Has SPATEX ‘turned of age’, or has the industry matured?

The industry show has just celebrated its 21st, we turn 40 this year. Will 2017 be the year the wet leisure industry comes of age?

Birthdays. There’s something about birthdays that makes you sit back and assess what is going on. Where you have come from and where you are going.

And some birthdays are more noticeable than others. Turning 21. Turning 40. Those two in particular seem to be about growing up and becoming – a little bit – more mature. And maybe those numbers started me thinking, but now I have begun to think, the picture seems to be getting clearer and clearer.

Like so many of us, I spent 3 days in the Richo Arena. The show itself looked better than ever and I think the industry had really settled in to its new home. That venue, and the new mid-week opening, certainly go towards making SPATEX feel much more business like but I think there is more to it than that.

Cowboy hats, but no cowboys.

Whatever the theme of the party might have been, the show itself certainly felt very professional. There were a lot of very impressive stands on display and a lot of impressive products and technology on those stands. Dare I say we are beginning to look more like the show in Lyon, albeit on a slightly smaller scale.

As far as visitor numbers were concerned, I would say that we were slightly down on last year in quantity but definitely up in quality.

And they were in good spirits. Everyone I spoke with was very upbeat having enjoyed a good end to the 2016 season and were already experiencing a good start to 2017.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

“…and the publication of the annual results has become a highlight of SPATEX.”

The published results of the Wet Leisure Industry Survey were available to anyone and everyone at SPATEX and I think they make for some pretty fascinating reading.

If you didn’t pick up your copy at SPATEX, then you can download a copy from here or you can read the results that are posted on the survey’s website, wetleisure.com.

It would be interesting to know what you pick out from the survey’s findings, but what I see is a strong industry that is making the best of new technologies and reacting to customer trends. An industry that has at last come to accept that marketing is an essential part of modern business and an industry that has diversified to the extent that, although we will always be dependant on the weather to some extent, the affect of a poor summer is no longer the catastrophe it once was.

In fact, I think that if it weren’t for the uncertainty of Brexit, our industry would be in the best shape it has ever been.


I suppose any business is a combination of the products and services that it offers and the people who are in that business.

We put our people front and centre in Coventry with the #TeamGC hashtag as well as by having refreshments and more seating on our stand so that people could linger longer and talk about the products we had on show in a more relaxed atmosphere.

But what were the products that people wanted to talk most about? Well, it seems that people’s time is precious to them, they want to buy products that will give years of trouble free service and they want to save energy wherever they can.

Crystal bespoke dosing systems.

The appeals of automatic dosing for owners are crystal clear saving time on testing, avoiding dosage mistakes and ensuring clean, clear water. However, not every pool business that is approached to provide such a system has the knowledge, resource or experience to do so.

Crystal provides a simple solution that provides a team of experienced Golden Coast engineers who are equipped to handle the whole process; from conducting a free on-site survey to specifying equipment and service requirements right through to delivering a planned maintenance schedule.

Badu Profi pump.

The incredibly quiet and efficient BADU Profi is the world’s first seal-less swimming pool pump. Its innovative contactless magnetic coupling means the maintenance and leak issues associated with mechanical seals are a thing of the past.

Duratech Dura Pro heat pump.

The Dura Pro builds on the excellent Dura range to deliver a pump that’s even more efficient than the Dura+.

Dura Pro pumps can reach extremely high coefficients of performance regardless of outside temperature, meaning pools are swim-ready in no time, with temperature adjustable in steps of 0.1°C.

Another product that caused quite a stir was the Ultima all weather cover from DEL, but perhaps that was partly due to the fact that Luxury Pools won the £5,000 prize draw that had been running on the cover throughout the year.

Roll on 2017.

We have made our business plans for the year ahead and now we begin to turn those plans into actions.

The plan is for our business to continue to grow throughout 2017 and in order to do that we are going to have to keep on finding new products that are not only innovative but have a real value for you and your customers. We are going to have to continue to offer the best technical and customer support in the industry and we are going to keep on enjoying what we do.

We have already made some changes to one of the ways that we can deliver that support.

Have you visited our new website yet? Aside from a new look, we have brought together a lot of useful resource including volumes of marketing advice specifically written for the wet leisure industry covering everything from your van livery to how best to go about up-selling and cross-selling.

So those are our plans. If there is anything that we can do to help you make the most of the year ahead, please just drop us an email or call myself or any of the customer service team on 01271 378100.

All the best, Jamie.