The 2013 Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show, which took place Jan. 28 to Jan. 31, buzzed with excitement as the pool and spa industry showed signs of a much-awaited turnaround.
Activity on the show floor was non-stop as attendees from around the world, from business owners to distributors and manufacturers, readied themselves for a strong 2013 and a rebound from the recent sluggish years.
“The feedback from everyone has been tremendous,” says Show Manager Trish McCormick. “There was so much business happening on the floor each day, I made the decision to keep the show open beyond our normal hours, which was a show first. Doing business is what this show is about, and if I can help by giving our exhibitors a few more minutes with a prospective client, I’m glad to do it!”
The optimistic outlook for the industry matched the sunny skies and warm temperatures at the seaside resort town in New Jersey. “This is a great show with great traffic and great energy. Everyone is positive this year and getting set to get back to work,” says Andrew Levinson of Jetline Products in Long Island, N.Y.
Beyond the high energy and volume of leads, the quality of attendees once again made the Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show stand out from other industry events. “The Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show is a quality show with quality dealers,” says Fred Boehmcke of LOOP-LOC. “We have been attending this event since its beginnings, over 30 years ago. For us, it is a ‘must attend’ show. This show sets the tone for the whole year. It is critical to us.”
Even with the economy starting to turn around, many exhibitors still have to keep an eye on their budgets during show season. Exhibitors continue to find the Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show gives them the best bang for their buck. “This show is always a great one for us,” says Kenneth Garrett, president, Garrett Liners. “We are charter exhibitors at this show. We feel that if you are going to exhibit in only one show a year, this has got to be the show to exhibit in.”
Powered by NESPA
The Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show has always been powered by the Northeast Spa and Pool Association. Year after year, the Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show is known for its high level of customer service and the NESPA Ambassador Program has become a key part of this personal touch. At the show entrance, at seminars, on the show floor and at key events like the Welcome Party, Ambassadors met with attendees and exhibitors to answer questions or introduce them to other industry leaders.
“This show and this industry are all about people,” says Show Chair and NESPA Vice President Kyle Chaikin. “What makes the Atlantic City Show different from other shows throughout the year is the personal attention we give to attendees and exhibitors. No one wants to be just another number and we work hard to make sure everyone feels like part of our family.”
Keeping with NESPA’s mission to provide the most accurate and timely industry information to its members, the association offered a complimentary special panel discussion for all attendees that addressed the issues brought on by hurricanes, specifically Hurricane Sandy. Topic experts provided insights on damage assessment, water chemistry, electrical issues and renovation strategies.
“Bringing the industry together is what this show is all about both on the floor and through our education program,” says Lawrence Caniglia, NESPA's executive director. “This year, to address the unique needs created after Super Storm Sandy, we were happy to be able to reach out to our colleagues at the Florida Pool & Spa Association and ask them to be part of our Special Panel Discussion on Storm Recovery. Being connected to organizations throughout the industry, like FPSA and APSP, help build our show and helps us to meet our attendees’ needs.”
Education Program Has Strong Chemistry with Attendees
The show education program brought out record numbers with more than 40 percent of show registrants taking part in one or more seminars offered over the four days. More than 75 technical and business seminars were held; once again, chemistry courses from basic to advanced attracted large attendance and were in high demand.
“Our show is known for the quality of our technical education and really meeting the basic as well as cutting edge needs of pool and spa industry professionals,” says Show Education Director Paulette Pitrak. “What was especially thrilling this year was to see so many of our business related courses drawing large crowds. Courses on high-end selling, customer service and pricing strategies were well attended and really highlight the turnaround our industry is seeing as the focus turns to business growth in 2013.”
Certification programs were also a key part of the education offerings at the 2013 show. A couple hundred individuals took part in certification courses and testing, including the National Swimming Pool Foundation’s Certified Pool/Spa Operator, the National Plasterers Council’s Start Up Certification, American Shotcrete Association/ American Concrete Institute’s Nozzleman Certification, and APSP Certified Building Professional and Certified Service Professional.
“We saw a strong uptick in individuals testing for APSP certifications this year with over 60 individuals sitting for the tests,” said Pitrak. “With licensing requirements in Connecticut and Long Island, New York, going into effect, we expect this is a trend that will continue as businesses get ready to comply with these new requirements.”
Connecting the Pool & Spa Industry
The show once again focused on connecting the industry to the latest trends, new technologies and opportunities to grow their businesses. This year, the show launched the "Power Up and Stay Connected Center" on the show floor, which offered attendees the chance to connect in-person and through social media before, during and after the show.
Attendees and exhibitors used the #acpoolspashow hashtag on Twitter to share Show information, drive booth traffic and network. Participation was high, with dozens of companies and individuals tweeting and creating a network of more than 16,000 individuals following the show’s activities.
Save the Date
The 2014 Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show will be held Jan. 28 to Jan. 31, 2014 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Exhibitor sign-up will open in July and registration will open in the early fall.
For information about the Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show, visit the website or call 609-689-9111. More information can also be found on Twitter at and on Facebook.