Stop and smell the "flowers": The Outdoor Living Pavilion displays an array of outdoor products. (Photo: Informa Exhibitions U.S.)

Stop and smell the "flowers": The Outdoor Living Pavilion displays an array of outdoor products. (Photo: Informa Exhibitions U.S.)

It’s interesting to wander a trade show floor, never knowing exactly what you’ll find around the next corner. With such a strong focus on the pool and spa sectors, the 2015 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo will be full of opportunities. You just might find the widget that fits perfectly with the product category you’re beefing up this year — or maybe there’s a seminar that’s perfect for your new hire.

But that’s not all there is to this show. Organizers also have been focusing on another aspect and, in the process, offering still more opportunities. At the pavilions, exhibitors of similar products are grouped together in one area, giving attendees the ability to easily compare and contrast products in the same category. And, of course, seeing new items might spark ideas for revenue generators at one’s store or business.

Expo organizers are well aware of all that, which is why this year there are three pavilions at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. “It is our goal to see the entire pool, spa and outdoor living industry grow and succeed,” says show director Tracy Garcia, CEM, with Informa Exhibitions U.S. of Irving, Texas. To that end, organizers are expanding the pavilion aspect of the Expo each year.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the three pavilions.

Outdoor Living Pavilion

Last year, it was called the Backyard Living Pavilion. The name was changed, Garcia says, because “we felt ‘backyard’ reflected only residential products and limited the perception of the pavilion, as we have an increasing number of exhibitors who sell products for the commercial sector. We felt ‘outdoor’ better described the scope of products and services offered in the pavilion.”

It is the biggest pavilion, due in large part to increased exhibitor interest, and sports a variety of products, from barbecue grills and waterfeatures to outdoor billiard tables, pool equipment, fencing and more.

“This segment is the fastest-growing in the industry,” Garcia notes, “so our team has been able to get ahead of the curve and secure some of the top names in this expanding market.”

Casual Furniture Marketplace

This pavilion is a newcomer, and several  factors came into play for that to happen.

“It came about because 25 percent of our attendees expressed interest in this segment, so we felt this was a great way to meet the needs and interest of this industry segment,” Garcia explains. In addition, she says the team monitored industry growth trends and determined that this, too, is a very fast-growing segment.

Approximately 50 percent of these exhibitors are new to the Expo. As expected, outdoor furniture dominates, but the exhibitor list also includes makers of related outdoor products.

Commercial Pavilion

This pavilion debuted last year and, according to plan, it has been expanded for 2015. Garcia says 40 percent of the Expo’s attendee base works in the commercial sector of the business, “so we developed this pavilion to meet the needs and interest of attendees and exhibitors.”

Products in the Commercial Pavilion run the gamut, from chemical systems and commercial pool equipment to starting platforms, access and disability equipment, SVRS’s, shade structures and more.

Once again, there’s a Commercial Education Area (Booth 5042) next to the Pavilion. Here’s the free seminar lineup:

Tuesday, Nov. 10
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Energy Audit Training – Bringing Opportunities to Your Facility for Better Performance & Money Savings

2-3 p.m.
Model Aquatic Health Code

Wednesday, Nov. 11
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Heat Pumps Provide Energy Efficiency on Commercial Installations

2-3 p.m.
Healthy Water for Bathers & Pool Equipment Begins with Testing

Thursday, Nov. 12
10:30-11:30 a.m.
UV-C Water Treatment for Commercial Aquatics: Medium-Pressure and Low-Pressure UV-C Technologies