When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Never have these inspiring words by Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne held more meaning than they do today. In mid-November, more than 9,000 pool and spa professionals are expected to get going all right ... to Las Vegas for the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo.

What they will find there, says Expo Director Donna Bellantone, are “new ways to stay competitive, profitable and strong.” The event is slated for Nov. 13-18 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

Approximately 410 exhibiting companies will fill more than 125,000 net square feet of space in the Bayside Halls with 1,055 booths.

On the educational front, the 2009 IPSPE will feature 61 seminars, as well as CPO courses, APSP Technical and Builder Institutes, the Executive Academy, and Genesis 3 design schools.

The seminar track for builders, retailers and service technicians covers everything from “Technical Applications of Water in Transit” to “Tools to Build Service Companies,” “Sales Ignition for Retailers,” “Internet Marketing Strategies” — and much more.

New this year are three Power Panels, set for Monday morning, Nov. 16. Each has a different focus: retailing, pool building, and business management for industry professionals.

Meanwhile, the New Product Pavilion will return, featuring eco-friendly merchandise and services, while the Backyard Living Pavilion will showcase products, resources and information from all sectors of the backyard living industry.

In short, Bellantone says, the Expo allows attendees to “see the new products, discover new suppliers and make key contacts with exhibiting companies. ... The conference program will provide useful information that will help position your company to be on top for the recovery.”

Note: Hanley Wood, LLC, owns IPSPE and this magazine.