Trade events and networking benefits

BSPF Managing Director Chris Hayes is advocating the benefits of trade events along with the importance of educational and networking activities that assist both association members and the wider industry.

Chris, who is also BISHTA and SPATA Managing Director, believes this year was given a real boost with an excellent record-breaking SPATEX 2024. During the event Pete Grinnall from Complete Spas handed the role of BSPF President to Dyfed Thompson-Smith from Astralpool UK and Chris has highlighted that the annual wet leisure showcase’s importance in boosting networking between exhibitors and their trade customers cannot be underestimated.

“This show remains vital to facilitate existing business relationships and to foster new ones,” divulged Chris; “SPATEX also provides an excellent education platform, and with both Arenas reporting healthy numbers of attendees, this should ensure the industry has the correct information on many topics.

“The entertainment was also very positive, with record numbers of attendees at the gala evening to see who won the awards, and there was also a very well-attended curry evening at the local brewery. Speaking to Michele Bridle, Helen Mulingani and Penny Studdy they were delighted with the feedback they received about the show’s positive impact.

“BISHTA is in discussions with Coventry University about the research they have already undertaken on the benefits of warm water immersion, which they shared at SPATEX. It is hoped that other research will be conducted that can benefit the industry

“Huge congratulations to the SPATA and BISHTA award winners announced during the 2024 British Pool and Hot Tub Awards and to the 2023 ISPE Award winners for being re-presented with their trophies. Thank you to all the award sponsors for supporting the event.

“The PR for the industry from all of the award winners has been boosted, and this will ensure that Sallie Leslie-Golding, on behalf of PIP, can promote the excellent work undertaken by members to persuade domestic and trade customers to invest their money into leisure projects with the members.

“The PR does not stop there, as for some of the 2024 British Pool and Hot Tub Award winners there is a chance to be short-listed for the 2024 EUSA Awards. The winners will be announced at Piscine Global in Lyon in November, so good luck to anyone lucky enough to be nominated.”

Chris has also reported that the work on European standards is continuing, with a revision likely for EN 17125, which covers domestic spas and hot tubs. He has also divulged that some discussions will likely be held about possible necessary amendments to tighten the safety requirements to minimise suction entrapment further.

“While the European standards are being amended, BISHTA and SPATA will also update their respective standards (and potentially other guidance) during the rest of this year,” revealed Chris.

“Thanks to everyone involved in its drafting, the industry now has a 7-point code for ‘Selling Chemicals Responsibly’. The key messages are about some legal requirements and suggested good practices to ensure that everyone in the supply chain is aware of their responsibilities for being aware of which chemicals are covered by which legislation.

“Training is part of the Code to raise awareness of the various pieces of legislation, such as the Offensive Weapons Act and the Explosives Precursors and Poisons Regulation, to name but two. The need to report suspicious transactions and thefts of ‘Regulated’ and ‘Reportable’ chemicals is also very important.

“The Code also encourages confidential reporting of other companies undertaking illegal chemical sales activity. The Code will be distributed to both BISHTA and SPATA members and other companies, as everyone in the industry selling chemicals will be encouraged to sign up for it.”

Earlier this year, the first of 2024’s webinars saw Surrey and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards provide members with insight into warranties and company obligations and Chris has revealed that other webinars are being planned, while members will be able to get updates from BISHTA or SPATA News.

“BISHTA and SPATA are in the final planning stages for the annual get-together,” reported Chris.

“Since the pandemic, the Information and Networking Day (combined with the AGM) has been organised online. However, this year, the plan is for BISHTA and SPATA to join forces and arrange a joint conference, so there will be a variety of guest speakers to help members in their businesses.

“As the BSPF enters this new chapter under the leadership of Dyfed Thompson-Smith, the organisation reaffirms its commitment to promoting excellence, safety, and sustainability in the wet leisure industry across the United Kingdom.

“I thank Pete Grinnall for his dedication and effort as BSPF President throughout his term. Pete will continue serving the BSPF as the Immediate Past President. He is also Vice-Chair on the BISHTA Committee and an established member of the BISHTA Technical Committee.”