How will the 65th pool show be celebrated? Are there any special events?
Magana: The show is celebrating its 65th sapphire anniversary in 2022. The International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo™, co-located with Deck Expo (PSP/Deck Expo) was founded in 1957 as an event focused on pools and spas. It grew over time, including co-location with Deck Expo in 2020. Today, PSP/Deck Expo actively collaborates across the entire pool, spa, backyard and decking industries to provide participants with the most comprehensive array of networking, education and technology available.
We do have some fun things in store to celebrate the occasion. We look forward to recognizing the anniversary when most of us are together at the Keynote: CEO Panel and the Welcome Party.
Will there be any special speakers?
Magana: There are no special speakers to mark the 65th year, but it’s a good way to bring the industry together at the Keynote: CEO Panel. Leaders from key manufacturers will discuss current trends and future expectations as part of this new event at the PSP/Deck Expo. The panelists are:
- Rick Roetken, President, North America, Hayward Holdings
- Dave Jackson, CEO, Jacuzzi Group Worldwide
- Ardy Arani, CEO & Managing Director, Big Green Egg
- Matt McDermott, President, Heritage Division/SRS
- Landon Tarvin, Vice President, Deckorators
Manuel “Manny” Perez de la Mesa, the former CEO of POOLCORP, is the moderator.
How many attendees are you expecting at this year’s Expo?
Magana: We’re expecting another exceptional year. Square footage is up—right now, we’re already 25% ahead of where we ended last year. There are more than 350 manufacturers slated to come in, and a lot of them have huge product lines. It’s a good mix of the major players—Bullfrog, Heritage, Jacuzzi—and some new companies. Those 10 x 10s and 10 x 20s are still pushing the industry forward with their products. The event is a really great place to prepare for 2023.
How many classes are being offered?
Magana: There are more than 100 opportunities throughout the week. Our Pool show sponsor, PHTA, is offering five courses pre-show. Our Pool show endorser, GENESIS, is offering five pre-show classes as well. Our Deck Expo show sponsor, NADRA—the decking association—has two pre-show classes.
Then there’s specialty education. Watershape University has five pre-show classes— and all that is before the big show even starts. Once we get into the main conference, there are a few more classes from industry groups like the American Shotcrete Association and National Plasterers Council.
Classroom education has about 45 sessions running in the mornings from Tuesday to Thursday, and we’re building up the show floor education. We ended last year with a little over 50 show-floor education sessions and are on track to have near that amount again.
How big is the show floor—that is, is this a larger venue than last year?
Magana: Our show floor is sizeable. I have some free advice for any manufacturers who aren’t signed up yet—contact us now. As of today, we’re at a little over 125,000 net square feet of exhibit space. For comparison, we ended last year at just over 100,000 net square feet of exhibit space. To be this far out from the event and still be growing is another great indicator that we’re on track for a fabulous event.
Is this going to be strictly an in-person event, or will there be a virtual aspect?
Magana: The show will be all in-person this year; however, we highly recommend using virtual and digital tools to help plan your visit. We have a tool called My Show Planner that helps attendees prioritize what to do on-site. It can be overwhelming coming in new and not knowing where to start, but if you have a literal checklist of classes to attend and vendors to visit, you’re set up for so much success.
The metaphor I use is that it’s like going to the grocery store. Sure, you can go in and wing it as far as what you need for the week. But if you have a plan and an end goal in mind, you have a better idea of what’s needed. If you know you’ll want to cook a certain meal or have snacks for a certain activity, you’re in a better spot. This is the same for coming to our event. Start with the end goal, like “I want to meet ‘x’ number of manufacturers” or “I’m looking for someone in the Southwest region who knows tri-chlor.” Plan in advance and use tools like My Show Planner or the event’s mobile app to help you get there.
My Show Planner is free to use and it will be synced with your registration. It’s accessible via our website—visit the “My Show Planner” link in the top right corner of the site.
Will people be able to access educational content online for a while after the Expo ends, and, if so, how long will content be available and is there a fee?
Magana: Educational content won’t be available post-show, but outreach to exhibitors and the vendor directory are available year-round with My Show Planner.
What types of food and drink will be served at the Welcome Party? Tell us about the entertainment there as well.
Magana: As in years past, we will offer a variety of food options for our guests. Expect heavy appetizers and free beer and wine (plus, of course, free non-alcoholic drinks).
We realize that the Welcome Party should be a stop on the way to your evening plans. We’re hosting it a bit earlier in the day with it starting at 5 p.m. and running until 7 p.m. Welcome Party guests can stop by and fuel up before heading out for the night. We know Las Vegas has a ton to offer and we want our participants to be able to network and connect.
We will have live music and fun activities to create a festive, lively atmosphere amidst the breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and the Las Vegas strip.
Please share some more details or thoughts about the PSP/Deck+ Lounge. According to the show website, it’s a new way for attendees and exhibitors to set 30-minute meetings during the show at either the exhibitor’s booth or in the PSP/Deck+ Lounge.
Magana: Yes! This goes back to the advice to plan ahead. PSP/Deck+ is our matchmaking platform. It’s a way for attendees to find the exact manufacturers they’re looking for by searching product types and for manufacturers to find their buyers. They can connect virtually via PSP/Deck+ pre-show to set up 30-minute one-on-one meetings that take place during the three show days. Meetings take place either in the PSP/Deck+ Lounge or in the exhibitor’s booth, and the program is free of charge to all registered participants. The platform will open about two weeks before the show to allow participants to begin requesting meetings with one another. This is a great value-add to the event and allows both manufacturers and attendees to find the connections most meaningful to them while at the show.
Will there be a new products showcase area where attendees can see items that exhibitors are offering?
Magana: This is such a fun show feature. Something I’ve noticed this year is all the “2022 Products of the Year” type articles in our industry and just how many of these products made their debut at the 2021 show in Dallas. So, to get ready for 2023 come to the PSP/Deck Expo 2022! The Product Showcase is exactly what it sounds like—an area on the show floor full of new and “best of” products. Attendees can also vote on their favorites. The PSP/Deck team will announce the top products on the final day of the show.
Are you planning any product giveaways?
Magana: We don’t have anything planned, but we would welcome any manufacturers who want to have giveaways as part of the in-booth experience. It can be a wonderful traffic driver.
Are masks required indoors, are there separate entrance and exit doors, are sanitizer stations and socially distanced rest areas on the show floor returning to this event, and are there any booth size and spacing considerations in this regard?
Magana: Masks are not required indoors and there are no separate entrance and exit doors. While we are going to have sanitizer stations, social distancing is not required. We do not have spacing considerations accounted for with our booths.
As we remain strong in the return to live events, PSP/Deck Expo is continuing to put the safety and comfort of our customers above all else. We have shifted away from the Informa AllSecure measures and will now follow the safety guidelines in ordinance with all local venues and cities going forward.
Of course, there are pool and spa builders, retailers, technicians and deck professionals classes. How many classes will be offered in total?
Magana: Builder, retail, service and deck will be very well-represented in the education sessions. There are tracks for each of those amongst all the tracks available. As far as all the education, there are more than 100 opportunities throughout the week! There is truly something for everyone on the team. In addition to the pre-show classes and the classroom sessions, there will be show-floor education areas. Those can be accessed with any type of attendee registration pass. Those on-floor sessions are easy to access, and the material is demo-focused and straight to the point.
New this year, we are designating Wednesday, Nov. 17 as “Service Tech Day” and will have classes both in the conference program and in the Expo hall especially for this sector of the industry. The day will end with a special “Service Tech Happy Hour” outside at the Grill + Chill area to immediately precede the BBQ Bash.
Can you name a couple of classes that are creating an early buzz, causing show organizers to expect large turnouts?
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In the past, there have been “power panels,” namely the Retail Power Panel, the Builder Power Panel and the Service Power Panel, offering Q&A sessions. Will they return?
Magana: Rather than a Power Panel lineup in 2022, we’ll have the Keynote: CEO Panel. Attendees will hear from leaders at key manufacturing companies who are ready and willing to share their expertise on how industry professionals can help shape the future of our industry.
How about show-floor educational sessions that are expected to attract attendees?
Magana: The Million-Dollar Pool Design Challenge is always a big hit. We are still early for the full schedule of show floor sessions as this information continues to come in throughout the fall. We’ll have many options for on-floor education. All sessions are free to attendees, including GENESIS, Spa Retailer Academy, deck workshops, PHTA hands-on demos and the Expo stage. Keep an eye on our website as we continue to publish new sessions in these areas as they become available.
Do you have any thoughts to share about how great this show will be for those who are still trying to decide if they’re going to the Expo?
Magana: This show is truly the place to prepare for 2023 and kick off the selling cycle for the next year. We know the industry is changing and that the market and economy are shifting. Get ready by attending the PSP/Deck Expo. There are products, there’s education and there’s networking. We’re actively working with our association partners—PHTA, GENESIS and NADRA—to bring the education that’s needed. Don’t wait to find out what the hot products of 2023 will be because they’ll be at the 2022 Product Showcase.
Where better to come together with industry colleagues and friends than in Las Vegas? Let’s celebrate how far we’ve come while keeping an eye on the horizon.