In its first staging since the pandemic, the Western Pool and Spa Show saw a healthy turnout, with aisles brisk and moods high.
Just over 9,000 attendees were recorded, in addition to the approximately 500 exhibitor staff who manned the 138 booths, said WPSS Show Director Eric Neilson. Thirty-eight states were represented, with a higher-than-normal percentage coming from far-away locations. Though not reaching the typical 10,000-attendee mark, the turnout pleased organizers and tracked with other trade shows this season.
The turnout was an especially satisfying result for this particular show. In 2020, organizers were forced to cancel it just a couple hours before the scheduled ribbon-cutting, due to COVID-19. In addition to the financial hardships caused by the sudden closure, and subsequent cancellation of the 2021 show, this year’s iteration basically had to be built from scratch, Neilson said. With industry consolidation and vendor restructuring, the show team had to develop new contacts and relationships, and adapt to the shifting requirements and protocol, Neilson said.
In addition to the trade show and full educational roster, the show included an awards dinner by the industry podcast Pool Nation, which paid tribute to Bob Lowry, the pool/spa chemistry pioneer who passed away last November. Going forward, organizers plan to present an annual honor named after Lowry.
A golf tournament raised approximately $15,000 for the California Pool & Spa Association, with another $1,000 earned from tee-shirt sales.
The next Western Pool & Spa Show will take place March 23-25, 2023, in Long Beach.