The industry was alive with newfound optimism at this year’s
International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo as more than 9,000 pool and
spa professionals walked through the doors of the Mandalay Bay
Convention Center in Las Vegas Oct. 30 to Nov. 4.
“Our numbers were up across the board this year, from square
footage to exhibiting companies to attendees,” said Lindsay
Roberts, IPSPE director at Hanley Wood Exhibitions, which is owned
by the parent company of Pool & Spa News. “All
around, it was an awesome event. We couldn’t have been
Though exact attendance figures weren’t available at press
time, the number is up significantly from last year’s total
of 9,255, according to show organizers.
As in previous years, education proved to be a major draw. At
classes such as the Genesis 3 Design Schools and the Association of
Pool & Spa Professionals’ Institutes for builders and
service technicians, industry veterans passed on their knowledge to
“All our educational events were really successful this
year,” Roberts said. “And we saw a lot of new faces,
which was really exciting. Even newcomers to the industry are
recognizing how education can set them apart from their
The Expo’s networking opportunities also garnered rave
reviews as attendees took advantage of the chance to dialogue with
their peers, as well as with the 461 companies whose booths and
exhibits filled the show floor’s 120,000 square feet.
“I’ve been making so many connections at this
convention,” said Tom Krause, director of sales and marketing
at Arizona Mirage Pool Service, Surprise, Ariz. “Being able
to ask questions of manufacturers in person makes me more of an
expert for my clients.”
Manufacturers were similarly impressed with the visitors who
stopped by their exhibits to gather information and preview
2012’s cutting-edge pool products. “We had people in
our booth nonstop from the moment we opened until we closed,”
said Kimberly Roos, vice president of sales and marketing at
Fluidra USA Inc., located in Jacksonville, Fla. “The quality
and caliber of people were first rate.”
The Expo’s opening ceremony also aimed to impress: Billy
Derian, host of the TV show “Extra Yardage” on the DIY
Network, cut the ribbon as a TV crew filmed the crowd. That team
went on to spend 2½ days chatting with exhibitors and
attendees on the show floor, gathering material for a full-hour
segment scheduled to air in spring 2012.
But it was far from all work and no play in Vegas.
At the Saber Grills, LLC, barbecue party, pool professionals of all
stripes mingled and munched on fresh-grilled treats, then danced
beneath the stars.
With so much to do, it’s no wonder that attendees are already
talking about next year’s Expo, scheduled for Nov. 6-8, 2012
in New Orleans.
“Everyone wanted to talk about next year,” Roberts
said. “I think we can look forward to some great numbers for
that event, including some new faces from the Southeast.”