The Everything Under the Sun Expo in Orlando, Fla., wrapped up with strong numbers and good momentum to head into its 45th annual edition next year.
Organized by the Florida Swimming Pool Association, the convention and trade show attracted approximately 4,000 attendees during its Feb. 12-13 run at the Orange County Convention Center, said Wendy Parker Barsell, FSPA’s executive director.
That puts the show on par with 2014’s turnout. Last year’s event was down by about 500, Parker Barsell said.
In addition to its healthy attendance figures, the show had 60 more exhibitors this year.
Some formatting changes invited more networking opportunities among the professionals in attendance. One new feature, “Conversation Cafes,” provided a forum for industry experts to share their knowledge on specific topics with attendees in casual round-table discussions. Topics included staff retention and how to conduct swimming pool audits, among others.
Learning Labs provided showgoers with hands-on experience to find out about the latest equipment from major manufacturers.
The show christened three winners in a new award category. The Service Professional of the Year went to Kirk Bradley, On-Time Service Inc., Sarasota; Jerry Bell, Blue Pools Inc., North Palm Beach; and Larry Drumb, Cool Pools By Larry, Deland.
FSPA also honored John Garner Sr. as its Person of the Year. The president of Pools By John Garner Inc. in Jacksonville served as FSPA’s president for two terms, helping increase membership and developing a three-year strategic plan.
Overall, organizers are pleased with the results. “Judging the evaluations, everything has come back very positive,” Parker Barsell said. “We expect to roll into our 45th show on a high.”
Next year’s show will take place Feb. 17-18 in Orlando.