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    Credit: HANLEY WOOD EXHIBITIONS

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    Credit: MARDI GRAS WORLD

There’s something magical about New Orleans. The name alone conjures up vivid images — Mardi Gras revelry, incredible music, over-the-top cemeteries, vampire tours and voodoo temples. And the food is to die for, from mouth-watering delicacies such as jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish etouffee and beignets to po’ boys and muffalettas. You get the idea.

After a nine-year absence, the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo and Conference is returning to the Crescent City on Nov. 2-8, 2012. It could well break last year’s attendance record of 9,717, which was a 5 percent increase over the 2010 Expo. Once again pool and spa builders, retailers, service technicians, designers and landscape architects will head for the Morial Convention Center. The exhibit hall will be packed Tuesday through Thursday, with well over 1,500 booths displaying pools, spas, waterfeatures, related equipment and gadgets, grills, lighting, casual furniture, fencing and much more. Word to the wise: This year, the show floor will open an hour earlier, at 10 a.m.

On the education front, Hanley Wood Exhibitions decided not to bring the power panels back for the 2012 Expo. After three years, organizers say that they’ve “run their course” – and it better accommodates the change in show hours. Instead, the focus is on an extensive seminar slate, with many new topics, plus there are specialized tracks.

For starters, there are 74 educational sessions. Conference classes cover technical, business and “hot topic” concepts – dishing up the latest information on everything from vanishing-edge pool design to social media marketing and implementation of new safety regulations. Conference classes will run Tuesday-Thursday. To help students get the most from the sessions, each has been classified by course level: 200 (advanced beginner), 300 (intermediate), 400 (advanced intermediate) and 500 (advanced). Most run 90 minutes in length.

“The seminars identify the key issues facing the pool, spa and backyard industry, with a focus on helping to improve production, performance and the bottom line,” says Lindsay Roberts, director of the Expo.

Those wanting to hone their trade skills further will find additional programs, starting on Friday, such as the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals’ courses and certification exams for building, service and hot tub professionals; Genesis 3’s Perspective Drawing and Construction & Design Schools; ASA/ACI Shotcrete Nozzleman Certification Program; National Plasterers Council Start-Up Certification Program; and the CPO Basic Course. Then there’s the APSP Zone, which includes the Live Workshops and a classroom area.

For fees and to register online, visit www.PoolSpaPatio.com/attendee. Educational offerings start on page 30 of this IPSPE Planner. Turn the page for more Expo highlights.

‘Let the good times roll’

Regardless of whether you’ve been to New Orleans’ famous Mardi Gras or just wish you had, this is your lucky day. The Expo Welcome Party will be at Mardi Gras World on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 5:30-8 p.m. This is where more than 80 percent of the floats are designed and built by Blaine Kern Studios — and many are on permanent display.

After a day of seminars and/or networking at the convention center, you can unwind here with a buffet of tasty hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and soda. As a DJ spins the latest dance tunes, relax and talk amongst yourselves at the various tables, or munch and meander among the floats.

Admission is free for conference registrants; $45 for Expo-only registrants after Sept. 25. Complimentary shuttle service will be provided from the convention center, with return service to all official show hotels. Guests must be at least 21 years of age, with valid ID.

The Welcome Party is sponsored by Strong Pools & Spas.

Mardi Gras World is located at 1380 Port of New Orleans; phone (504) 361-7821 or (800) 362-8213.

Expo on the go

Now there’s an app for that — the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo, that is. In partnership with Core-apps, LLC, of Arnold, Md., show organizers have released a new mobile app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry.

This app will provide access to features such as a dashboard with real-time information; searchable exhibitor list; interactive exhibit hall floor plan; schedule of seminars, speakers and events; and alerts from show management. It even offers New Orleans restaurant and nightlife facts, and Facebook and Twitter integration.

To download the free mobile app, search “PSP 2012” in the Apple Store and Android Market. BlackBerry and other Web browser-enabled phone users should go to http://m.core-apps.com/psp2012. From there, they’ll be directed to download the correct version of the app for their devices, or on some phones, bookmark the page for future reference.

Evosus Business Management Software (Booth #2245) is a multimedia sponsor of the mobile app.

Bill Weber, president/CEO of APSP, the show’s official sponsor, calls the mobile app “an exciting new tool that will enhance your trip to New Orleans for [the Expo].”

Pavilions aplenty

Once again, the Expo will feature special pavilions in the exhibit hall, sure to interest a variety of show-goers. All are open daily during the Expo and are free of charge to registered attendees.

Genesis 3 Pavilion. Here, attendees can meet the founders and faculty of Genesis 3 Design Group, which will be offering its Introduction to Perspective Drawing, as well as the Construction & Design Schools. Plus, visitors can view the products and services of Genesis 3 sponsors and supporters, and network with some of the industry’s top creative designers and builders. The pavilion is in the vicinity of the Genesis 3 booth (#2937) and Lifestyle Program (#2841). In fact, the latter is set for Tues., Nov 6, 2:30-4 p.m. Guests can enjoy one-on-one discussions and beverages with Brian Van Bower, co-founder of Genesis 3, and Gary Eberle of Eberle Winery in Paso Robles, Calif., voted “Winery of the Year” by the 2011 Sommelier Challenge.

Backyard Living Pavilion. The latest and greatest in backyard and outdoor products and trends can be found here. Take advantage of the opportunity to meet suppliers who can help you select the right items for your store or business.

Product Showcase. In a different twist on a popular idea, the New Product Pavilion and the Green Pavilion have been merged into the rebranded “Product Showcase” for 2012. Organizers say the space will feature “the hottest industry trends and the latest new, cool and green products.” It provides a chance to review new products in a direct, nonselling environment. Everything from equipment to software will be displayed. For comparison shoppers, this is a real timesaver.


EVENT DETAILS

Exhibits: Nov. 6-8

Conference: Nov. 2-8

Location: Morial Convention Center

New Orleans, La. USA

Registration: Online Registration Link

Contact Info: 972.536.6350

www.PoolSpaPatio.com | info@PoolSpaPatio.com

SHOW SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, NOV.2

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Genesis 3 Introduction to Perspective Drawing

SATURDAY, NOV. 3

8 a.m.-1 p.m.

APSP CBP and CSP Prep Courses

Rooms 335 & 336, respectively

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Genesis 3 Construction School

1-5 p.m.

Genesis Design School

5-8 p.m.

CPO Basic Course, Part 1

SUNDAY, NOV. 4

7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

CPO Basic Course, Part 2

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

APSP Certified Hot Tub Technician (CHTT) Program

Room 355

APSP Technical Service Institute

APSP Certified Service Professional (CSP) Course

Room 352

APSP Builders Institute

APSP Certified Building Professional (CBP) Course

Room 353

Genesis 3 Construction, Design Schools

9 a.m.-5 p.m.

APSP Board of Directors

Room 338/339

MONDAY, NOV. 5

7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

CPO Basic Course, Part 3

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

APSP Certified Hot Tub Technician (CHTT) Program

Room 355

APSP Technical Service Institute

APSP Certified Service Professional (CSP) Course

Room 352

APSP Builders Institute

APSP Certified Building Professional (CBP) Course

Room 353

Genesis 3 Construction, Design Schools

8:30 a.m.

APSP annual membership meeting

Room 337

9 a.m.

APSP Board of Directors meeting

Room 338/339

12 p.m.

APSP Board Luncheon

Room 342

5-6 p.m.

APSP Hot Tub Council Reception

Generations Hall

310 Andrew Higgins Dr., New Orleans

6-8 p.m.

APSP Intl. Awards of Excellence Reception (including Chairman’s Reception) & Awards Program

Ticket ($50) required; visit apsp.org/AOE

Generations Hall

310 Andrew Higgins Dr., New Orleans

TUESDAY, NOV. 6

8-9:45 a.m.

Genesis 3 seminars

8-9:45 a.m. & 1:30-5 p.m.

Conference classes

8-10 a.m.

APSP Service Council meeting

Classroom on show floor

10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Exhibits open

11 a.m.-4:10 p.m.

APSP Live Workshops

Booth 351

APSP Live Workshop – Classroom Presentations

Booth 653

1:30-2:30 p.m.

FPSIE/NSPF’s CAEA Course

Certified Aquatic Energy Auditor introduction seminar, presented by FPSIE and NSPF

1:30-4:30 p.m.

EPA Energy Star meeting

Room 342

2-5 p.m.

APSP Exams: CBP, CSP, CHTT

Room TBA

2-6 p.m.

NPC Start-Up Program

National Plasterers Council Start-Up Certification Program

2:30-4 p.m.

Genesis 3 Lifestyle Program

Morial Convention Center, Booth 2841

3-5 p.m.

APSP Builders Council meeting

Room 338/339

3-6 p.m.

ASA/ACI Shotcrete Nozzleman Program

American Shotcrete Association certification education

5:30-8 p.m.

Welcome Party

Mardi Gras World, New Orleans

Conference registrants, free; Expo-only registrants, $45

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 7

8-10 a.m.

APSP Manufacturers Council meeting

Room 338/339

8-11 a.m.

Genesis 3 seminars

8 a.m.-12 p.m.

NPC Start-Up Program

National Plasterers Council Start-Up

Certification education

ASA/ACI Shotcrete Nozzleman Program

ASA certification education

8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Conference classes

10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Exhibits open

12:45-1:45 p.m.

NPC Start-Up Program

National Plasterers Council Start-Up

Certification Program

1:30-2:30 p.m.

FPSIE/NSPF’s CAEA Course

Certified Aquatic Energy Auditor introduction seminar by FPSIE & NSPF (repeat)

1:30-4:10 p.m.

APSP Live Workshops

Booth 351

APSP Live Workshop – Classroom Presentations

Booth 653

3-5 p.m.

APSP Builders Council meeting

Room 338/339

4:30-6:30 p.m.

Saber Grills BBQ & Jazz Fest

Morial Convention Center, Level 2

7-10 p.m.

Genesis 3 Family Reunion & Winemaker Dinner

Le Foret Restaurant, New Orleans; limited admission; $175 fee; advance registration required, 877.513.5800; genesis3.com

THURSDAY, NOV. 8

8-10 a.m.

APSP Manufacturers’ Agents

Council meeting

Room 342

8-11 a.m.

APSP Retailers Council meeting

Room 338/339

Conference classes

10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Exhibits open

7 p.m.

APSP Past Presidents/Chairmen Dinner (by invitation only)

Listing is based on information available at press time; subject to change without notice. Events are at the Morial Convention Center unless otherwise noted.