Pool and spa professionals will once again return to Niagara Falls, Ontario, to attend the Canadian Pool & Spa Conference and Expo. The event will take place Dec. 5-8 at the Scotiabank Convention Centre.

The 80,000-square-foot exhibit space will feature approximately 140 exhibitor booths. And while about 2,000 attendees typically take part in the event, organizers expect a slight uptick this year.

“We’re quite bullish this year,” said Robert Wood, executive director of the Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada.

Wood notes that, in addition to the healthy Canadian economy, much of the country experienced a very hot, humid summer, which has been driving interest in the pool market there. “The members have been very busy building pools,” he said. “We expect a very good turnout.”

This year, attendees will see a few new changes to the itinerary. Typically, the Awards Banquet and Industry Party are held on the same night. But for this convention, the parties will be held on different evenings. Wood said the change came in response to a survey of last year’s event.

“We should be less rushed this year with the Awards Ceremony, and separating the two functions will also allow us to start the Industry Party a little earlier in the evening,” he said.

Also new for this year is a “beefed up” certification program. Attendees can now become certified as aquatic recreation industry “specialists” or “experts” by completing courses at the show. Sessions include Pool Installation 101, Water Chemistry 201, Water Discharge Best Management Practices, and Spa Pack & Pump Troubleshooting. Officials also are expecting sizeable crowds for the “Repairing Pool Finishes” and “Taking Vinyl Pools to New Heights” seminars.

The event’s enhanced website will help attendees map their route on the show floor. It’s much more user-friendly, Wood said, and this year it features an interactive floorplan with company descriptions that can be accessed with one simple click.

Given the positive economic factors, enhanced educational offerings and chance to return to scenic Niagara Falls, “there are very few reasons not to attend,” said Wood.