Are you part of the 60% looking forward to a great 2016?

SPATEX, surveys, social marketing and a stunning offer. It’s definitely time to get your ducks in a row for the coming season.All in all, I would say that our industry is in pretty good shape at the moment.

This year’s SPATEX was a real success. There were lots of great exhibitors and ‘best ever’ visitor numbers. It was particularly good to see commercial visitors from other leisure and tourism sectors.

The results to last year’s Wet Leisure Survey were announced at SPATEX and they made very encouraging reading. One of the headlines from that survey being that 60% of us were expecting to find business conditions ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ this coming year.

It seems as if Social Media marketing has come of age. Not only does the Survey cite it as one of the industry’s most popular tools for promoting their businesses, but our Marketing Director, Aren Grimshaw, made two presentations on the subject that drew in the crowds and prompted a great deal of interest and discussion.

And we have one of our best ever offers coming out on a fantastic new product from DEL. But more of that later.

SPATEX was in excellent health.

Golden Coast has been a leading supporter and advocate of SPATEX since the show began.

Having said that, it seemed as if the exhibition was loosing its way a few years ago with dwindling interest and shrinking numbers. Well, the 20th anniversary show certainly put paid to that.

Moving to the Ricoh Arena has really invigorated the industry and it was good to see so many companies willing to invest the time and resource that it takes to exhibit. For our part, we took one of the biggest stands that we have ever had and it certainly paid off.

We always try to take something new to SPATEX and this year one of those innovations was the BADU Easy Fit pump. If the amount of attention it received is anything to go by, it will prove as popular with the industry as we thought it would be.

As always, the show was an opportunity to see old friends and make some new ones although trying to recognise a familiar face beneath a sombrero and behind a moustache made for some interesting moments.

I suppose that SPATEX itself was wearing a new hat this year having adopted the title of ‘The Pool, Spa and Wellness Show’, which leads us on to some of the findings from the 2015 Wet Leisure Survey.

“Consumers are becoming more educated on health benefits but there is still a lot to do on the education process.”

The health sector is a booming part of UK business and it’s good to see our industry become associated with that.

Pools, spas, saunas and steam; they all have health benefits that our customers can enjoy and that’s an important story that we should be weaving into our marketing.

However, the results of the survey point out that the real strength that our industry has to offer is a combination of health benefits with fun and relaxation; the mixture that almost 80% of the survey respondents said their customers were looking for.

As an industry, the more that we can get that story across to our customers the closer we will be to having a great season and indeed, a great future.

According to the survey, more and more wet leisure businesses are turning to social media to connect with their potential customers. As one survey respondent puts it, “Social media is widespread and definitely a positive way to get the company out there, but it’s constantly evolving and needs to be managed correctly.”

And it certainly is ‘constantly evolving’. For some people it can come as a real shock that organic reach for a business page on Facebook is now down to 10% or less. That is, only about 10% of the people who Like your page will see your post or update unless you promote it; unless you pay for them to see it.

For any business, Facebook is a paid-for advertising media now. The good news is that it’s a very good one.

‘The Secret to Winning New Business through Social Media.’

For the third year running, Aren Grimshaw presented on the skills, techniques and strategies of marketing at SPATEX and the above was the title of this year’s presentation.

Amoungst a host of other things, Aren pointed out that growth and profit aren’t necessarily the same thing, the value of customer data and the even greater value of knowing who your best customers are.

A year long offer on a year-round cover.

DEL have launched their new Ultima safety cover. Suitable for all seasons, it will completely secure a pool against accidental entry as well as dirt and debris.

We’ve launched our best ever offer to promote it.

If you buy one of the new Ultima covers, you’ll be entered into a draw to win £5,000. Subsequent to that, every additional DEL cover you order throughout the year will earn you an additional entry. The promotion is running for the whole of 2016.

So, are you looking forward to a great year?