The Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show, which enters its 32nd consecutive year in 2014, will play host to more than 400 exhibitors and 11,000 attendees this January. The largest regional pool show in the United States, professionals from all over the country and around the world attend the show to see all the latest pool & spa trends, cutting-edge design & product technology and to attend 60 plus educational seminars.
For Aquatherm Industries, a New Jersey basedmanufacturer of solar heaters for swimming pools and spas, the annual show is a chance to connect with the industry without leaving their own backyard. The famous boardwalk and casinos of Atlantic City are just a short drive from its 50,000 square foot ISO-registered facility in Lakewood.
Because it’s held in January each year, many in the industry view attendance at the Atlantic City Show as an economic indicator of the upcoming season. “We’ve definitely seen an uptick in quality contacts and resulting business from the Show in recent years,” says Molly Friar, Sales & Marketing Manager at Aquatherm Industries.
Friar added that of the manufacturer’s three newest “Master Dealers,” two have been in the northeast region. “Regional shows like Atlantic City give us a chance to meet pool pros who might have serviced or even installed our solar pool heaters, but were maybe under our radar until then. That first meeting opens a line of communication and inevitably results in us being able to help them grow their business with solar.”
Dave Sizelove, President & CEO of Aquatherm Industries, says he’s particularly excited about the 2014 Show. “We exhibit at a dozen trade shows every year within both the pool and solar industries, and our travels have even taken us to Europe and Australia. The Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show remains one of our favorites places to exhibit, and not just because of the proximity to home.”
This year, Sizelove is introducing a brand new, two-part course on solar pool heating as part of the Atlantic City Pool & Spa Show’s 2014 Education Conference.
“Over the years, I have personally attended a number of courses devoted to solar pool heating at the AC Show. They were each good in their own way but, in my opinion, none provided a complete education.”
According to the Northeast Pool & Spa Association (NESPA), the conference, which includes courses of both business and technical nature, will “put a spotlight on not only where the industry is today but where it is going tomorrow.” Proposed courses were selected based on the Association’s Industry Outlook Survey, which measures trends in the industry.
The business-oriented portion of Aquatherm’s course, titled Solar Pool Heating: Marketing & Sales Process, will focus on the history and basic theory of the technology, as well as some of the best ways to promote and sell solar, specifically to a pool pro’s existing customer base. After a short break, the technical portion of the course, titled Solar Pool Heating: Design, Engineering, and Installation, will dive deeper into the science behind solar, and provide a more hands-on approach for attendees.
“We made the decision to split the course into two separate sessions to better tailor to attendees needs,” said Friar. “Some pool pros may only be interested in learning the sales and marketing side of the business, and prefer to subcontract the installation. Others may see an opportunity to increase profit margins by taking installation in-house. We’re excited and grateful for this opportunity to extend our reach at the Show through our new education course.”
Sizelove, who has over 30 years experience in the solar pool heating industry, wants to be clear the course will be technology-specific, but product-agnostic. “Though we’re always looking to add to our network of International Dealers and Distributors, the course is designed to include our competitors products as well. We want the pool industry to see everything that’s out there, and be familiar with it.”
Aquatherm will be exhibiting from January 28-30, 2014 at Booth #2125. Both the business and technical sessions of the course will take place on Tuesday morning, January 28th, at 8:30am and 10:15am, respectively. All educational sessions have been approved for credit by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) for their Certification Programs. In addition, the course qualifies for CEUs for the North American Board of Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
For a full conference schedule, visit http://www.northeastspapool.org/2014_attendee/conference_at_glance.pdf.