Leisure Industry Week is renowned for its buzz and its lycra and this year, once again it did not disappoint.
For those who made the trip to Birmingham’s, there was plenty to inspire, enthuse and energise the leisure business sectors.
The traditional curtain raiser to the exhibition season, the Leisure Industry Week event includes zones for Play and Attractions, Health and Fitness and Eat and Drink, Sport and Leisure Facilities. Celebrity appearances added to the occasion with tennis star Andre Agassi, athletes Daley Thompson, Darren Campbell, rugby’s James Haskell and boxing legend Ricky Hatton happy to chat and have photographs taken with exhibitors and visitors alike.
The new STA Swim Zone added a buzz to the Pool and Spa sector that has not been present with previous show pools. Accompanied by loud, upbeat music, a huge above ground Laghetto pool provided an ideal stage for a range of aquatic events from lifesaving, fitness classes and pool plant demonstrations.
The STA teamed up with Swimtime, the UK’s biggest swimming lesson provider, to demonstrate a range of fun, pool-based sessions. Products showcased included an aqua running bodysuit, a seascooter and aqua bikes. Demonstrations of snorkelling, aqua zumba and aqua yoga also drew the crowds.
Enjoying heightened interest with appearances on last year’s Britain’s Got Talent and at the Olympics, an upbeat performance of synchronised swimming proved a popular draw.
There were about 30 exhibitors in the Pool & Spa sector who were rewarded for their investment with quality enquirers from sectors such as holiday parks, health club chains and hotel brands.
The Amateur Swimming Association showcased a number of innovative products new to the market, such as British Gas Pop- Up Swimfit, as well as discounts and advice on IoS courses and ASA awards and merchandise.
Pop-Up Swimfit, a portable adaptation of British Gas Swimfit, is a motivational swimming product based on the concept of a gym class structure with sessions delivered by a qualified Swimfit Activator.
A one-stop information source for energy and cost-efficient facility management, Calorex’s team of experts offered up-tothe- minute advice on how to halve energy consumption in commercial leisure facilities from the smallest spas to Olympic size swimming pools.
“In a nutshell, commercial pool and spa operators can cut costs by up to a half if they include Delta units in their energy efficient equation,” explains Richard Carrington, Calorex Heat Pumps managing director.
“As well as the Enhanced Capital Allowances that allow 100% write off in the first year of purchase, commercial leisure organisations can also apply for a Carbon Trust low interest loan by using Calorex machines – thus claiming 100% tax relief on the capital sum in the first year with the added benefit of repayment terms calculated so that they can be offset by the energy savings, thus the finance option is designed to pay for itself.”
Familiar names like Alba Pools, Aquamat, Aquaflex, Certikin, Heat Pumps 4 Pools, Intopool, Myrtha Pools, Plastica, Pool Maintenance Ltd., Sterling Hydrotech and Swimco, were on hand to give practical advice on cost-effective and energy efficient pool provision. Aquosis, exhibiting as Swimming Pool Fitness, unveiled their new aquatic treadmill system. The British Swimming Pool Federation staffed a stand promoting the benefits of working with members of the Swimming Pool and Allied Trade Association and the British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association.
JC Leisure chose LIW to launch its latest forward-thinking solution. JC Assist is an online solution that enables leisure operators to schedule maintenance and repair services on-line as well as obtain live technical help from a qualified technician. JC Assist customers can also access tutorials on how to maintain your pool plant and equipment
Marketing director and creator of JC Assist, Nicole Lester commented: “We invest a huge amount of time and resources into understanding the leisure operator’s day to day challenges and this has resulted in the creation of the online maintenance assistant, JC Assist.
“Our mission has always been to help improve the UK’s swimming facilities, through tailored maintenance packages and value added services.JC Assist is yet another solution to help achieve this mission.”
There was a constant queue of people wanting to try out the Dreamwater Lounge relaxation bed – a great new idea for spa and health resorts.
Suntrap Systems enjoyed a busy show as it showed off its range of specialist equipment such as disabled lifts and hoists and also their British-made swimsuit dryer.
Topline Electronics teamed up with Aachen Wellness and Swimfix with a stand-out display of pool chemical control equipment and bespoke sauna and steam rooms.
J P Lennard showed off its latest portfolio of more than 4,000 brands for commercial swimming pools and the broader leisure markets while the Gantner team showed off its range of contactless access control, check-in and cashless payment applications.
Aqua Passport offered a new learn to swim experience using the latest digital technology with poolside tablets for teachers, interactive websites and resources for parents and management. Pool Platforms secured bulk orders for its free standing platforms to assist in the delivery of swimming lessons in deeper water.
Last, but by no means least, Waterland Media proved to be one of the busiest teams at the show with copies of both Pool & Spa Scene and its new launch, Holiday Park Scene, available from its fully staffed magazine stand.