The 2010 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo is offering some exciting new events this year, while already popular ones have been expanded.

The Expo will return to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas Oct. 31-Nov. 5.

“The focus of the Expo this year is to help industry professionals get back to business,” said Tracy Beaulieu, conference manager at Hanley Wood Exhibitions, whose parent company, Hanley Wood, owns IPSPE and this magazine. “People need the techniques to help them get back out there … so that’s what we’re focusing on.”

Last year, the event featured industry-run Power Panels rather than a traditional keynote speaker. The new format was such a hit with attendees that two additional panels have been added to the roster for 2010.

The four Power Panels will be held concurrently on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 9:45-10:50 a.m. Along with last year’s builder and retailer speakers, sessions targeting hot tub specialists and service technicians have been added.

“On each panel, we’ve tried to have a person from each region of the country,” Beaulieu said. “Because we’re all run by the different needs and regulations of our areas, the opportunity to hear from someone from your own area is really great.”

Education on the Virginia Graeme Baker Act also will be a major focus of the exhibition floor. Manufacturers of VGB-compliant products will provide demonstrations and answer questions at the VGB Pavilion throughout the afternoons of Nov. 3-4. A comprehensive overview class on the VGB Act will be offered on the morning of Nov. 5 as well. The pavillion is sponsored by Waterway Plastics and Pentair.

Several other major manufacturers are exhibiting at the Expo this year. In addition to equipment manufacturers Hayward, Pentair, Waterway and Zodiac, a number of spa makers have come on board. These include Watkins Manufacturing, Bullfrog Spas, Coast Spas, Dynasty Spas Inc., Master Spas, Strong Pools & Spas and Viking Spas Inc.

“With the way the economy and the industry are looking, we’re expecting to see a lot of enthusiastic and excited people out there,” said Bruce Porter, Hayward’s director of marketing communications.

Expectations for attendance continue to grow as well.

“I know we’re going to be ahead of last year, so we expect a number close to 10,000,” said Donna Bellantone, vice president of operations at Hanley Wood Exhibitions More than 460 exhibitors are already registered, which is a significant increase from last year’s 400.

But the exhibits are just the beginning. As in previous years, IPSPE will offer intensive education sessions for industry professionals. The large selection of in-depth courses will cover topics that span the industry, from water testing to computer-aided design.

In addition, the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals will host a four-day Technical Service Institute, and a four-day Builders Institute sponsored by Arch Chemicals.

Also, Genesis 3 Design Group is returning for the third year in a row. Its popular seminars will focus on integrating art and engineering in the design of cutting-edge pools and spas. This year, Genesis 3 will feature two separate courses: a three-day construction school, and a three-day design school.

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