There was something special about the return of the annual SPATEX event that, the organisers say, attracted 1,545 unique visitors.
Staged as the country began to loosen the shackles of the on-going pandemic, some companies remained reluctant to send representatives, opting for reduced teams, while others avoided the usual crowded events like the traditional exhibitor drinks.
The vast majority of those present, however, were palpably relieved and delighted to be back together again in person – if a little reluctant for the usual handshakes and hugs.
Returning once again to the Coventry Building Society arena, SPATEX marked the 25th anniversary of the history of the event, at its relatively new Midlands home, following the majority of years of being held in Brighton.
As well as touring the large exhibition hall with more than 100 companies displaying product, over a third of visitors took the opportunity to attend at least one of the seminar and workshop programmes, hosted by industry associations ISPE, STA, and PWTAG.
As usual, the SPATEX event was the perfect platform to announce the winners of the annual, SPATA (Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association) and BISHTA (British and Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association) awards.
Centurion Leisure won the Dick Millward Trophy for Pool Contractor of the Year, XL Pools won the Outstanding Residential Pool of the Year Award, A19 Pools and Spas won the Commercial Pool of the Year Award, and All Swim won the Peter Geekie Award for Retail Excellence while the Paul Kite Award for Pool Star of the Year went to Vincent Borley of Tanby Pools.
Winning the top BISHTA awards, Hot Tub Suppliers won the Gold Award in the Hot Tubs Change Lives category, Concept Spa won the Gold Award in the Hot Tub Happiness everydaycation category and Luxury Spas Direct won the Gold Award in the Showroom of the Year category.