Though dwindling sales across the industry have
trimmed staffs and reduced travel budgets, registration remains
steady for the 2009 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo.
Online registration for IPSPE, which is slated for Nov. 13-18 in
Las Vegas, has helped boost numbers in the past month. Organizers
expect attendance on par with last year’s show.
“Our conference registration is actually higher than it
was last year at this time,” said Donna Bellantone, IPSPE
director. “The people who are coming are the serious buyers
and those investing in their future.”
The Expo’s educational tracks address multiple platforms,
offering attendees the chance to catch up on the latest products,
business strategies and technical know-how. More than 60 conference
sessions surround the event, coupled with on-floor seminars,
day-long specialty programs and a set of Power Panels that will
replace the traditional keynote speech.
“So many people have downsized and changed some of their
services, so we really concentrated on identifying the areas [that]
would be the most beneficial,” said Tracy Beaulieu,
conference manager for IPSPE. “[The industry is] going to be
on a slow climb, but they need education that is current and
relevant within this economic time to get back on track.”
Sign-ups for business classes aimed at service technicians, who
generally have had more success in weathering the downturn, have
been especially brisk thus far, she added.
Anticipation also is high for the Executive Academy, a three-day
educational program designed for managers.
“It was an inaugural event last year, and [attendees] just
raved about it,” Beaulieu said. “It’s an awesome
program for owners and anyone in the top echelon of a
On the more technical side, plenty of questions and interest
still surround the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa
Safety Act, which will be addressed in IPSPE’s new VGB
Pavilion. This area will feature a three-day mix of safety seminars
and product tutorials, as well as a table-top display for
“One of the classes is how to use the ANSI checklist for
VGB, so that’s going to help service [techs] and installers
look at their pools and know if the equipment is compliant,”
As always, the Expo will feature hands-on product demonstrations,
in addition to building and service programs presented by APSP. The Genesis 3 Design Group also will return to IPSPE with four design schools for
all levels of experience.