Our industry doesn’t figure in the national media as often as we’d like it to, but is it true that there’s no such thing as bad publicity?
Under the spotlight.
It’s always disappointed me that the wet leisure industry doesn’t seem to get the PR and media coverage that I think it deserves.
When we are put under the spotlight, it often seems to be for the wrong reasons. You know, newspaper articles about basement pools that are seen as a symptom of the super-rich taking over London and saunas being shown in what can only be described in the sleaziest of lights.
We all know that isn’t fair and it certainly isn’t an un-biased view of two important sectors in our industry.
Hot tubs and spas have often done rather better at the hands of Fleet Street and I think that they have come top of the pile in a couple of newspaper’s surveys of the UK’s ‘wish list’.
So I was interested to see what sort of picture ‘Hot Tub Britain’ would give of this third sector of the wet leisure industry.
I guess what we got was a fly-on-the-wall documentary about a family run business that sells ‘awkward to deliver’ products. Some human interest from the tensions inside the family and inside the company. A few jokes and laughs.
But I think that’s what the show looked like from the point of view of us, inside the industry. Perhaps the general public saw something else as well.
They saw that everyone who bought a hot tub was happy, really very happy with it.
They saw that those satisfied customers came from all walks of life, from footballers to dinner ladies.
They saw one of those customers saying, ‘You know what, anyone can afford a hot tub’.
From talking to other people in the industry , I think the overall impression has been positive. Yes, it could have been a bit more ‘up-market’, perhaps there were a few technical issues but this was never going to be an hour-long advert for spas and hot tubs.
A large number of dealers have even reported an increase in the number of enquiries they got after the show and surely, there can be nothing bad about that.
Beneath the sun.
This summer started off with a scorching July and in the main it has been a good summer although it’s true to say that the temperatures have started to fall off a little.
But there is talk of an Indian summer, an October heatwave, and that would certainly do wonders in extending our season. What’s interesting to bear in mind though, is that it isn’t the thermometer that decides what makes a good summer for our industry, it’s the rain gauge.
That was an insight that came out of last year’s Wet Leisure Survey. It showed pretty clearly that wetter summers were worse summers for our industry.
It also shows one of the benefits of the survey, because you’d expect it was a hot summer that we should be hoping for, rather than a dry one. The survey report tells a different story.
And it’s time to fill in that questionnaire again.
This will be the 4th year of the Wet Leisure Survey and it really is starting to build a detailed picture of where our industry has been and where it is going.
As I’m sure you know, we make the report that is generated from this survey freely available to everyone at SPATEX and it will also be available as a free download.
The number of businesses responding to the survey, filling in the questionnaire, has increased each and every year and we really want to see that particular trend carry on.
The more responses that the survey gets, the more accurate the picture becomes and that allows businesses like yourselves to see how they are doing compared to the market in general and to see what trends are developing and where new growth areas might be.
Inside the Ricoh Arena.
Although it’s still almost 4 months away, people are getting excited about SPATEX 2015.
Apparently there is an extended floor plan thanks to the number of exhibitors who want to attend. I know that we’ve got our space booked and we are looking forward to showing a range of exciting and innovative new products.
I think that it is sometimes easy for all of us to forget just how quickly our industry is changing. Perhaps because swimming, steam bathing and, to a slightly lesser extent, hot tubs have such a long history, we see ourselves as doing the same things and offering our customers the same products and services as we always have. But that simply isn’t true.
Right across the wet leisure market; from pools and spas to saunas, technology and design that was innovative, niche and top-end a few years ago now represents what mainstream customers expect. Products and services that were fine a few years ago just don’t cut the mustard today.
One of the things that we work hardest here at Golden Coast is finding those new products and bringing them to the market. Making them available for you and your business and giving you the sales and technical support so that you can profit from them.
So; Indian summers, surveys and SPATEX.
When I look at our industry, I see something that is exciting and dynamic.
Health, relaxation and well-being have never been more important to our customers. At the end of the day, those are things we sell.
Never before have we had so many products that address their concerns about being environmentally aware, about being economical and sustainable or about enjoying the very best of modern design.
Never before have we had such a clear picture about what is going on in our industry.
Now, let’s just have a bit more good luck with the weather and… 🙂
I wish you well and if there is any way we can help you and your business, please just ask