Hot praise for SPATEX organisers


SPATEX organisers have been swimming in a strong current of praise from leading hot tub and pool specialists after the success of the 21st ‘coming of age’ edition of the wet leisure extravaganza in Coventry.

A large number of companies have already committed to the 22nd edition after many exhibitors reported that the latest special anniversary outing of SPATEX, which had a popular new mid-week format, has been their best performance out of the four occasions that it has been hosted in the West Midlands at the Ricoh Arena; following a 17-year run at its previous Brighton location.

Certikin International Marketing Manager Cath Saunders, who helped the Caldera Spas distributor and wet leisure product heavyweight to promote the new incarnation of the multiple WhatSpa? Best Buy Award-winning Cantabria from the Utopia Series by Watkins Wellness, has been among the exhibition’s staunchest advocates and once again heaped praise on the organisers, including Michele Bridle and Helen Mulingani.

“We had a very successful show from start to finish and are already looking forward to next year,” said Cath.

“The whole event was very professionally run by the SPATEX team.”

Certikin Managing Director Neil Murray said: “I thought the whole thing was a great success. Well done.”

Wellis distributor and Chesterfield-based Superior Spas chief Rob Carlin, pictured left, is planning for the 22nd edition after revealing that he will be securing a hat-trick of appearances as an exhibitor next year after achieving success this time round promoting new hot tubs and swim spas that have been launched to the British market by Hungary-based manufacturer Wellis.

“We had a very busy and successful show with both new and existing customers,” said Rob. “Since the show we have signed up two new dealers. We will definitely be exhibiting again in 2018.”

Aqua Warehouse Group chief Richard Hart, whose Essex-based outfit distributes the L.A Spas and Vita Spa brands of hot tubs and swim spas, was another familiar SPATEX face who provided glowing praise for this year’s event.

Richard had two stands, one with a unique seating area to highlight the flourishing Covana range of automatic hot tub covers, and another to promote products from the Aqua Spa Supplies division, and revealed that he was delighted with the ‘best ever’ exhibition.

“This has been our best show ever!” said Richard. “We saw a lot of people and had very positive comments about the automatic Covana covers and our new stand’s seating structure, which has been constructed from used pallets.

“We were been inundated with requests for the seating but we’ve had to tell people that we don’t supply this, it’s just for exhibition purposes!”

Dan Johnson of Artesian Spas dealership H20 was among visitors praising the size of the exhibition and enthused: “It’s the first time in years I didn’t get round in an afternoon and had to come back the following morning.“Furthermore the show felt big, airy and spacious, yet crammed full of well represented manufacturers and wholesalers. There seemed to be an excited buzz about the place too.”

Positive change

Spa Crest distributor and Spa Crest Europe chief Tony Welsby, who promoted his thriving association with Tuff Spas at the event, is among a large percentage of exhibitors who have highlighted the positive change to a new mid-week schedule.


“We thought the move to a midweek show worked really well,” reported. “We had more visitors to our stand this year than ever.

“Everyone we spoke to was very positive about the whole show, which now falls into line with all other major wet leisure trade shows across Europe and the USA.

“Another point we heard was that many visitors now find they can visit the show and get home in the day, rather than paying out for overnight accommodation.”Paul Webb of Fairlocks Pool Products was another exhibitor who enjoyed a ‘best ever’ performance as a SPATEX exhibitor at the Ricoh Arena and also praised the mid-week schedule.

“I felt this year’s show was the best for a while and certainly the best since the move to Coventry. We actually made sales from the stand this year, which was great.

“As I suspected the move to midweek was much better and I thought it worked really well, making the whole event seem even better and professional. I was also impressed by the whole atmosphere, which was so positive.”

Colin Day of Lovibond said: “We really enjoyed SPATEX 2017 and it is great to see everyone under one roof.

“I think having the show being mid-week worked very well and we had a steady flow of people coming to our stand. Thursday afternoon was a little quiet but this is normal for the last day of a show. Both our seminars went down well and certainly helped to draw people to us.”

Quality leads

Golden Coast Managing Director Jamie Adams is another staunch SPATEX supporter who reported that the show had now officially come of age and that his family-run hot tub and wet leisure product company had enjoyed meeting with quality visitors during the three days of the exhibition.

“SPATEX is a superb platform for us to showcase a range of new product innovations, catch up with customers and make valuable new contacts,” said Jamie.

“Footfall may have been slightly down but the quality of visitors was certainly up and we came away with a healthy crop of enquires to develop. For anyone in the wet leisure industry make sure you add next year’s dates to your diary as the show really has come of age and is an event you just can’t afford to miss.”

Almost Heaven chief Rick Mouw, who is spearheading the promotion of his saunas along with Passion Spas promotion in the USA, praised the professionalism of the organisers and reported that he was delighted with the exhibition appearance, which has resulted in his dealer ranks being swelled in the UK and his commitment to a successive appearance at SPATEX next year.

“We were very pleased with the results,” said Rick; “There was a steady flow of dealers on each day and the quality of the contacts and inquiries was very encouraging. We set up several new dealers at the show and have many follow-ups to make.“The SPATEX staff were very helpful and checked with us each day to see if we needed any assistance. The professionalism and willingness to assist, exhibited by the SPATEX organiser Michele Bridle, was very helpful and much appreciated. We will definitely exhibit again in 2018.”

Jan Smith of All Seas Spas & Wellness was another exhibitor who reported a high level of quality visitors to the company’s stand.

“It was my pleasure to exhibit at SPATEX 2017 and I have told everyone at Allseas that it is an important must-attend event in the wet leisure calendar,” said Jan. “The quality of visitors was high.”

Mark Osman of Heatstar said: “As always we found this years SPATEX exhibition to be an invaluable experience. The quality of the show is second to none, everything from communication with you the organisers through to the themed after party and of course the visitors in-between, is just brilliant.

“Exhibiting at SPATEX always gives Heatstar the chance to make contact with loyal customers, generating plenty of leads, and this year was no different. It won’t be long until we start thinking about SPATEX 2018!”

Christoph Ott of Speck Pumpen divulged: “We were able to successfully achieve our target of supporting our distributors. We were also able to have some interesting conversations with new contacts. SPATEX is the best opportunity to present the company and its products professionally for the national market in the UK.

Jeroen Herms of Pacific Spas reported: “SPATEX 2017 was very fruitful for us. We had some good quality leads and we believe this will be the beginning of something great!”

Bob Baylis of Etatron said: “I would like to say a BIG thank you to Michele, Helen and the SPATEX team.

“The help in setting up was spot on, the attendance excellent as was the quality of the leads with new as well as existing customers.”

Aileen Byrne of Brio Group said: “I want to thank Michele for a fantastic show. It went brilliantly and we found it very good with a big increase in business even from last year. I know the ISPE Workshops had a lot of visitors too, and Robert was delighted with the turnout for his seminar.”

Dave Foster of Designworks Tiles said: “SPATEX was again excellent for Designworks Tiles. A special thanks to Michele, Helen and the team who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make SPATEX 2017 our best yet!

“The outcomes we have had have been fantastic and I can’t thank you enough. The quality of customers and potential new leads is exactly why SPATEX is a must to exhibit at.”

Positive experience

Dannielle Jackson of Legionella Control Association Ltd (LCA) highlighted the enjoyment experienced by exhibitors and visitors and said: “The LCA and Water Management Society had a wonderful time and found the three days at SPATEX a really positive experience. The show was extremely well-organised and seemed to be enjoyed by all participating and visiting.”

Ravinder Sandhu of the Swimming Teachers’s Association declared: “The team thoroughly enjoyed their time at the show and found it to be very beneficial and educational.”

Mike Causer of Dryden enthused: “SPATEX 2017 was good for us and we had a number of interesting discussions and meetings with existing and prospective clients and other stand holders.”

Darren Tillyer of GMT Spas said: “Thank you Michele for another super show and thanks to the rest of the team, too.”

Frederic of Claeys Oase said: “We were very satisfied with the show.”

Promotional success

As well as praising the organisers Janice Calvert from the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) also highlighted the success of promotional activities, which included PR by Penny Farmer, and declared: “SPATEX 2017 was a great success for PWTAG, which is a testimony to the whole of the organising team. The PWTAG stand had a steady flow of visitors and the quality of the enquiries received were very positive.

“SPATEX provided PWTAG with a good platform to present our services and demonstrate what we have to offer. It was a very professional event and the extensive advertising attracted a wide audience, bringing life to the event and encouraged great networking. PWTAG would like to express a sincere thanks to the entire SPATEX team for providing such a successful show.”

Sorina Voitikovski of Alpha Industries enthused: “As always Michele, you and your team have been amazing. Thank you very much for your support. You are an example to all the other trade shows in the industry.”

Mark Hickingbotham of Aqua Water Systems said: “The show went smoothly and the organisation and service were excellent.”

Sandra Lahary of Inbeca said: “It was a real pleasure to participate in the 2017 edition and we hope that all the leads will be successful.”

Workshop praise

ISPE General Secretary Ross Alcock reported an outstanding attendance for this year’s Workshop programme. With just under 500 delegates over the three days, attendance was over six per cent up on 2016 and 42 per cent up on the very respectable attendance figures from 2012. All sessions of this year’s very varied programme were well-attended and, once again, the evidence shows how the increasing thirst for knowledge and training has helped to make the ISPE Workshop programme an integral part of the SPATEX success story.

Keith Moody of La Paloma Contracts based in Spain voiced the opinion of many when he enthused: “Each year I come over from Spain to attend SPATEX, not just for the exhibition and display of new products but also for the seminars and workshops.

“Living and working as I do in Spain, it is important to keep up to date with all the industry training, education and standards and SPATEX is an unparalleled free source.”

Keith Bull of Nsure also provided praise for the seminars and workshops and declared that this year’s event could not be improved on.

“A very well run and managed exhibition to celebrate SPATEX’s 21st,” said Keith; “As in previous years, Nsure experienced a very positive vibe during the three days.

“SPATEX is a great base to meet existing clients along with prospective clients and the networking opportunities are excellent. In addition, the various workshops and seminars were of great interest and provided the opportunity to learn more about the ‘ever changing’ wet leisure industry.

“Nsure will be back for SPATEX 2018. From a personal perspective I really can’t think of any comments relating to things you could improve on. I believe that you really got things right!”

To make a stand booking for the 22nd edition of SPATEX, running from Tuesday, January 30, to Thursday, February 1, contact the SPATEX team via email: or or telephone directly on: +44 (0) 1264 358558.