meeting itself included an eight-hour Genesis 3 course for early attendees. Professional speaker, coach and author Allen Tappe gave the keynote speech about the importance of creating a unified mission. Members attended a half-day table-top show, as well as three sessions about construction issues and products.
The meeting concluded with a tour of three high-end pools built by member firm Claffey Pools, whose staff provided an in-depth presentation about the design and construction of the projects the day before.
The group also gave out its annual design awards, with the highest honor, the Grand International, going to Falcon Pools in Surrey, United Kingdom.
Master Pools’ next meeting takes place Oct. 15-18 in Naples, Fla. Its next spring meeting is set for March 25-28, 2015 in Tucson, Ariz.