When it comes to the Western Pool & Spa Show, you can count on sunny skies (almost always), a lively seaside host city — and a show packed with product displays and seminars custom-made for service technicians, as well as builders and retailers.
This year, when WPSS returns to the newly renovated Long Beach (Calif.) Convention Center on March 13-15, you also can count on some new features. For starters, the extensive educational program will feature 24 new classes, four of which join the Spanish-language lineup. Also, before the exhibit hall opens on Thursday, industry lobbyist SPEC will debut its new name (California Pool & Spa Association) at a special event in the Pacific Ballroom in the lobby, starting at 5 p.m. CPSA also will have a booth on the show floor.
But that’s not all that’s new. A seminar or panel addressing possible statewide water restrictions is in the works, says Peter Haverlation, WPSS vice president and a longtime show organizer. “We’re trying to be pro-active,” he explains. “Already, the Central Coast has Tier 1 water restrictions.” (Tiered rates give residents water “budgets” based on size of households and properties; those who exceed their budgets pay higher rates for the extra water.) With 2013 being California’s driest year on record, Gov. Jerry Brown declared the state officially in a drought in January. “There’s enough water to get us through this year, with restrictions,” Haverlation notes. “But authorities are worried about 2015.”
At press time, WPSS organizers were trying to decide what form such an informational session might take and where it would be held because all of the classrooms are filled. “We will be doing something [about water restriction],” Haverlation says.
Attendees will find that the 36th Annual WPSS also is bringing back favorites such as the truck giveaway, hourly door prizes, New Product Showcase and an indoor golf putting contest.
Admission to the show floor is free, but registration is required and can be done online at www.westernshow.com, or at the convention center. The seminar pass provides unlimited access to all the sessions; its fee is based on advance registration. For more show details, visit the WPSS website. For information on local attractions, go to visitlongbeach.com.