Despite a rainy weekend, the service sector of the industry showed up in force at this year’s Western Pool and Spa Show.

The conference and trade show took place March 28-30 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif.

This year’s event saw nearly 10,500 in attendance, including exhibitor staff, officials said, with the floor bustling nearly the whole time. “It’s usually busy Thursday, slows down a little on Friday, then busy on Saturday,” said Eric Nielson, Show Director for the WPSS. “But all three days it was full this year. If I can’t see all the way down the aisle, that’s a good thing!”

In addition, almost 1,600 seats were filled across the education program, which included 94 courses.

Business classes, in particular, are drawing more interest than before, said Stan Basowski, who serves as WPSS president and organizes the education program. More and more, he and Nielson see service professionals expanding their attention past the technical side of their jobs.

“Certainly there’s interest in pumps, filters, automation and those kinds of things,” Basowski said. “But people are wanting business courses — not just accounting and invoices, but more so marketing, how to grow their businesses, hiring, and those aspects of a business.”

Pre-show programs by Pool Nation, Watershape University and PHTA also saw attendance at or near capacity, they added.

Next year’s show will be held earlier — Feb. 6-8, 2025 at the Long Beach Convention Center.