Despite a down economy, attendance was strong for the Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show.
The event was held Jan. 26-28 at the Atlantic City (N.J.)
A total of 11,324 attendees and exhibitors were on hand, up
slightly from 2009, according to the Northeast Spa & Pool
Association. Exhibiting companies numbered 403. The 75 seminars
were well-attended, with 568 in the classrooms on Monday and 2,007
“The numbers looked great this year, and that’s
obviously good for our industry,” said show manager Trish
McCormick. “People are coming to the show, and that means
they are out there doing business and confident that things are
Rich Sedell, Northeast sales representative for Paramount Pool
& Spa Systems of Chandler, Ariz., agreed: “The show was
very good. ... Traffic was similar Tuesday and Wednesday to past
years, and the last day is never busy. It’s been a strong
show for us, and I think people have gotten a lot out of
Indeed, the trend this year was toward more companies attending,
but bringing fewer employees. “The buzz was that exhibitors
were happy with attendance because the decision-makers were
there,” McCormick said.
In a somewhat surprising development, the number of spa
exhibitors was up this year — more than 30 compared with 20
last year. McCormick wasn’t sure why, but suggested that in a
slow economy, spas are not as expensive as some home improvements
— and “there’s that whole cocooning and
‘staycation’ thing going on out there. And spas are
great for family fun.”
Returning for the third year was the Commercial Exhibit Venue.
The 14 exhibitors displayed, among other things, VGBA-compliant
products and SVRS’s. Larry Benz, national sales manager at
Lawson Aquatic in Naples, Fla., said his firm has recently begun
distributing VGBA products, and called the venue
On the show’s education side, the all-day Technical Forum
on leak detection, led by Lance Anderson, drew a crowd of 100, plus
another 75 watching in a separate room via video remote. Other
included tile installation, heater troubleshooting, leak detection
basics and intermediate water chemistry.
Attendee Keith Herbert enjoyed the 2010 event for a couple of
reasons. “I come every year,” said the owner of Cozy
Pools, Spas & Hearth in Mt. Airy, Md. “I like to see the
new technology; that’s my main reason for coming. And I like
Though the emphasis is on exhibits and seminars, organizers
included activities such as the welcome party at the Tropicana
Casino & Resort. And the first-ever silent auction featured
more than 125 items, from pool and spa merchandise to tickets for
two to anywhere in the continental United States. More than $34,000
was raised for the NESPA Foundation for the Advancement of
Education and Professionalism.
The show will return to the Atlantic City Convention Center Jan.
25-27, 2011. McCormick said one change is already being planned,
based on feedback from this year’s show. Exhibit hours will
be 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Typically, it’s noon to 6 p.m.) “For
29 years, there’s been no overlap with classes, so
we’ll have to figure this out,” she said.
Rebecca Robledo contributed to this story.