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2010 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo makes a splash

Attendance exceeds 9,000, an increase over last year

Industry professionals recently packed the Bayside Halls at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas for the 2010 Int'l Pool | Spa | Patio Expo, validating the annual event as a trusted source for leading-edge products, education and networking.

Gold medalist Michael Phelps conducted the official ribbon-cutting duties to open the show which ran Nov. 3-5, with the educational conference held Oct. 31-Nov. 5. Phelps then spent two hours in the Master Spas booth signing autographs, visiting with attendees and promoting his new signature line of swim spas by Master Spas.

Total attendance was 9,255, a 1.5% increase over the 2009 show. Attendees included pool/spa builders/installers, retailers, service companies, landscape architects/design agencies and manufacturers.

"We are very pleased with the number of attendees and with the enthusiasm they brought to the buying and selling activity on the show floor," said Lindsay Roberts, Director of the Expo. "Exhibitors enjoyed the steady traffic as they introduced hundreds of new and innovative products to high-caliber decision-makers."

In attendance were representatives from leading retailers and pool builders including Leslie's Poolmart, Blue Haven Pools & Spas, Anthony & Sylvan Pools, Dolphin Pool Supply and Service, Essig Pool, Shasta Pools, The Pool Doctor, Backyards of America, Geremia Pools, Cameo Pools, Mission Valley Pools & Spas, Paddock Pools, Munie Leisure Center, Pinch-A-Penny and Watson's of Cincinnati.

Attendees represented all 50 states, with the largest number from California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, Indiana, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio and Georgia.

The largest number of international attendees came from Canada, Mexico, Australia, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Brazil, France, Japan, China, Israel, Peru and Belgium.

With 1,225 booths and 459 exhibiting companies, the show floor was packed with a wide variety of pools, spas, hot tubs, water features, casual furniture, pumps and heaters, lighting, landscape décor, hearth, grills and much more.

With 122,500 net square feet of exhibit space, the show floor was up 12% over 2009. The number of exhibiting companies was up 5% over last year, including 110 first-time exhibitors.

"The show exceeded my expectations primarily with the number and quality of exhibitors," said Rich Werber, President of Great Atlantic Pool, Spa, Sauna, Fireplace. "I was able to spend in-depth time with vendor principles and learn about new products and services to offer in 2011. Well worth the trip!"

Returning to the show were several key manufacturers who have not exhibited in several years including Hayward Pool Products, Astral Pool Products, Marathon Electric, Anhui Saunaking Co., A&A Manufacturing, Paramount Pool & Spa Systems, Sunrise Spas and Caldera Spas.

Exhibitors were pleased with the number of leads and inquiries that were generated. "This was the best show that I have been involved with over the past 10 years," said Sean Corscadden of Coast Spas Manufacturing Inc. "Our staff was busy from the start until closing each day. More importantly, we were very impressed with the high quality of attendees."

"The show was a great success this year. We solidified our amazing dealer network as well as picked up new business," said AJ Gallagher of Viking Spas. "The show definitely met our expectations and the turnout was great."

"This was one of the most productive and engaging shows we have exhibited at in recent memory," said Steven Dyer of RIDGID. "We generated over 150 qualified leads and had a tremendous amount of activity at our booth."

"There was a positive buzz amongst our members all three days of show," said Bill Weber, president and CEO of APSP, the show's official sponsor, which had a 2,000-sq.-ft. booth at the show. "The success of the show solidified the Expo as the most cost-effective and efficient way to do business, find new products and stay on the cutting-edge of technology."

Educational Conference

In addition to the show floor's buying and selling activity, the show's conference program addressed a myriad of industry issues through 74 seminars designed specially for residential and commercial builders/contractors, retailers, service companies and landscape architects/designers.

"Every single class was exceptional," said Keith Lowry, president of Verdant Custom Outdoors. "I left the show with a ton of great new ideas and concepts that were immediately applied to our business and daily operations."

Each targeting a specific niche, a series of four one-hour Power Panels were held simultaneously prior to the opening of the show on Nov. 3, providing thought-provoking, spirited discussions with panelists sharing their opinions and recommendations on what they are doing to ensure business success.

"The seminars are very beneficial and the Power Panels help companies ask other companies real-life questions," said Nate Smith, general manager of Splash Pool Management Company. "The information gathered at the Expo is very valuable. I get a competitive advantage learning about the new products and regulations."

In addition to the show's core educational program, advanced, pre-show educational programs were offered for pool/spa builders/designers and service company professionals through the APSP Builders Institute, APSP Technical Service Institute, the Genesis 3 Elements of Construction School and the Genesis 3 Design Schools.

Show Floor Highlights and Special Events

The APSP Live Workshops taught attendees how to use, sell and install the latest pool and spa equipment, materials and techniques through a series of nine sessions held over three days. Sponsored by the APSP Builders Council and Service Council, workshop topics included control panels, drive pumps, Internet technologies, wave detection alarms, jet installation and hydraulics, electrolytic chlorine generators, salt chlorine generator systems, variable speed pumps, as well as a shotcrete demonstration.

Held outdoors, the new Party on the Patio Pavilion offered attendees a collection of the latest patio-related products and accessories from 19 participating companies. Sponsored by East Coast Outdoor Designs, the pavilion featured a beer garden and grilled food samples prepared on barbecue grills, as well as a live performance by Tropical Music International.

The VGB Pavilion once again provided attendees with VGB Safety Act-related products and services. Sponsored by Pentair Water Pool and Spa and Waterway Plastics, the pavilion featured nine table displays and a series of 12 vendor demonstrations held over the first two days of the show.

Once again the Product Showcase, sponsored by AQUASALT, offered the hottest industry trends and the latest new, cool and green products. From a selection of 72 products, a panel of industry experts awarded Fusion Pool Products with the "Best New Product" for its Smart LED Lite G-4 auto-fill system. The panelists also awarded Natural Current with "Best Green Product" for its Savior solar pump and filtration system.

The Backyard Living Pavilion featured 48 companies in 93 booths occupying 9,300 square feet of booths filled with dynamic products, resources and information from every segment of the backyard living industry.

Targeting builders and designers, the Genesis 3 Pavilion featured hundreds of products and services from 30 companies in 58 booths occupying 5,800 square feet of exhibit space on the show floor.

"The Genesis 3 Pavilion was a great opportunity to get to meet face to face with the individuals that supply the products and materials that we specify on our projects," said Andrew Kaner of Aquatic Consultants.

Always a popular special event, the opening night Welcome Party was held at Haze Nightclub at the Aria Hotel, attracting 1,000+ participants. Sponsored by Strong Pools and Spas, the large layout provided the perfect venue for attendees and exhibitors to network while enjoying complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

Save the Date for 2011

The 2011 International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo will be held Nov. 2-4 in the Bayside Halls at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The educational conference will be held Oct. 30-Nov. 4. Housing will open in April and online registration will open in late June.

Additional information about the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PoolSpaPatioExpo, LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1963264 and Twitter www.twitter.com/PoolSpaPatio. Twitter users can follow the show using #PoolSpaPatio or @PoolSpaPatio.

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