By Carolyn Dibrell
January is typically a month when service professionals have a bit of time to take stock in the health of their business and start thinking about the year ahead.
It is not an accident that January is also a month that is loaded with numerous regional trade shows, where service professionals can get the latest informtion about the equipment and products available in the upcoming year.
This year there are 5 pool and spa regional shows in January, 3 in February and 1 in March. The exhibit halls of each show provides service pros with the latest gadgets and innovative equipment available to the industry, and manufacturer booths are typically staffed by experts ready to answer any questions about installation, trouble-shooting and repair.
Manufacturer displays also offer visitors the opportunity to see demonstrations of products and technologies and add to their library of product literature and technical data sheets.
Manufacturers also offer loads of free samples and promotional giveaways for trial use.
Meanwhile, trade shows also offer manufacturer-sponsored seminars where service professionals can learn all the tricks of the trade. These are excellent classes for beginner service professionals, and are also great venues for veterans to brush up on chemical facts and information, as well as to learn about the latest innovations in products and services.
These classes are typically taught by industry veterans who know how to explain chemical information or product installation and repair in an easy-to-understand language. Questions are welcomed, and discussions frequently result, leading to an even greater expansion of knowledge.
Business classes are also offered and may be considered more important than ever in these uncertain economic times.
An additional advantage to the service professional is that trade shows offer continuing education units, as well as certification testing that covers a wealth of topics.
Today, in many parts of the country, certification is mandatory and discerning pool owners require highly qualified service techs with certification that proves their skill.
And so in this special issue, we’ve assembled information from 8 upcoming shows. They include the Mid-America Pool, Spa and Outdoor Living Show, Jan. 15-16, in Schaumburg, Ill.; the Desert Pool & Spa Show, Jan. 16- 18; the Southwest Pool & Spa Show, Jan 17-18 in San Antonio, Texas; the Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show, Jan. 28-30, in Atlantic City, N.J.; the National Plasterers Conference, Feb. 5-7, in Nashville, Tenn.; the Southeast Pool & Spa Show, Feb. 3-7, in Atlanta, Ga., Everything Under The Sun Expo, Feb 21-22, in Orlando, Fla., and the Western Pool & Spa Show, March 13-15, in Long Beach, Calif.
Though not specifically covered in this edition, we would be remiss if we failed to mention two shows that await the end of the swim season in 2014. They would be Pool Industry Expo XXVIII, set for Sept. 25-27 in Monterey, Calif., and the International Pool, Spa & Patio Expo, set for Nov. 5-7 in Orlando, Fla.
Details on these shows will be available as the dates near.