• Credit: NESPA

The Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show has weathered a few disasters — including exaggerated reports of the effect of last year’s Hurricane Sandy on the event site — but show manager Trish McCormick has nothing but optimism for this year’s Northeast Spa & Pool Association trade show.

“It’s going to be a very exciting year,” she says.

While Hurricane Sandy did cause heartbreaking devastation along the Eastern seaboard in October 2012, the damage wasn’t in Atlantic City, N.J., or connected with the show.

What did damage the show was lower participation from people who watched the national news and didn’t realize that Atlantic City survived unscathed, McCormick says. Couple that with attendees who weren’t able to make it because they were dealing with the storm’s actual damage to their homes and businesses.

“This year should only be bigger and better for us,” McCormick adds. Booth sales were already tracking about 8 percent higher than last year. “It’s looking from here that we’re going to see a lot of growth this year.”

That’s good news, because the show’s attendees will be able to enjoy many traditional features that have made the show a success, such as the extensive education offerings and busy show floor. And don’t forget the massage area on the floor! “If I took that away, there would be a revolt,” McCormick jokes.

What else should attendees watch for?

It will be no surprise to anyone that the Welcome Party will again call Harrah’s Pool After Dark its home for the fourth year.

“How do you move away from that?” McCormick asks. “It’s like it was built for us.”

The freeform pool under a giant glass dome was, in fact, built by a NESPA member, she says. It’s perfect in every respect — except one, she notes. “The Pool,” as it’s nicknamed, has an attendance cap of 1,500 people.

“We sell out every year,” McCormick says. She encourages those who are interested in dancing the night away to buy their $20 tickets early.

Also a big hit in previous years was the networking aspect on the show floor. Last year’s Show Connection Center gave attendees a place in the exhibit hall to charge their devices and mingle. This year, the NESPA NETworking Spot fills that location in aisle 4100 where association members and those not in the association can communicate and connect.

McCormick says the Spot will have basketball games and other fun events.

Admission to the exhibit hall is free for industry professionals, but visit www.ACPoolSpaShow.com to register for a show badge and to purchase seminar passes.