The 2009 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo has a host of new offerings in store.

Slated for the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas Nov. 13-18, IPSPE has replaced its keynote speech with a collection of industry-run Power Panels.

“With the economy the way it is, people value hearing from their peers,” said Donna Bellantone, Expo director. “They want something to take back and use in their businesses.”

The three panels will be held concurrently on Monday, Nov. 16, at 9:45-10:50 a.m. Each will target a different industry segment.

Lew Akins, president of Ocean Quest Pools by Lew Akins in Belton, Texas, moderates the Builder Power Panel. It will deal with trends, technologies and the future of the building sector.

Hosting the Retail Power Panel is Kathleen Carlson, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Aqua Quip in Seattle. This session will focus on customer service, retention and marketing.

The final Power Panel is titled “Empowerment Hour: Embracing the Gold.” It features life and business coach Clay Nelson, who will teach industry professionals to find inspiration and value the lessons they have learned during the economic slump.

Online registration kicked off last month, and with the response generated so far, Expo organizers expect more than 10,000 attendees and approximately 400 exhibitors. Registration rates and travel information are available at

“We anticipate very solid attendance,” said Rick McConnell, president of Hanley Wood Exhibitions, whose parent company Hanley Wood, LLC, owns IPSPE and this magazine.

“This continues to be the show in the industry and we expect the best possible attendee-to-exhibitor ratio,” McConnell added.

Visitors will again be treated to a New Product Pavilion, but new this year are two special sections: eco-friendly offerings and “Cool Products,” which recognizes unique manufacturing innovation.

But IPSPE is more than exhibit halls.

“The No. 1 reason people come to the show is education,” McConnell said. “There will be lots of new, hard-hitting sessions for them.”

Beginning Nov. 13, there will be 61 conference sessions and several CPO courses. Topics range from energy-efficient heating to Internet marketing strategies. Seventy-five percent of the seminars feature subjects new to the Expo. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals also will host its Technical Service Institute and a two-day Builder Institute.

Also, Genesis 3 Design Group is returning after a successful program in 2008. The group is hosting four design schools and its Winemaker Dinner at the Mandalay Bay’s Fleur de Lys restaurant.