A Look Back at The 2020 Pool & Spa Show
Benjamin Franklin said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” It is evident that many companies throughout the NESPA region and beyond are believers in Franklin’s approach as they prepared for the 2020 season at this year’s pool and spa show.
Because our Show is made for Pool & Spa People by Pool & Spa People, it offers pool and spa professionals a comprehensive approach to positioning themselves for success. As I walked the floor, I saw deals being made and new products being introduced. In our Education Conference all levels of employees were learning new skills and getting excited about putting them to work in the coming months. Most importantly, year-round connections were made that will make the difference when things get hectic during busy summer season. I wanted to share with you just some of my favorite moments from this year’s Show.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2020 SHOW
THE WELCOME PARTY & OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: We kicked off the Show with our annual Welcome Party, which was held this year at The Saloon Bar at Bally's Hotel. The event brought everyone together to enjoy live music, tons of tasty treats, beer and even a mechanical bull.
For the first time ever, we put the very best of the industry in the Northeast on display by presenting the award-winning pool and spa builds and service work completed by our peers. Drakeley Pools of Connecticut won The Best of Competition Award this year. Then the same company and the same pool went on to win The People's Choice Award. The People's Choice Award is where attendees at the show get to vote on the award-winning pools, spas and water features from the NESPA competition. It is indeed a remarkable pool and spa that took both top honors: the project contains a vanishing edge, perimeter overflow spa, swim ledge, automatic cover that comes up through the floor, all-glass tile and acrylic panels as sidewalls that look out on The Long Island Sound. Congratulations to Bill Drakeley, owner of Drakeley Pools.
WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT: Our Workforce Development program – a full day -- on Monday, January 27th, was tremendously important in helping companies find the right employees for the upcoming season. There will be a full report on this program in the next issue of The Edge. As you seek out new employees for the 2020 season, be sure to read this article. Also, go online to the NESPA website to read important workforce development articles in past issues of The Edge that are available to you.
BUSINESS & TECHNICAL SESSION HIGHLIGHTS: Water chemistry educational sessions, covering Basic Chemistry, Chemistry Mysteries and Preventing Calcite Crystals, were the most popular with rooms filled. Other technical sessions that drew major interest included Saltwater Pool Troubleshooting, Pool Contaminants: Phosphates, Metals & Organic Waste and Proper Pool Care. Business Sessions continue to be a must attend for companies at the Show. Top business topics included Effective Leadership Skills: From Managing to Discipling Employees, Developing a Strong Organization Through Team Building, and Thirteen of the Most Common Sales Mistakes.
THE TRAINING WALL: The Training Wall was once again a focus of attention for many industry veterans and new people to the business. This year at The Wall there were demonstrations of tile repair, energy efficiency in pools, electricity, heater repairs, a shotcrete demonstration and lighting around the pool. These hands-on demonstrations at The Wall alone are worth the trip to Atlantic City.
THE QUARTER CENTURY CLUB BREAKFAST: We mourned the passing of our dear friend and fellow professional Bob Baron at The Quarter Century Club Breakfast and others. Bob, a major influence in both the Metro Chapter and NESPA, passed away on December 1, 2019, prior to the 2020 Show. Bob was an industry leader, a teacher, a mentor and a special friend to all of us. We will miss him. See separate article for more details about this year’s inductees.
Mitch Katz, CBP, CSP
The Land of Elite