• Monterey, Calif.

    Credit: Chris Axe

    Monterey, Calif.

Technology has caught up with the annual Pool Industry Expo. For the first time in its 27-year history, attendees now have full access to details about the Monterey, Calif., event online. The show, which returns to the Monterey Conference Center this year, is slated for Sept. 26-28.

“The miracle of technology will make things so much easier for everyone,” said Bill Hoy, show co-director and president of Skyline Pool & Spa Inc. in Menlo Park, Calif. “Exhibitors can purchase booth space, attendees can register for the expo and people can secure a free pass to attend the show’s exhibits, all online.”

An added bonus of online registration is that attendees can reserve their spots for specific classes ahead of time, while reading details about the seminar, including the instructor.

Hoy said the “shopping cart” format for choosing classes not only streamlines the registration process for PIE organizers, but also allows them to see what kind of interest each class has for planning purposes.

“We want to ensure each class has space large enough for comfortable seating,” he said. “After the expo, people can log on and publish reviews of the classes for attendees to research what would be best for them in the upcoming years.”

Continuing education

Classes at PIE will cover not only technical aspects of pool service, retail, repair and construction, but also include instruction on running a successful firm. Business topics include QuickBooks, a business round table, tax issues and growing a company in today’s economy.

Technical classes include instruction on electricity, water chemistry, lighting, heaters and more.

“New for this year is the inclusion of some Spanish language seminars specifically for our Spanish-speaking attendees. We hope to expand on these in the future, if the interest is there,” Hoy added. “A lot of our employees here in Northern California speak Spanish, so we thought this might make a good addition to our educational offerings.”

One of the Spanish language classes is on hydraulics. Attendees will learn basic hydraulic principles such as water flow, total dynamic head and horsepower for existing pool and spa installations.

As in years past, PIE attendees can take part in the “Certified Pool Operators” two-day course, Sept. 25-26, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., both days. Other specialized courses include a certification in “Aquatic Energy,” offered by Pacific Gas & Electric.

Fun in the sun

The three-day trade show and educational event typically attracts more than 5,000, with attendees traveling not there only across the country, but from all over the world.

“The Northern California area in September is such a beautiful destination, we’ve seen many people coincide their annual vacation with our expo,” Hoy noted.

Adding to the excitement are the extracurricular activities, such as the popular golf tournament and lucrative door prizes. A total of $2,000 in cash prizes will be given away to lucky PIE attendees.

“We have cash drawings every night, and on the final night we give away a trip for two to Hawaii,” Hoy said. “Attendees must be present to win the prizes. Any prizes not claimed will automatically carry over to the next day.”

The exhibitor list grows daily, with more than 50 signed as of press time, he added. Exhibit booths feature companies offering the latest in pool and spa chemicals, tools and equipment.

Hoy, co-director of PIE for more than a decade, feels honored to help educate small- business owners and technicians in the industry he loves. “The minute it stops becoming fun is the day I stop volunteering to organize this expo,” he said with a laugh. “Oftentimes we get caught up working our day-to-day jobs, but I like organizing this event every year. This industry is one of my passions and I truly enjoy doing this.”

Exhibitors and attendees can visit www.poolindustryexpo.com to register for this year’s Pool Industry Expo in Monterey, Calif., Sept. 26-28.