Seaside Special

Above: In danger of stealing the show, SPATEX director, Selwyn Mindel donned a period swimming costume to try out several of the swim spa on display.

Although attendance figures for this year’s SPATEX show fell for the third year in succession, the consensus of opinion has been that Brighton once again offered a worthwhile showcase for the majority of exhibitors and attendees alike. It was a case of quality over quantity as official visitor figures put attendance at 1,241 – the lowest figures since 2009 and nearly half that of the 2007 total of more than 2,000.

Overseas attendance accounted for 97 of the SPATEX visitors, travelling from 23 different countries, compared with 147 overseas visitors from 26 countries in 2011 and 141 overseas visitors from 25 countries in 2010. Show organiser, Michele Bridle remained upbeat: “SPATEX 2012 was an excellent show! In fact, it has proved an exceptional foundation and launch pad for future exhibitions. Planning has already begun on how to make SPATEX 2013 even brighter, bigger and better.

Still the UK’s premier networking venue for water leisure, SPATEX highlights this year included an outstanding effort by charity fundraiser, Ashley Varley, who, on a treadmill, ran a 26 mile marathon every day of the three-day show. The marathon effort was in aid of Diabetes UK and was sponsored by Pro Copi UK. Ashley also attracted considerable support from SPATEX exhibitors
and visitors, with the final fundraising total topping the £2,000 mark.

Above: Marathon man, Ashley Varley is congratulated by Paul Jefferies, of main sponsors, Pro Copi, while running three marathons in three days at the SPATEX show.

Creating Waves

Aquatrac safety covers made sure they stood out from the crowd by hiring a cheer-leading squad who performed regular acrobatic routines while NSure hired a close-up magician to entertain its SPATEX visitors. Two cross-Channel swimmers helped showcase several working swimspas at the show, it was SPATEX director, Selwyn Mindel, who created most waves, trying out the swim spas in his period swimming costume. One of the most popular new additions this year was the Wellness area and a new products area with one stand space dedicated to commercial pool information and another dedicated to types of pool construction.
Workshop Programme

The Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers once again organised the Technical Programme of workshops and demonstrations on
behalf of SPATEX. For 2012, to further enhance the benefit of the Technical Programme, SPATEX introduced attendance  certificates for workshop delegates with a total of 276 certificates awarded to worthy attendees over the three days. ISPE’s Ross Alcock reported: “The workshops were, once again, a great success in terms of attendance. With such a wide range of subjects, both new and “old favourites”, there was something for everybody at SPATEX 2012. “Many visitors attended more than one session and one or two people were spotted in all sessions on some days, further demonstrating what a useful source of free information the Technical Programme provides.”


Attendee Category                                                                       Year totals
                                                                                  2012          2011          2010          2009          2008          2007
Executive Club                                               235             226                31              427                –                     –

Pre-registered Trade Attendees           48              497             437             448                –                    –

Onsite Trade Attendees                           386              285             266             235              1689               1838

Auto-registered                                                –                  250             156               –                      –                         –

Public Attendees                                            132              136             145              122               185                  292

Total                                                                      1241          1394           1323            1232           1874            2130

(Above: Official figures put SPATEX attendance at 1,241 – the lowest figures since 2009 and nearly half that of the 2007 total of more than 2,000.)


“There was a good level of interest generally speaking and whilst numbers were affected a little by the weather on the
Sunday, Saturday’s attendance was slightly up on 2011 and the Monday [workshop] attendance figures were 60% up on 2011”

Press Packers
Following the SPATEX philosophy of ‘By the Industry, For The Industry, Pool & Spa Scene magazine once again recruited a team of recruits from the water leisure industry to report from the show. Their views are varied and independent. Here are their words: The big buzz on the SPATEX stands this year was not so much about the products, but what I thought about the ‘new show’.
Tanby Swimming Pools is a firm supporter of both SPATA and ISPE, so of course I wanted to know what the exhibitors thought.
The results were interesting. There were some who were sitting on the fence waiting to see who signed up, some who categorically said that they would not exhibit at a new show, some who had already signed up to SPATEX 2013 and a few who said that they did not want to be involved in any ‘argy bargy’ between show organisers and would make up their minds on their own.
Despite some having to travel a considerable distance from their place of business, they enjoyed coming to Brighton. Once there it is simply a walk to the Gala evening, restaurants and hotels which means the annual meeting with friends towards the end of the day at the hospitable Heatstar stand, is all that more enjoyable. (Congratulations again to Jackie, Paul and Lynne at Heatstar for being my best stand!) As a company it is very important to us to allow all our employees to visit the show. They are tasked with bringing back a product that will enhance and improve our range of services. This is only possible due to the convenient location.
Brighton is ideal not just for the exhibitors and attendees but also for the WAGs – the wives and girlfriends. After a quick whizz
around the show they can pop out to the wonderful array of shops and join up later for a bite to eat. No cars needed!

New Pretenders
One comment that was made was that the exhibition used to be more of a show, with many stands using forms of entertainment to entice people to their stands, now it is very product based. Perhaps timed entertainment in a main area, especially on the first day could be a cost that could be spread between organisers and exhibitors to add the “Wow Factor”? This “Wow Factor” needs to be extended to the Gala evening as well. Yes, I think there are improvements that SPATEX can and must make, if it is to see off the new pretenders – but if nothing else, the threat of another show could very well make it do that. With Martin [my husband] becoming President of BSPF, I am looking forward to next year and have no intention of going to any other show than Brighton.

Tom Whitlock, of Moonraker Leisure is a regular member of the Pool and Spa Scene Press Pack: “I was a bit disappointed with
this year’s SPATEX, the show seemed a bit lacklustre, having lost a lot of momentum of years gone by. There was no real buzz, with the exception of a couple of stands, the place was like a library rather than an exhibition. However, well done Golden Coast, Passion Spas and Certikin, nice stands!
Seems like all the usual suspects are trying to crack into the UK spa market again. This is positive as it shows that there is still a
growing market. As previously mentioned the rest of the show was filled by exhibitors with long faces bemoaning the fact that there was a poor attendance. They say competition helps us all raise the bar. Let’s hope the new show, Piscine at Birmingham can breathe a bit of life back into the UK exhibition scene!”

Water Babies
Craig Matthews, of Water Babies is the UK’s leading baby swim school, was making his first visit to the UK show. Craig says: “I
was looking forward to developing networking opportunities as well as being on the lookout, specifically, for above ground pools
and chlorine-free alternatives. With this in mind, I was drawn to Doughboy with the team’s super interaction and fantastic show
pool. I was pleased with the amount of general information and pool design and manufacture available and particularly impressed
with the German, Pool and Design Manufacture team. I though the show was well laid-out with lots of information and I was  impressed with the size of the event. I thought the new products area was very helpful featuring some great new innovations coming on to the market which I am very excited about. I managed to get to see the Pressure Testing presentation, part of the technical events programme, which I found very informative. Count me in for SPATEX next year – I thought it was time very well

Fresh Ideas
Findlay and Hazel Gardiner, of Relaxatub, had travelled all the way from Aberdeen, two of the 20 visitors from Scotland, to visit  this year’s SPATEX show: “We travelled down to Brighton looking for fresh ideas, new products and marketing ideas as well as to take advantage of the unique opportunity to meet with like-minded people as ourselves.
“We particularly enjoyed the Wellness Centre and took away information on the sauna and a salt wall. Maybe that is why the stand that most caught our eye was the sauna display from Alpha Industries. Our vote for biggest smile at the show went to Karen McCleave of SCP and it was the SCP team that we most enjoyed spending time with the SCP team. It was great to see the new products area and we were able to make a note of things we were interested in and visit stands of the products displayed that were of most interest to us.”

Friendly Faces
Christina Mantoura of The Pool and Spa Company is a regular visitor to SPATEX: “If you make the effort to get to Brighton, I think  meeting up with the friendly faces you work with on email or the phone on a day to day basis is always a treat. It is always good to see new innovations and product advances. Staying ahead of the game is important for us as a business and for our technology
savvy customers. We are finding customers are more informed and are requiring more from their pool products. Coming to shows keeps us educated and progressive (hopefully) as retailers. The show was beneficial as ever. It was nice to see some new products and pick peoples’ brains on how to improve our business! Shows are excellent at encouraging you to present products in different ways and be creative. Brochures just can’t do that. We all need to swap things around every now and again bring in new products to encourage existing customers to buy and to attract new customers that wouldn’t normally spend money on wet leisure and wellness products.

Non-Branded Wellness
I liked the dedicated non branded Wellness and Leisure display area and the new products innovation area. I felt they were
effective and displayed different saunas, digital control panels lighting and heated loungers products well. They were great
additions to this year.
Certikin’s display is always highly impressive. Their products are presented well – a working automatic cover unit, a semi-tiled spa with mirror, and a spray liner pool solution. The other stands that stood out for me was the Alpha Industries display of saunas and steam rooms, Original Style’s tiles stand with the mosaic-filed face and the Zodiac cleaners and Heat Pumps.
I liked talking with the SCP team and I liked the Aquatrac automatic safety covers and the Geobubble solar cover from Plastipack. The Lo Chlor lads get my vote for biggest smile at the show – they are always joking around causing havoc!

Sunday February 3 – Tuesday February 5
Hilton Metropole, Brighton

It was good to see so many positive people at the show. The attitude seems to have shifted and generally exhibitors and visitors seem to have an optimistic outlook to the season ahead. Let’s hope for a good season for us all.



                                                                                                                      FLAG WAVERS                                                                                                                     SPATEX 2012 was an interesting three days for Vita Spa UK. Although the show was unfortunately slow, it proved to be a great flag-waving exercise and the perfect opportunity for existing dealers and potential dealers alike to see the new, very impressive Xtream Sport SwimSpa. Vita also showcased some of a new and improved 500/700 series spas with our new steel frames, new pan base, new cabinet, new lighting and new pillows all on show. These new improvements were received with great enthusiasm from all who viewed them and especially from potential new dealers. With new personnel, new storage warehouse and new product, Vita might just be the key to your 2012 sales success


T: 0845 4024 303

E: info



Introducing the new product range of ESPA pumps and filters and the next generation Puronizer at this year’s SPATEX, APS also attracted huge interest with its Tekbox — the only prefabricated technical box on the market containing all the hydraulic equipment required fora standard pool installation and with the ability to customize. The Tekbox is the all-in one, efficient solution which by reducing work load and additional installation costs, provides not only increased profitability for fitters but safety, aesthetics and savings for the customer. Delivered pre-plumbed and pre-wired ready to receive the necessary  connections, APS can design any configuration required for all available options.

Aquatic Purification Systems UK
T: 07785 562 743



Area Sales Manager, Andrew Walker, represented tile adhesive and grout manufacturer PCI, part of BASF’s Construction Chemicals Division, at this year’s SPATEX show. Said Andrew: “This is the fourth consecutive year that we’ve exhibited at  SPATEX. “It is always a good show to reaffirm and meet existing customers with people we’ve seen in previous years are very  much open to speaking to us. “This year the range of visitors was excellent. We saw a nice mix of existing customers and very  good new business leads, from contractors to a major international architects’ practice.”
BASF Plc Construction Chemicals
T: +44 (0)1614 856222

Supplying the show pool for SPATEX 2012, Doughboy’s aim was to meet its existing network of dealers and look for potential new dealers. The team reported a very positive response with showrooms taking display models and we are looking forward to seeing these installed very shortly. As well as the traditional Doughboy pool, the team displayed a wall section from our very competitively-priced Timberpool. Also available is a large range of accessories, also included in the 2012 programme is the  Aquajet swim jet and the Coral Bay budget pool.

Doughboy (UK) Ltd
T: +44 (0)1273 495971

The Lovibond® team saw SPATEX 2012 as the perfect opportunity to launch the new Pool & Spa water testing website: . Since the company was offering a special 20% discount on all product requests placed on this site, the  show initiated a huge increase in traffic which continues to grow daily. During the event, the stand was also busy as visitors from around the UK enjoyed on-hand demonstrations of the new range of Lovibond® hand-held photometers and the latest news on  the Lovibond® visual instruments and reagents. Colin Day’s presentation on “Pool Water Testing” also drew a large crowd.

Lovibond Tintometer
T: +44 (0)1980 664800 E:

Looking for new partners for their most exclusive products, SPATEX provided an interesting window on the pool and spa market  for the Mosaico+ team. Having made the trip from Italy, the team was hoping for bigger numbers and more contact with architects and designers but felt the show offered a good opportunity to evaluate new trends and market demands. Flagship  products included lead glass mosaics; a very interesting mosaic ideal for floor certified R12 available in a wide range of  contemporary colours. Contact the team for more information.

T: +39 0522990011
E: saicop

SPATEX 2012 saw Nsure exhibiting for the sixth consecutive year, promoting the POOLSURE insurance scheme to existing  customers and new prospects. The scheme provides specialist insurance for the water leisure industry. From January 2012 there  is a new scheme Insurer, QBE. They are one of the world’s leading International Insurers and the Official Insurance Partner of  England Rugby. QBE are providing the same specialist cover and are offering a new option to make interest free installments  available. Nsure has over 20 years’ experience in providing specialist insurance for the Industry. Nsure also offer a free  Insurance Health Check and for more information on the scheme please make contact.

Nsure Ltd
T: +44 (0)1903 608 116 E:


The PPG 2012 catalogue was well received by SPATEX visitors with increased technical content in response to customers’  requests and 20 product ranges either new or upgraded. The Intelliflo pump range continues to attract a lot of attention and now that it is available with StaRite, Ultraflow and Whisperflow bodies, it is even easier to retro-fit. The new cost saving calculator is  readily available for the pool builder to demonstrate to customers how much they can save by using the pump and the new Intellipool control allows for control and monitoring in real time via the internet, using PC, tablet or smart phone technology.

Polet Pool Group
T: +44 (0)1635 30805 E:

The staff at Senlac Stone were pleased to meet up with friends old and new at SPATEX. The new and extended range of Senlac Sandstone was prominently displayed. Sussex Copings in four colours with matching textured Sussex Paving were received well  by all visitors. Indeed the main message for 2012: For every coping we produce or supply, we have matching paving. Whether in  our ever-increasing Natural Stone range of Sandstones and Travertine or in a comprehensive range of Portland coping and paving, the installer can be confident of a superior finish. By using natural quarried stone in the manufacturing process there are  no short-cuts taken to produce an immensely strong hand-finished coping. With the most radius copings we have every pool  covered!

Senlac Stone Ltd
T: +44 (0)1424 772244 E: info


The Villagio stand at SPATEX once again featured a full size Sunsoka pool, the popular Sunsoka Sport Pool complete
with counter swim unit. Directors Robert and Christine Henry were also pleased to introduce the new Tropica heat pumps range,  exclusively available from Villagio. From 2012, the premium quality, British manufactured Sunsoka timber frame pools will come  in an extended range of standard sizes, plus extensive bespoke options will continue to be offered. This will give customers  choice, flexibility and outstanding value. For full details on the Sunsoka and Tropica ranges call today.

Villagio Limited
T: +44 (0)1293 297000 E:


The full Original Style collection comprises a range of iridescent glass, porcelain and ceramic tiles and mosaics for swimming pools and a wider variety of natural stone, ceramic, glass and porcelain tiles for surrounding areas. Original Style has a dedicated  design-led contracts team on offer for help with individual projects and these are managed by the team from start to finish. The  division also supplies commercial projects, such as bars, restaurants and hotels. Customer service is second to none at Original  Style with a free site visit service and free samples of all of the products from the various collections. For further information or to request a copy of the very latest Original Style Wellbeing brochure, please call the Original Style Contracts team.

Original Style
T. +44 (0)1392 473037


Sterling Hydrotech Ltd were at SPATEX demonstrating ways of reducing energy consumption and operating costs. On display were inverter drives, UV’s with power switching facility, high efficiency pool covers and circulation pumps with the latest energy efficient motors. Also on display was their HRG (Hydrotech Recycled Glass) which is an environmentally friendly alternative to  conventional filter sand, this reduces the amount of water used for backwashing the filters. Sterling Hydrotech Ltd are innovative  Water Treatment Specialists focusing on commercial pools and spas for  local authorities, schools, main contractors and leisure facility management companies, providing design, installation and maintenance services nationwide.

Sterling Hydrotech
T: +44 (0)1246 857000


SPATEX 2012 was another landmark event for Etatron GB following relaunch into UK industry. Since May 2011, Etatron GB has gained key accounts and carried on to serve its loyal customer base in the UK. SPATEX 2012 was also a fantastic opportunity to  communicate its association with Golden Coast as the exclusive distributor for Etatron products to the water leisure industry. Working from its new flagship offices in Lincoln, Etatron GB prides itself on listening to customers to deliver innovative chemical dosing technology and providing a service that is valued. Etatron GB is committed to key principles: continuous innovation,  customer focus and environmental sustainability.

Etatron GB Ltd
T: +44 (0)1522 852397