Trade show organizers and attendees can breathe a sigh of relief this year now that the coronavirus’ presence is significantly smaller. Indeed, those involved in “live, in-person events” such as the 2023 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo are particularly appreciative.
The 2023 IPSPE is co-located with Deck Expo. Organized by Informa PLC, the event is coming to Las Vegas’ Convention Center in the West Hall on Nov. 13-15. It’s expected to attract more than 10,000 attendees. As they explore the 146,680-square-feet of exhibit space, they’ll find much to see and do.
“The Expo continues to follow all state and local health guidelines in accordance with the host cities of our events,” says Kris Osterbusch, show director. And, she adds, if there are any changes in current restrictions or mandates, the Expo leaders “in close connectivity with our organizer partners and local officials … will adjust and adapt accordingly to accommodate our guests. The health and safety of our exhibitors and attendees are our number one priority.”
Last year “My Show Planner,” a free tool that could be used when registering, helped attendees organize their show-related activities. To create their own, they could go to the show website (poolspapatio.com). “Based on feedback, we’re taking steps to really beef it up this year,” Osterbusch notes. It’s still a free tool for attendees to plan their day and which vendors to visit. But there are other helpful features.
For instance, it will synch up with the show mobile app, so attendees can keep good track of everything, Osterbusch notes. “The metaphor I use is … it’s like going to the grocery store. Sure, you can go in and wing it as far as what you need for the week. But if you have a plan — an end goal in mind — you have a better idea of what’s needed. If you know you’ll want to cook a certain meal or have snacks for a certain activity, you’re in a better spot. It’s much the same for coming to the event. Start with the end goal — like ‘I want to meet xx number of manufacturers’ or ‘I’m looking for someone in the Southwest region who knows tri-chlor.’ Plan ahead — and use tools like My Show Planner or the event’s mobile app — to help you get there.”
As for this year’s keynote speaker, Osterbusch says his message promises to very motivational. The speaker, Anthony Robles, comes with an impressive list of accomplishments: He was the 2011 NCAA Wrestling Champion, the 2012 National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee, and the subject of the film “Unstoppable.” Osterbusch describes him as an inspiring person with a hard work ethic.
Another event on this year’s show calendar is the always popular Welcome Party. Described as a networking event, it’s typically held on the show’s first evening. This year’s event will be held at Zouk Night Club and Avu Pool Lounge at Resorts World.
The party is once again sponsored by Lyon Financial. Osterbusch says a variety of food options will be available for guests and to “expect heavy appetizers and free beer, wine and cocktails plus, of course, free non-alcoholic drinks as well. A deejay will set the musical tone.”
Then there’s the PHTA WAVE Network’s special event for industry professionals under age 40. Set for Monday, Nov. 13, from 5- to 6 p.m. at Resorts World Las Vegas, it immediately precedes the PSP/Deck Expo Welcome Party. Appetizers and beverages will be available.
Osterbusch says the first half of the event will be an educational panel discussion featuring a moderator and three speakers, who will cover topics specifically relevant to young professionals in the industry. The second half will be open for socializing, making new connections and reuniting with old friends. WAVE is supported by PHTA’s Strategic Partners: Fluidra, Hayward, LOU, Lyon Financial, Merchant Cost Consulting, Pentair, Raypak and Watkins Wellness.
The BBQ Bash will not be returning this year, based on feedback that Las Vegas is too big and spread out. So organizers, knowing how important networking is, have come up with an alternative: They’re working with the Resorts World outlets to designate venues as “the place to meet” each night for attendees and exhibitors. As Osterbusch explains, “There will be something for everyone. The venue will provide food and drink specials and discounts for our groups. These will be promoted widely on-site and through the mobile app. We want to make the event feel more like a campus where you can easily meet up and run into people.”
Last year the free “My Show Planner” debuted and the feedback was so positive that organizers are taking steps to really beef it up.
As for education, the PSP/Deck Expo once again offers numerous classes — more than 100, including pre-conference, core-conference, and the show floor education. “There is truly something for everyone involved in creating beautiful outdoor living spaces,” says Krissy Adams, conference manager for PSP/Deck Expo.
New features this year include the addition of an afternoon block of education, happening on Monday and Tuesday of the event, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
And the World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC) will co-locate with PSP/Deck Expo and have its own education track, Adams says.
Then there’s the Pool Nation Boot Camp, which Adams describes as “a practical and immersive educational experience, specifically for service techs. We’re so happy to be working with the guys from the Pool Nation Podcast. They and their instructors will be providing a great two days of content — both hands-on demos and an immersive classroom experience.”
Strong response to the show’s educational program continues. Those geared toward the service and maintenance-related topics have proven to be in particular demand in the industry. In fact, Adams says, some classes already had high registrations months before the event. She names three: “Saltwater Chemistry: It’s More Than Just Salt;” “Leak Detection & Non-Destructive Pipe Repair Methods” and “Water Quality Ranges, Target Values or Balance Indexes: What is the Best Way to Maintain Pool Water.”
When all is said and done, this show continues to deliver information, networking, new products and more to the pool/spa industry. As Osterbusch says, “There is so much that is new this year, and so much that is evolving. PSP/Deck Expo has an impressive lineup of marquee exhibitors, a captivating keynote speaker, enlightening Power Panels and a ton of new features.”