Once again, the SPLASH! Pool & Spa Trade Show has raised the bar for locally held events.
Building on the 2016 move to the larger, modern facilities at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Surfers Paradise, the 2018 event was even larger and more professional than the record-breaking 2016 show.
Exhibitors and visitors were overwhelming positive about the show, with many describing it as even better than 2016. That event had seen a dramatic escalation in the quality and professionalism of the exhibitor displays, and this event took that to a new level, with even the smaller exhibitors putting in notable effort to produce engaging stands, and the overall look of the show much more open and welcoming to attendees.
The trade show featured more than 120 exhibitor stands and took up three halls overflowing into the lobby and onto the outdoor terrace, making this the largest show ever. As the space sold out very early, there is great demand for an expansion of floorspace for 2020.
The 2018 show had the largest number of attendees ever at an Australian pool and spa trade show, with total numbers coming in just shy of 3000 – an increase of 22 per cent over the 2016 numbers.
A global event
The show was also the most international SPLASH! event ever, with visitors from 28 different countries including Australia, Benin, Brazil, China, Denmark, Egypt, Fiji, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Maldives, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, United States, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. As usual there was a healthy contingent from New Zealand and a delegation of Malaysian Swimming Pool Association members.
The 2018 show also included additional events such as the very well received Women in Leadership seminar sponsored by Maytronics and the high energy Young Leaders networking evening sponsored by Pool Ranger, as well as the Andrew Simons Memorial Golf Day sponsored by Lo-Chlor and the site tour of the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.
Lindsay McGrath, CEO of SPASA Australia, says he is very pleased with the first SPLASH! under SPASA ownership.
“SPLASH! 2018 has been a fabulous show – and we have the support of the industry to thank for that. There was increased supplier participation and the attendees turned out in droves – on the first morning the lines went all the way back to the escalators and overall there were more visitors than any previous Australian pool and spa trade show,” says McGrath.
“I want to thank the industry for their support of SPASA’s acquisition of SPLASH!, and the success of this show is testament to that support. We had great feedback from the suppliers and the attendees and lots of comments about how fabulous it’s been for doing business, networking and gaining industry knowledge. It really is the one event where the whole industry comes together,” he says.
“I must also thank the sponsors who help make all this possible, especially Fluidra as our platinum sponsor as well as Pentair, IQ and Theralux, AIS and Lo-Chlor.
“While this show was amazing, the next one will be even better. We’ve already booked for 2020 and we’ve expanded the floorspace by 30 per cent. We’ve looked to some of the overseas shows for ideas to improve SPLASH! even further – to really take it to the next level and ensure its position as the biggest and best pool and spa industry show in the Southern Hemisphere and the region.”
Matt Adlam, Australian managing director of Fluidra, says they are very honoured to be the platinum sponsor of SPASA Australia and SPLASH!.
“We can only do this as a result of the support that we get from all of our customers – in return, we see it as our responsibility to support our industry. We are obviously going through a fairly major transition with the merge of AstralPool and Zodiac and are very excited about what we can do in the future,” he says.
“We are very proud to be a part of what SPASA Australia represents and the fantastic work they are doing to lift the professionalism of our great industry that keeps us well and truly on our toes.
“Congratulations on the success of SPASA Australia’s first SPLASH! Pool & Spa Trade Show and the many other initiatives such as the leadership seminar Women in Leadership.”
The next issue of SPLASH! magazine will feature more information on the new Fluidra and the merger of the AstralPool and Zodiac businesses.
The International Swim Schools Spectacular 2018 was held in conjunction with the SPLASH! Pool & Spa Trade Show and exceeded all expectations.
More than 460 people from 18 countries participated in the Australian Swim Schools Conference, World Infant Aquatics Conference, Hall of Fame inductions and associated events. The standout function was ASSA’s Awards Gala, hosted by swimming and media stars Duncan Armstrong OAM and Jasmin Forsyth.
A feature of ISSS 2018 was the valuable opportunity for SwimSchoolers to attend SPLASH! on the same site. Lunches were provided by SPASA to maximise time in the expo hall, with many relevant exhibits readily embraced.
The Australian Swim Schools Association’s CEO Ross Gage paid tribute to SPASA for helping the event be such a success, including sponsoring the keynote speaker.
“The assistance from SPASA in sponsoring ISSS 2018 keynote speaker Krissy Bartlett Tonnenson from the USA was a major factor in making the event the tremendous success it was,” he says.
ALFAQ ran its expanded commercial industry seminar at SPLASH! culminating in its annual award presentation as part of the SPASA Australia national awards gala.
ALFAQ president Dan Kwaczynski says ALFA was very pleased to be a part of SPLASH! again.
“It really provides a great opportunity to connect the commercial pool industry with the wider pool community – the domestic pool industry, suppliers and swim schools to name a few. We need to forge closer ties as we all continue to be professional and grow the industry,” he says.
“Commercial industry stalwart Belgravia Leisure was awarded the ALFAQ award of excellence, and in a clean sweep, Gympie’s new Aquatic Centre won facility of the year – also operated by Belgravia.”
Kwaczynski, who is also managing director of Maytronics, says that SPLASH! is simply the best.
“So many opportunities to meet new customers, connect with existing customers and generally network in the industry,” he says.
“Combining SPLASH! and SPASA is great for the industry. SPLASH! seems to have a life of its own, and keeps growing and developing. We’re privileged to be a part of such an iconic event.”
Women in Leadership
The Women in Leadership Seminar, sponsored by Maytronics, was an outstanding success and a precursor to the upcoming Women in Leadership Network.
The Women in Leadership Seminar brought women leaders from the industry together to look at how they can continue to strengthen their positions and empower each another.
It included presentations by Elena Gosse, CEO of AIS, Lynley Papineau, managing director of Aquatic Leisure Technologies; Roslyn Ronning, managing director of C-Change Potential; and Lee Salisbury, owner of Sapphire Wetwork Pool & Spa.
“I’d like to congratulate the wonderful ladies who attended the inaugural SPASA Women in Leadership Seminar,” says SPASA Australia communication manager Suzie Kent.
“We all benefited greatly from the insightful and powerful presentations of the four speakers. I look forward to participating in the upcoming Women in Leadership Network, which will assist in providing the tools for promotion and growth of women in the industry.”
The next issue of SPLASH! magazine will feature a full review of the show including interviews with attendees and exhibitors, as well as information on the associated events.
The next SPLASH! Pool & Spa Trade Show will be held on July 29 to 30, 2020.
Every SPLASH! sells out early. To ensure your preferred space contact David Stennett on firstname.lastname@example.org.