It has been some time since a topic has ignited the industry into such a fever as two rival pool and spa trade shows so close in proximity and timing, writes Pool & Spa Scene editor, Christina Connor.
The latest contest saw the two camps battle it out with rival events at either ends of February.
In the blue corner we had SPATEX – redistributing profits to support vital worthy causes but leaving themselves open to negative comments by failing to disclose show attendance figures.
In the red corner we have the UK Pool & Spa Expo – the young pretenders. Professional, energetic, vibrant and aspiring to offer a fresh approach by breaking the so-called ‘old school tie’ network while giving companies a chance to promote without fear of influence.
Ding, ding, seconds were out!
Round One was a points win for the UK Pool and Spa Expo. The team delivered an impressive opening day, significantly a Thursday, attracting both the interested and the curious to their NEC show that leaned strongly towards swimspas and hot tubs with support from the pool sector.
Round Two was a victory for the SPATEX team as they enjoyed their best attendance on their second day with virtually unanimous praise for the switch of venue to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena – still attracting south paw companies as well as additional midlands and northern-based contenders.
Round Three was a blow for blow draw as both sides failed to produce the promised results on the final day – Birmingham failing to deliver much lauded consumers and Coventry failing to attract sufficient numbers from the commercial sector.
Next year the contest hots up with another bout, not just in the same month but in the ring for consecutive back-to-back weekends. It is difficult to spot a winner but much easier to spot losers as already hard-pressed water leisure companies try to spread their bets over both shows.
Before we throw any metaphorical towels in, I wonder how much more powerful a champion for the industry could they be if both sides came together – not as a joint entity, which would be a step too far, rather completely independently but exhibiting side by side. This would combine mutual strengths to attract twice as many visitors for exhibitors who invest in their showcase.
Just a thought…
POOL & SPA SCENE
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