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My comments from the 2016 Pool/Spa/Patio show…

Before I offer any of my own observations, let me share with you a comment from one of my clients who attended the 2016 International Pool Spa Patio Expo, because I think this says it all:

“I found at least 10 new products or ideas that could let us do things better and easier.  And everyone else on my team had a similar experience.”

unnamedThat alone may be all you need to hear, to convince you it was a great show. But I’ll take a chance and throw in my additional comments and observations anyway. 

As I mentioned last week, I was (uncharacteristically) an EXHIBITOR at this year’s IPSPE 2016 show, rather than an instructor. So my perspective of the show may be a little different than usual.  Nonetheless, I came to some solid conclusions about the show, such as:

  • Strong Attendance
  • More New Technology
  • Logistics are GOOD in New Orleans
  • Naomi Is WAY better in the booth than me.

STRONG ATTENDANCE: I don’t know that the floor was ever seriously “crowded,” but we stayed busy the entire time. If traffic was much higher, then we would have needed more people, or missed out on talking to some good prospects.

MORE NEW TECHNOLOGY: Like my friend/client mentioned, there were lots of new gadgets and gizmos and products and services to offer homeowners and commercial operators and business owners. Too many to mention, but I will mention that I was seriously intrigued with (1) the new “Illumavision” underwater video technology from Pentair (which was actually announced at the 2015 show), and (2) the new “sectional” furniture from Ledge Lounger. Excellent options to consider if you are trying to offer more value to the high-end pool owner / homeowner.

GOOD LOGISTICS: I appreciated the fact that the Welcome Party and the APSP Awards Banquet (and several hotels) were just two or three blocks away. And the “BBQ Bash” was immediately across the street, so the need for buses and taxis was fairly minimal. (Except to get to Bourbon Street, of course.) When the show is in Las Vegas, you never have to step outside. But it’s still a very long (and a little monotonous) walk. In New Orleans, the weather was gorgeous, and there was always something interesting happening.

NAOMI IS BETTER IN THE BOOTH:  This might be a “Well, Duh!” statement for anyone who has met Naomi, but I still found it fascinating that traffic and leads would always go UP whenever I left the booth.  She is clearly twice the trade-show salesperson that I am. Yes, I know: “Well, Duh!” (Maybe I should go back to teaching…)

A FEW OTHER COMMENTS:

  • Most people I spoke with were experiencing 10% to 30% growth this year.  The one guy who was down 20% said it was because he hired (and fired) a sales guy who was a disaster.  At the other extreme, the guy who said he was up 50% made it clear that he did not want another year with that much growth.
  • The Genesis booth was consistently (if not constantly) busy, which shows once again that these guys know what they are doing.
  • The APSP Awards Banquet was perhaps the best one in more than five years. We had a place dedicated to ourselves, and it was easy to see and hear all the announcements and awards.

If you had similar or different observations about the show, I’d love to hear about it.

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