SPLASH! held its first ever trade expo in New Zealand, and the result was an overwhelming success.
For a number of years New Zealand had a bi-annual trade day organised by Leisuretime’s Geoff Bonham at the Auckland show grounds. This year, with the assistance and support of Bonham and the endorsement of the New Zealand Master Pool Builders Guild, SPLASH! organised a two day trade expo combined with an eight-seminar speaker program at the Auckland Hilton.
560 visitors arrived from far flung parts of both the north and south islands, as well as Australia, the United States and Hong Kong, to see the latest in pool and spa products, technology and ideas, and to network with the local industry.
There were 42 companies exhibiting at 33 stands, and many of them launched new products – some were international launches, others were new to New Zealand or Australasia.
The seminars were well attended and included a varied range of subjects suiting differing levels of expertise: some were set at an introductory level, serving as a refresher, while others were more in-depth. They included: Mike King and Steve Bramley’s enlightening look at the commercial pool industry; Vic de Fontenay’s detailed talk on wet edges; Noel Sampson’s overview of the pool water quality standards; Mike Rippon’s insights on in-floor cleaning systems. Pedro Arrebola missed his flight from Spain so his seminar was presented by Peter Wallace, who provided great detail on international trends and opportunities in the industry. David Close from the NSPI talked about pathways to licensing in the industry – a topical issue as NZ is looking at bringing in licensing. Graeme Abbot gave a very interesting talk about the development of Hamner Springs, while Barry Knickerbocker came all the way from the United States to talk about trends and opportunities in the spa service market.
Other networking opportunities included the Clevaquip sponsored welcome drinks, the Austrade breakfast at the Hilton’s White restaurant with Australian Consul General, Ian Chesterfield, and the golf day at the spectacular Formosa Resort.
Both exhibitors and visitors were excited by the event and were looking forward the next SPLASH! Expo in 2008 on the Gold Coast. Following the success of the Auckland event, another SPLASH! Expo is being planned for New Zealand in 2009.