It’s a milestone year for the Western Pool and Spa Show, celebrating its 45th anniversary and 30th year in Long Beach, California, this March 23rd through 25th.
What started as a little tabletop event has become among the most significant pool events of the year and, for many pool professionals, the best.
What makes it all the more impressive is that even after 45 years, the show is still run — entirely — by volunteers, and some of the volunteers have been with the show since the beginning.
Eric Nielson, one of the show’s directors, said that he is grateful for their efforts. “It’s taken a lot of dedication over the years,” Nielson said.
Many of the event’s exhibiting partners have also been with the show since the beginning, even if they may have gone by different names: HASA, Raypak, Fluidra, Hayward, Pentair, and Pool Corp, to name a few.
Most people who attend the show will attest that its greatest strength is its focus on education, and the show’s organizers are dedicated to making it new and fresh every year. This year, the show will feature more than 90 seminars provided in large part by manufacturers’ representatives, who strive to provide education that is a lot more than just a sales pitch.
Some of these are putting their money where their mouth is. For example, Hayward promotes education through its VIP program by paying for people to attend seminars.
Show partner Watershape University is promoting building and construction knowledge through accessible classes on electricity and plumbing, among other offerings.
“One new partner we’re excited about is Pool Nation,” Nielson said. “They will have a dedicated room with continual education over all three days. We will be filming each of their classes, which will be available to view after the show.”
HASA, and other manufacturers, will be there to teach all the nittygritty’s of water chemistry.
Through its partnership with the National Drowning Prevention Alliance, the show is doing its part to raise drowning awareness, which is the No. 1 cause of death for children ages 1 through 4.
Check out the 8 a.m. Saturday morning seminar about integrating water safety into your service strategy, hosted by Service Industry News and the NDPA.
Overall, the show is promising three packed days of education and networking opportunities because, as the show organizers like to say, “Helping the industry is what the show is all about.”