There’s a “renewed, refreshed look” to The Pool & Spa Show powered by the Northeast Spa & Pool Association. Even as it celebrates its 35th anniversary, this year’s event will maintain a forward focus, says Trish McCormick, show manager. “We’re humbled that we’ve hit 35 years, but we’re moving forward,” says McCormick, adding that it’s important to continue to keep the show fresh. That means trying new things, such as moving the welcome party from its longtime venue, Harrah’s Pool After Dark, to the new T Street — and implementing new features like the Water in Motion Wall, a large-scale, hands-on demo area on the show floor, focusing on “the latest and greatest” in pool hydraulics technology.
McCormick’s goals for the next five years are to make the show one that people want to go to every single year, especially young professionals coming into the industry. It provides an opportunity to network across generations and teach the value of face-to-face meetings, she adds.
Slated for Jan. 25-28 at the Atlantic City (N.J.) Convention Center, the 2016 event offers a show floor sporting wares of over 400 exhibiting companies. Exhibits are open Tuesday through Thursday, and organizers expect 11,000-plus industry professionals to traverse the exhibit hall. McCormick notes that it’s a perfect place to check out new technology and products — at booths and at the Product Boardwalk, which is strategically located at the only entrance/exit to make it easy for visitors to examine new products on display.
“Education drives our show,” McCormick continues. And, sure enough, from Monday through Thursday, more than 70 business and technical classes will be available, plus certification programs from APSP, NSPF, NPC and ASA/ACI. Various Education Conference passes are available, which include technical and business seminars; attendees also can add on certification courses and industry specialty sessions. (For more about the educational program, see below.)
Admission to the exhibit hall is free for industry members, but to register for a show badge and to buy education passes, visit www.thepoolspashow.com.
Educational sessions abound. From technical and business seminars to more specialized classes and certification courses, there’s something for everyone — including an expanded seminar line-up for Spanish-speaking industry professionals. Sessions conducted in Spanish will include basic water chemistry, pump motor troubleshooting, salt chlorine generators, and workplace safety for pool and spa technicians.
Technical and business seminars
Water chemistry classes from basic to intermediate are sure to draw attendees, as always. Other technical topics of interest will include “Algae: The Ugly Truth”; “Stains, Scale and Discolorations: Identification and Troubleshooting”; “A Service Tech’s Practical Guide to Electricity”; and “Automatic Controls: From Simple to Complex”; and more.
Of particular interest, and new for 2016, will be sessions on saltwater chlorine generator essentials and product training, running Monday through Thursday.
On the business side are timely topics such as “Trends in Outdoor Design”; “Fighting Back: How to Compete and Win in Today’s Market”; “Fundamentals of Successful Project Management”; “Time Management and Productivity Techniques”; “Dealing with Difficult People” and more.
A variety of certification programs are available. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals offers courses for the APSP Certified Maintenance Specialist (CMS), Certified Service Technician (CST), Certified Building Professional (CBP) review course, and the Pool and Spa Construction Course (PSCC). The National Swimming Pool Foundation will hold its Certified Pool Operator (CPO) Course. The American Shotcrete Association/American Concrete Institute provide the ASA-ACI Nozzleman Certification Education Course. And the National Plasterers Council offers its Start-Up Certification; class limited to 50.
Two free general sessions, open to all attendees, are on tap. On Tuesday, the FBI will provide an update on explosive chemicals, info on improvised explosive devices and what to do if you see something suspicious. On Wednesday, the Swimming Pool Licensing Round Table will cover licensing requirements in Connecticut; New Jersey; Long Island, N.Y.; and Rockland County, N.Y.
Two day-long courses are being offered: “QuickBooks in the Cloud” on Sunday; class is limited to 30. “Spa Pack Diagnostics: Advanced Troubleshooting and Repair Skills” on Monday; class is limited to 50. Fees include all course materials and lunch; check the show website for details.
For the past five years, pool and spa professionals have gathered around Harrah’s Pool After Dark for the welcome party. This year, organizers are moving the festivities to Atlantic City’s new nightlife hot spot: T Street.
Located at the former site of the Piers Shops at Caesars Hotel & Casino, T Street is patterned after places such as music row in Nashville, Tenn., and Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Its themed venues include an Irish pub, a Texas roadhouse and a speakeasy. Party-goers can move from place to place, enjoying live music, karaoke and more. The party is Monday, Jan. 25, 7-10 p.m. The $20 admission includes food and two complimentary cocktails.
SHOW ON THE GO
Once again, the show’s free mobile app is available. Features include an interactive floor plan and exhibitor profiles; education schedule and course descriptions; the ability to schedule meetings, plan visits, receive show notifications, keep notes, to-do lists and follow-up items. The app can be downloaded from the show website (www.thepoolspashow.com) to any Apple or Android smartphone or iPad.
SUNDAY, JAN. 24
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
NSPF Certified Pool Operators Course, Day 1
MONDAY, JAN. 25
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
NSPF Certified Pool Operators Course, Day 2
10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Specialty Sessions: QuickBooks; Spa Pack Diagnostics
Welcome Party at T-Street
TUESDAY, JAN. 26
Free General Session: FBI update on explosive chemicals
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27
Free General Session: Swimming Pool Licensing Round Table
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
THURSDAY, JAN. 28
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Note: Events occur at the Atlantic City Convention Center unless otherwise noted. This info is the latest available at press time.