Rarin’ to go: When the doors open for the PSP Expo, attendees will stream into the exhibit hall. This year, the event returns to Las Vegas in November. (Photo by Informa Exhibitions US)
Rarin’ to go: When the doors open for the PSP Expo, attendees will stream into the exhibit hall. This year, the event returns to Las Vegas in November. (Photo by Informa Exhibitions US)

Before you know it, the 2015-16 trade show season will be here. If you haven’t decided which events to attend, there’s no time to lose. To help you with that task, here’s a rundown of must-see events near and far.

Pool Industry Expo
Sept. 24-26, 2015
Monterey (Calif.) Convention Center
For more info, click here  

PIE’s nickname is the “Education Vacation” and, indeed, many industry professionals look forward to getting away to the scenic seaside town in Northern California each September.

The 29th annual PIE will feature the usual bustling show floor with more than 130 exhibitors. Up to 7,000 attendees and exhibitors are expected — as is a wide range of business and technical seminars — everything from sessions on equipment repair, water chemistry and building issues to advertising, business promotion, licensing and retail-related topics. Activities will include a golf tournament, awards dinner, daily prizes and cash giveaways, and the grand prize of a Hawaiian trip. Preregistration now is open.

International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo
Nov. 7-12, 2015
Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Las Vegas
For more info, click here

The International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo returns to its longtime host city this year: Las Vegas. Last year’s Expo attracted approximately 10,000 attendees, over 500 exhibitors and had 1,400 booths. The conference boasted nearly 70 classes over six days.

The 2015 event will feature a conference Nov. 7-12 and the Expo on Nov. 10-12. There will be tracks and programs focusing on pool/spa building, service, retail management, business and backyard living. APSP will present certification courses for builders, service professionals and hot tub technicians. Genesis Schools will provide continuing education in watershape design and construction. And certification courses will be offered by industry organizations ASA/ACI, NPC and FPSIE/NSPF.

Key events will include the Welcome Party; the Hot Spot; and the Genesis Winemaker Dinner. Watch for free show-floor educational opportunities such as Splash Talks, Hayward School of Business, Houzz seminars, Genesis Lifestyle Program and the Commercial Education Classroom.

Canadian Pool & Spa Conference & Expo
Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2015
Scotiabank Convention Centre
Niagara Falls, Ontario
For more info, click here 

The Canadian show alternates between Toronto and Niagara Falls, Ontario. This year, it’s time to revisit the Falls. Organized by the Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada, it will feature a conference Nov. 30-Dec. 3, and an expo Dec. 2-3. Typically, the event attracts around 2,000 registrants and up to 150 exhibitors.

It’s the 35th annual edition of the show, and the educational offerings will be as diverse as ever. Besides the two-day CPO course, watch for short courses on topics such as automation, hydraulics, water chemistry, pool operation  and more; technical and business seminars; and a panel presentation on the importance of water testing.

On the show floor, you can find the new Pool School, a hands-on area where participants will get a chance to work on pool equipment under the guidance of The Pool Guy (aka Steve Galbraith of G&G Pool ‘n’ Spa Contracting). Then there are the returning favorites, including the “Hot Topics – Hot Breakfast” discussions — as well as the Industry Party and the Design & Construction Awards Ceremony.

Mid-America Pool, Spa & Outdoor Living Show
Jan. 18-21, 2016
Lucas Oil Stadium
For more info, click here

Change is in the wind for the Mid-America show in 2016. For the first time in more than 15 years, it’s  moving to a host city outside the Chicago area — and the name has changed, too.

Organizers explained that the state-of-the-art stadium offers spacious meeting rooms and 44,000 square feet of exhibit space, and it’s only a 15-minute drive from the Indianapolis International Airport. Also, the stadium is connected by a pedestrian walkway to the Indiana Convention Center and over 4,700 hotel rooms, and is just steps away from downtown Indianapolis.

As for the choice of the host city, it’s centrally located in the Midwest and less than a four-hour drive from Chicago, Cincinnati and St. Louis.

The addition to the pool and spa show’s name reflects a new emphasis on outdoor living, which no doubt also will be reflected in the seminar lineup (TBA). The event will feature manufacturer and APSP training Monday-Tuesday; show education and exhibits will be open Wednesday and Thursday. On Jan. 20, there will be a free Show Party in the Quarterback Suite of the Lucas Oil Stadium from 5-7 p.m.

The Pool & Spa Show powered by NESPA
Jan. 26-28, 2016
Atlantic City (N.J.) Convention Center
For more info, click here

This will be the 35th annual Pool & Spa Show, and NESPA organizers expect it to pull in more than 400 exhibitors and over 11,000 attendees. With more than 1,000 booths filling 100,000+ square feet of exhibit space, the event will provide showgoers with access to the latest industry products and services.

The show always offers a strong educational slate, and 2016 should be no different. Last year, there were over 50 technical seminars and 25 business courses, plus specialty and general sessions. Specialty sessions would include a two-day CPO course, and NPC and APSP certification classes and exams, while general sessions would address specific topics of interest to pool and spa professionals.

The venue for the Welcome Party has not yet been revealed, but in recent years it has been at Harrah’s Pool After Dark nightclub, so it will be interesting to see if it returns to that popular spot or moves to another in 2016.

Everything Under the Sun Expo
Feb. 12-13, 2016
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Fla.
For more info, click here

Presented by the Florida Swimming Pool Association, the 2016 show will be held in Orlando, in the Orange County Convention Center’s West Hall A1-A2. Show registration will open in November 2015, and booth signups are ongoing, of course. But typically, this show has approximately 300 booths and up to 4,000 attendees.

The event is known for its emphasis on education, and no wonder. Florida’s licensing requirements make education a must, and organizers make sure the technical and business seminars offer Florida CILB credit.

Other educational opportunities can be found in the exhibit hall, where Learning Labs (formerly Hands-On Education) provide information about various products — from the manufacturers themselves.

Much-anticipated events each year include daily drawings for cash, a gala Awards and Welcome Reception, and the Industry Party.

Western Pool & Spa Show
March 10-12, 2016
Long Beach (Calif.) Convention Center
For more info, click here

Over in Southern California, another show with a heavy emphasis on education will unfold in March 2016. Now in its 38th year, the Western Pool & Spa Show typically boasts around 85 seminars of a technical and business nature for the mainly service and builder crowd.

Everyone from industry newbies to veterans will find something that interests them, including sessions on water chemistry at all levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced); equipment repair; electronic controls and much more. Business classes and Quick Books instruction will help professionals keep their companies humming. All three days will include classes conducted in Spanish.

Ever-popular activities include an expanded putting contest, returning to the show floor for the sixth year. Golf enthusiasts play for a nominal fee, with proceeds split 50/50 between the winner and the California Pool & Spa Association.

Additionally, door prizes will be given away every hour, leading up to the new-truck giveaway at the show’s end.

Hearth Patio & Barbecue Expo 2016
March 16-19, 2016
Morial Convention Center
New Orleans
For more info, click here

Billing itself as North America’s largest indoor- and outdoor-living showcase, HPBE aims to draw more than 350 hearth, patio and barbecue manufacturers and suppliers to display their wares at the expo March 17-19 in New Orleans.

Over 5,000 attendees are expected to check out the latest grills and grill accessories, outdoor kitchens, water and landscape features, casual patio furniture, outdoor accents and more. And they’ll find still more backyard items in the New Products Pavilion.

Educational sessions will occur March 16-19, plus the two-day National Fireplace Institute’s certification course and exam for professionals who install or plan wood/gas hearth appliance systems.