The "Orlando show," as it's colloquially known, has come a long way since its inception in 1972. After modest beginnings as a hotel tabletop show, the "Spring show," as attendees often called it, blossomed in both attendance and square footage. Fifteen years ago, the show made the leap to the Orange County Convention Center, cementing its status as a bona fide trade show within the pool and spa industry.
This year, the show — renamed the Everything Under the Sun Expo in 2014 — celebrates 45 years of supporting Florida pool and spa pros, and boasts an exciting agenda to commemorate the occasion. And given the expo's '70s roots, much of it comes with a groovy twist.
To start, there's the Celebration Lawn, a special area in the back of the convention hall. There, guests enjoy snacks and beverages, get a quick massage or relax in the "Give Me Some Skin Lounge," an area just for FSPA members. In need of a longer break? There will also be a show-length marathon of the best movies of the past 45 years in chronological order, starting in 1972 with "The Godfather" and going up from there.
"We're counting up to 2018, where at the end of the show we'll reveal the 2018 theme for the show," says Wendy Parker Barsell, show director and executive director of FSPA.
If that's not enough reason to drop by the Celebration Lawn, Parker Barsell says they're giving away 45 '70s-style webbed lawn chairs — which make a much better souvenir than a Disney World T-shirt.
It's not just the show that's getting attention for its longevity. FSPA is doling out new honors at the "Nights in White Satin" awards reception on Thursday night.
"We're going to recognize membership anniversaries — people who have been members 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, all the way up to basically the beginning of the organization," Parker Barsell says of this exciting event.
Another big draw every year is the welcome party, which regularly draws about 900 people. This year, the event returns to Howl at the Moon, the popular dueling piano bar. For $35, guests can enjoy an open bar, a dinner's worth of hor d'oeuvres and great music — not only will there be the dueling pianos, but there will also be live '70s music in the outdoor tent.
A lot can change in 45 years, and that certainly applies to the Everything Under the Sun Expo. For one thing, the education lineup has changed drastically.
"When I started here 15 years ago we offered 12 classes. We're offering 70 education sessions this year," Parker Barsell says. "So we've seen exponential growth."
But while much has changed, a few things have remained the same, for the better of the industry.
"In the early days, it was a smaller industry. But many of the same faces you see today were there," Parker Barsell says. "Bill Kent, Brian Van Bower, the fathers of the Florida pool industry, basically. They were there. And here we are today and they're still very active in the industry and doing things for the association."
If you're attending the show, don't forget to drop by the AQUA booth — we'll catch you on the flip side.
Florida Public Pool Specialist (Day 1 of 2), Room: S230E
OSHA 10 Hour (Day 1 of 2), Room: S230G
Customer Service- Giving the Customer What They Want, Room: S230H
Florida Public Pool Specialist (Day 2 of 2), Room: S230E
LP04-08 Installer C license Exam Prep, Room: S230F
OSHA 10 Hour (Day 2 of 2), Room: S230G
Swimming Pool and Spa Start-Up Course, NPC Start-Up Technician Certification, Room: S320G
NSPF Emergency Response Planning (Certification), Room: S320E
Workers' Compensation Update, Room: S320F
Risk Exposures for Pool and Spa Contractors, Room: S320F
Chapter 489 - An Overview of Contractor Responsibility, Room: S320F
CILB Swimming Pool Specialty Contractor Practical Examiners Course, Room: S230G
FBC Advanced Module: ANSI-15 and ANSI-7 Flow Requirements and TDH, Room: S320F
Construction Contracts, Room: S320F
Advanced Pool and Spa Automated Systems, Room: S320H
Electricity for the Pool and Spa Professional, Room: S330F
Florida Construction Lien Law, Room: S330B
Heat Pump Selection and Application, Room: S330D
Public Pools Navigating FBC and DOH Regulations, Room: S320F
Succession Planning - Keep the Business Alive, Room: S330C
The Business in Your Pool, Room: S330E
The Fair Labor Standards Act: Wage and Hour Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them, Room: S320G
The Practical Application of UV/Ozone Systems for Residential Pools, Room: S320E
Water Chemistry & Testing 101, Room: S330A
Web Marketing Made Simple, Room: S230E
Installation and Understanding Heat Pumps, Room: S320E
Proper Pool Testing, Room: S330D
Reducing the Cost of Workers' Compensations, Room: S330E
A Holistic Approach to Water Chemistry, Room: S330B
An In-Depth Look at Pool Heating, Room: 320H
Basic Electrical Requirements for Pools and Spas (75 minutes), Room: S330E
FBC Advanced Module: Entrapment Protection, Room: S320F
From Google to Great! Room: S230E
Managing for Profitability, Room: S330C
Prevention and Removal of Stains and Discoloration, Room: 330A
Proven Green Technologies for Commercial Pools, Room: S320E
Water Features and Effects for Swimming Pools, Room: S330F
Water Testing Methods, Interferences & Techniques, Room: S320G
Installing and Managing Salt Chlorine Generators on Today's Equipment Pads, Room: S330A
Maintaining a Healthy Swimming Environment with Aging Pool Water, Room: S330D
Omni Logic - Application & Installation, Room: Learning Lab 1
Unique Solutions to Simple, Easy and Profitable Pool Solutions, Room: LL2
DBPR-CILB Laws & Rules, Room: S230E
IntelliFlo VST and SuperFlo VS Pumps, Room: Learning Lab 2
Omni Logic - Programming and Troubleshooting, Room: Learning Lab 1
Alternative Dispute Resolution Session 1, Room: S230E
AquaRite: From A to Z. Application, Installation, Operation and Troubleshooting, Room: Learning Lab 1
ScreenLogic, Room: Learning Lab 2
Achieving Water Balance for Pools and Spas, Room: S320F
ADA Regulations for Pools and Spas, Room: S330F
Alternative Dispute Resolution Session 2, Room: S320E
DOT Regulations for the Pool Industry, Room: S320H
Driving in Today's World - Is Your Mind on the Road? Room: S330D
Gas Supply Issues and Troubleshooting for Pool & Spa Heaters, Room: S330B
Pool Operations and Energy Conservation, Room: S330E
Product and Service: Pricing for Profit, Room: S330C
Relationship Marketing in Today's Connection Economy, Room: S320G
The Heart of the System - Pool/Spa Pumps and Motors, Room: S330A
A New Approach to Testing and Managing Water Chemistry in Public Pools, Room: S330B
Cutting Edge Leak Detection Methods and Structual Repair Solutions, Room: S320G
Retail Store Basics for Success, Room: S330F
Taking Care of Your Business, A 6-Step Legal Checkup, Room: S330D
Chapter 489 - Prohibitions and Penalties, Room: S330E
Chlorine Free: Is It for Me?, Room: S320E
Dealing with Difficult People, Room: S330B
Driver Awareness and Managing Your Risk, Room: S330F
Hydraulics for the Service Professional, Room: S320H
Leadership and Winning as a Team, Room: S330D
Pool Service and Maintenance Agreements, Room: S330C
Solar Pool Heating: 10 Best Practices and Lessons Learned, Room: S331A
Understanding Basic Hydraulics, Room: S330A
Water Testing & Treatment Myths Exposed, Room: S320F
Algae - The Ugly Truth, Room: S330D
ENERGY STAR Certified Pool Pumps Save Thousands, Room: S320E
FBC Advanced Module: Swimming Pool Updates, Room: S330E
Glass Tile Installation in Pool Applications, Room: S330F
Proper Heat Pump Installation and Plumbing Practices, Room: S330A
Best Testing Practices and Basic Water Chemistry, Room: Learning Lab 1
ETi 400 High Efficiency Gas Heater, Room: Learning Lab 2