The long Florida pool season equaled business at the Everything Under the Sun Expo, where attendees traversed the show floor seeking out new products, and headed for classrooms to take continuing education seminars. “The feedback from exhibitors was that they were really happy with attendance,” said Wendy Parker Barsell, executive director of the Florida Swimming Pool Association, which staged the show Feb. 12-14 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. “The attendees were happy with all the education they were able to take, as well as the companies they were there to visit.”
The education program featured 19 new classes, in addition to seminars that fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain Florida licenses.
Show organizers had to contend with the fact that last November’s International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo took place in the same city. Still, the Under the Sun Expo hall saw many feet on the floor, exhibitors said.
“We actually received more leads than we had in the past,” said Bob Hochstetter, sales manager at Fort Pierce, Fla.-based exhibitor Artistry in Mosaics Inc. “We got 84 leads on the first day and 47 on the second.”
The last time the company exhibited at the show was in 2009, when its name had been shifted from the Florida Pool & Spa Show to the Orlando Pool & Spa Show.
While Hochstetter attributed part of the company’s success at the show to interest in its new product — a 90-degree trim glass — he also said the right attendees were there.
“We were slammed on the show floor,” he said.
Longtime attendee Steve Bludsworth brought three service technicians from All-Pool Service & Supply Inc. with him to walk the show floor and visit education sessions. “The show was good,” said the president of the Orlando-based business. “It was pretty comparable to previous years. All the major guys were there, and some of the smaller type companies were there, too.”
Even though exhibitor Cameron Parker reported slower traffic on the show floor compared with last year, which was the first year Sip-N-Oodle exhibited, his company wrote nearly the same amount of orders at the 2015 event.
“We wrote up a lot of new business, and we sold out of what we had brought retail,” said Parker, CEO of the Griffin, Ga.-based business.
Despite the more service-oriented attendees, he said business still was brisk for his products, which are geared mostly to retailers.
Business at the expo exceeded Artistry in Mosaics’ expectations, even with the higher bar set for the new product introduction. “The show was outstanding,” Hochstetter said. “It was much better than what we had hoped it would be.”
Final attendance figures for the show were unavailable at press time.