Loyal supporters of SPATEX, including leading hot tub brands and wet leisure companies, will be travelling to Coventry in February for a historic change of venue. Here HTR puts the spotlight on the relocation to the Jaguar Exhibition Hall
As the saying goes, a change is as good as a rest and SPATEX organisers have taken the bold move to adopt a new location for the historic 2014 outing of the exhibition. They are positive that the home of the UK’s largest casino at the Ricoh Arena in the West Midlands is not going to be a gamble for the event, which is now in its ‘coming of age’ 18th year.
SPATEX will now be making history when it is hosted for the first time from February 2 to 4 at the Jaguar Exhibition Centre in Coventry, which will be celebrating its own magnificent seventh anniversary shortly after the exhibition comes to an end, after bidding a fond farewell this year to its long-running south coast venue at the Hilton Brighton Metropole Exhibition Centre in Brighton.
Loyal exhibitors have quickly declared their support and booked stands throughout this year since the new venue was announced during this year’s SPATEX exhibition. Organisers are now brimming with confidence that the sell-out move to Coventry will prove a success for the exhibition, which will include a unique Leisure Operator’s Day.
Bigger and better
During the summer, organiser Michele Bridle made a ‘bigger and better’ pledge after revealing that over three quarters of stand space had already been sold for the SPATEX exhibition, which she believes is an endorsement of the decision to make the move from Brighton.
Also, with the backing of all the major distributors, SPATEX has announced the launch of the new dedicated Leisure Operator’s Day on Tuesday February 4th, consisting of valuable training and workshops for managers and leisure operators from leading industry experts.
“We are planning on SPATEX 2014 Ricoh-style to be bigger and better than anything that has gone before in the show’s illustrious 18-year history,” said Michele.
Visitor registration is now open at www.spatex.co.uk to allow trade visitors to fill in the simple online form in advance and sign up for the SPATEX newsletter.
A trio of opportunities to socialise and network with other members of the wet leisure industry have been organised to run throughout the three days of SPATEX 2014.
On Saturday February 1, a Pre-Show Entertainment evening will be following the culmination of setting up of the stands, which this year organisers promise will be easy and quick, bearing in mind the Jaguar Exhibition Hall at the Ricoh is purpose built for this exhibition requirement. The evening is intended to allow exhibitors to relax in the comfort of the Ricoh’s luxurious G-Casino with its bar and restaurant for an evening of live music and delicious food.
Awards and rewards
The annual BISHTA and SPATA Industry Awards Evening has also relocated from the south coast to Coventry and will be held on Sunday February 2. The evening, which is open to everyone to attend, is being hosted in the impressive E.ON Lounge overlooking the Ricoh stadium and will include live entertainment and a gala dinner. Dress code is smart (black tie optional).
Organisers have promised that it is going to be more inclusive and broader in scope than ever before. The ISPE, for the first time will be acknowledging the winners of their annual awards too alongside the presentation of awards to the SPATA and BISHTA winners.
During the 2013 BISHTA Awards ceremony, winners once again were Jacuzzi and Passion Spas retailers Oyster Pools and Leisure, while the young guns at Spa Crest and Villeroy & Boch dealership Waterstream also landed one of the industry accolades.
Once the second day of the exhibition is completed, on Monday February 3, SPATEX organisers have promised there will be‘a Networking Night to remember’, which is being hosted in the Ricoh’s G-Casino. All visitors and exhibitors are welcome to attend the evening, which will include socialising in the bar area, live entertainment, a la carte or buffet menus and the chance to test your luck in the casino will be at your disposal to make it a not-to-be missed social event.
“SPATEX 2014’s new venue at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena affords the exhibition some totally unique opportunities,” says Michele Bridle.
“So we are planning to fully capitalise on them by staging three fantastic social events, the likes of which SPATEX attendees have not experienced before. We promise, that business and networking will not stop when the Exhibition closes. That’s when the party will begin!”
The De Vere at the Ricoh Arena provides a selection of pitch-view rooms, standard and executive doubles, along with additional service apartments and suites. The Water Suite has a Jacuzzi bath in the bedroom, as well as WiFi-enabled workdesk, king-sized bed with en-suite facilities and a lounge area, six-seater dining table with a sofa bed and lounge chair.
Additional hotel choices include the Hilton Coventry Hotel, which is located ten minutes drive away from the Ricoh Arena, The Chace Hotel and Macdonald Ansty Hall.
The Grosvenor G Casino Coventry at the Ricoh Arena is the largest casino in the UK and has been dubbed a ‘complete leisure experience’. It is open 12pm to 6am daily and is part of the Rank Group, which includes established brands in gaming and leisure, including Mecca Bingo.
SPATEX organisers have been busy producing an information pack giving details of hotel and restaurants in the area as well as how to make the most of the complete G Casino Experience with its great range of packages starting from £15 per person, which includes a free drink, a bar meal, £5 gaming chip and even tuition!
The new look Singers Bar & Bistro has been divided into a restaurant, bar area and coffee lounge with Internet access and plasma television screens. It provides versatile dining with both early morning breakfast and evening dinner.
Breakfast is served, Monday to Friday, from 6:30am to 10am and Saturday and Sunday, from 8am to 11am. Dinner, meanwhile is served Monday to Sunday from 6pm to 10pm, with last orders at 9:45pm. Booking is recommended for dinner to avoid disappointment.
Already, over a hundred exhibitors have booked their stands along with leading hot tub industry representatives including (with Stand details if confirmed): Catalina Spas (Stand 340); Certikin/Caldera Spas (Stand 430); L.A. Spas (Stand 755); Passion Spas (Stand 450); SCP UK LTD (Stand 640); Spa Crest Europe (Stand 540); Sundance Spas distributor Golden Coast (Stand 650) and SunSpas.
They will be joined by a host of wet leisure specialists including: La Motte Europe (Stand 220); Pollet Pool Group (PPG) that distribute BAYROL products (Stand 350); Complete Pool Controls (CPC) (Stand 320); AquaFinesse (Stand 260) and Procopi UK.
Loyal exhibitors have quickly declared their support and booked stands throughout this year since the new venue was announced during the SPATEX 2013 exhibition.
Spa Crest Europe Managing Director and SPATEX stalwart Tony Welsby was one of the seasoned exhibitors to sign up straight away for the 2014 show during this year’s
final installation in Brighton. Along with his hardworking team, he will once again be taking up prominent exhibitor space when the event makes its Coventry debut.
Along with highlighting the three lines of hot tubs from the USA manufacturer, Tony and his team will be heavily promoting the fact that they are now carbon-fibre reinforced. Dealer numbers have been swelled this year and Spa Crest Europe will also be highlighting its Brand2Go initiative to prospective retailers.
“We are all geared up for SPATEX 2014 and really looking forward to the event and will be promoting the fact that we are the only manufacturers of the world’s only carbon-fibre reinforced hot tubs,” said Tony.
“This will be our first opportunity to officially promote this concept in the UK and we will be making a significant play on the fact that we now use carbon fibre in our shells. We also will be highlighting the latest Balboa equipment in our hot tubs and have a few additional announcements that we are saving for SPATEX.
“In the past we have taken a large amount of space to promote our products and we will actually be accommodating a bigger floor area in the new venue.”
Caldera Spas exclusive distributor for the UK Certikin International has cemented its reputation in the industry during consecutive SPATEX appearances. The wet leisure power house is another vocal advocate of the exhibition.
“SPATEX is an excellent launch pad for our new products” said Marketing Manager Cath Saunders; “And, aside from our annual seminars, Certikin regards it as one of the industry’s most important dates.
“There was a real buzz at SPATEX 2013, making it the best one in my opinion for many years. The whole event went without a hitch. It was
a very smooth and well-organised event from start to finish. From a business perspective, SPATEX was very productive for us. We used SPATEX as a launch platform for our Win A Car competition and generated a great deal of interest in Certikin Dosing as a result.”
Catalina Spas Ltd Managing Director Stephen Crabb believes that the move to the new venue in Coventry will create the next chapter ‘story’ in the history of the exhibition.
“At Catalina we are all looking forward to the move to the Ricoh Arena in 2014,” said Stephen.
“Brighton has been very good for us over the years but we feel a change will provide the organisers with a new ‘story’ that will, without doubt, generate interest and, we hope, a good following and support from our industry. We must remember that SPATEX’s profits support and promote our industry.
“We are looking forward to the Exhibition being all on one level, with the promise of a fast and easy build up and break down. Catalina is confident it will allow SPATEX to grow and encourage more exhibitors and visitors. Well done SPATEX – let’s make it an event to remember!”
Golden Coast Managing Director and Sundance Spas distributor Jamie Adams added: “Having an opportunity to attend an industry showcase is a key part of our marketing strategy.“So I want to see SPATEX consolidate its position as THE show and develop it to be as attractive as possible to all the potential exhibitors and visitors in the wet leisure industry.”
Passion Spas will mark its fifth SPATEX appearance with its largest ever stand to promote its thriving success in the swim spa market.
“The swim spa market is growing across Europe and we want to try and increase our presence in the UK with our Passion Spas Sport Collection,” said Passion Spas founder Dolf Nieland.
“Dealerships who just specialise in hot tubs should really be looking to expand into swim spas. It makes a lot of sense.”
Dolf will also be highlighting the exclusive AquaRolling massage system that is proving popular with dealers and their customers and the Dutch company will be launching more new product developments this year.
Mark Ramsden is another established exhibitor who will be making the journey to the new venue to promote his Complete Pool Controls spa chemicals supplier services.
“I’m quite a strong supporter of SPATEX and the money it generates for the industry, so I will be supporting the event in the future,” declared Mark.
Swimming Teachers Association Operations Director Theo Millward added: “As a proud supporting partner of 2013 and now of 2014, we are delighted that the show has moved to a larger and highly impressive purpose-built venue that benefits the standing in the industry.
“The central Midlands location can only be good news for reaching more visitors and exhibitors and we are looking forward to our further association with the show and seeing all the exciting plans coming to fruition. It makes sense to partner with the UK’s largest dedicated wet leisure event.”
Once again, Hot Tub Retailer magazine will be among the media partners and exhibition sponsors including BSPF, ISPE, UK Trade & Investment, Health Club Management and Holiday Parks Management.
HTR Editor-in-Chief Nick Clamp has urged dealers to gain industry knowledge by visiting the exhibition and show their support for their brands by attending the show.
“This is a momentous milestone in SPATEX’s history and we hope that the wet leisure industry will support the exhibition by travelling industry will support the exhibition by travelling to the new venue in Coventry,” says Nick.
“With so many high-profile exhibitors mixing “With so many high-profile exhibitors mixing with leading representatives from the wet leisure industry, we would urge dealers to support their own brands and distributors that will have invested considerable finances in their stand displays and put a lot of time and effort to ensure the exhibition is a success.
“This is an ideal opportunity to pick the brains of seasoned retailers, while discussing new products with professionals from the industry.
“Good luck to the SPATEX organisers and all exhibitors.”
SPATEX 2014 organisers have also announced that they have secured the return of the world’s leading Cryptosporidium expert, Consultant Clinical Scientist Rachel Chalmers BSc, PhD, to give the latest information on counteracting the infection in swimming pools. The 30-minute presentation will take place on Tuesday, February 4, from 9:30am.
“Giving a talk at SPATEX 2013 proved extremely worthwhile,” said Rachel; “Having the opportunity to discuss important issues, is vital to the health of the industry as well as pool and spa users.”
In addition, the Institute of Swimming Pool Engineers (IPSE) will once again be holding its regular programme of technical workshops, focusing on a wide range of current and highly relevant subjects, with an emphasis on saving money, energy and water.
The tradition of workshops and demonstrations is being continued during the 2014 exhibition throughout the three days and many have been targeted at the hot tub and wet leisure retailers.
On Sunday February 2, Howard Gosling FISPE will get the presentations underway at 9:45am with a ‘Back to Basics – Chemicals’ presentation that is due to last for 45 minutes. There is also, at 3:15pm, a presentation on ‘Electrical Considerations for Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs and Saunas’ by Mark Coles on the second day of the exhibition. At the end of the third, and final day of the exhibition there will be ‘An HSE View on Spa Pools and Hot Tubs’ presentation by Dr Paul McDermott, commencing at 4:15pm and lasting 30 minutes.
Workshops that have been lined up for the new venue, with most times varying between 20 and 45 minutes, include a number of new sessions (indicated with ‘N’ in brackets). Presentations that may be of interest to the hot tub and swim spa trade visitors include:
9:45am ‘Back to Basics – Chemicals’ (N), Howard Gosling FISPE. Please note, this presentation is due to last for 45 minutes.
10:45am Ozone and UV (N), Keith Glass.
1pm Waterborne Problems Causing Ill Health (N), Allen Wilson FISPE. Please note this is a 45 minute session.
3pm Domestic Filtration (N), Chris Carr FISPE.
11:15am Pool & Spa Control Technology, Andy James.
12:15pm Managing Cryptosporium (N), Robbie Phillips.
1pm Why Do We Need Training? (N) Mike Shuff. Why Do We Need Training? (N) Mike Shuff.
3:15pm Electrical Considerations for Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs and Saunas (N), Mark Coles.
9:30am Cryptosporidium and Swimming Pools, Rachel Chalmers BSc, PhD.
10:30am Training is More than Training (N), Mike Shuff MISPE. Please note this is a 45 minute session.
11:30am Risk Assessment in Pools, Spas and Plant Rooms (N), Allen Wilson FISPE. Please note this is a 45 minute session.
3pm How to Choose Your Water Treatment (N), followed by Water Safety Plans (N), Dr John V Lee BSc PhD FWMSoc FRSPH and Dr Susanne Lee PhD BSc FRSPH FIFST MSB CBiol FWMSoc MRCSHC. Please note this is a 60 minute session.
4:15pm An HSE View on Spa Pools and Hot Tubs (N), Dr Paul McDermott.
Regular visitors to SPATEX who will have travelled to Brighton almost on autopilot, will now have new routes to take for the 2014 exhibition.
As yet the railway station at the Ricoh Arena has not been completed, but the nearest main Coventry railway station is only six miles away. Regular services operate directly from London Euston (one hour), Birmingham New Street (30 minutes) and Manchester Piccadilly (two hours). It is only a ten to 15 minute taxi ride, costing around £8.50, to the Ricoh Arena and there is a convenient drop off point outside the main Atrium entrance.
To help international travellers get to the venue from Birmingham Airport there will be a free collection service organised by the SPATEX team.
Directions from the North
Motorists travelling from the north should take the M1 southbound, leave the M1 at Junction 21, then at the roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the M69 (signposted Coventry, Birmingham). Leave the M69 branching left (signposted Birmingham M6, Coventry North and Central A4600). Keep in the right-hand lane, then continue forward (signposted Birmingham) joining the M6 at Junction 2. Leave the M6 at Junction 3, then take the 2nd exit onto Phoenix Way – the A444 (signposted Coventry). At the roundabout take the1st exit onto Rowleys Green Lane. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Judds Lane for the Ricoh Arena.
Directions from the North West
Take the M6 southbound. Leave the M6 at Junction 3, then take the 2nd exit onto Phoenix Way – the A444 (signposted Coventry). At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto Rowleys Green Lane. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Judds Lane for the Ricoh Arena.
Directions from the South
Take the M40 northbound. Leave the M40 at Junction 15, then at the roundabout take the 4th exit onto Warwick Bypass – the A46 (signposted Coventry). Continue forward to join the A444, take the left hand lane (signposted City Centre) onto London Road – A4114. Continue forward on London Road until you reach the Ring Road. Stay in the right-hand lane and take the 2nd exit onto the Ring Road. Leave the Ring Road at Junction 3 and at the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Sky Blue Way. Proceed forward over the traffic lights. At the next roundabout, take the 1st exit onto the A444 (signposted Nuneaton). Continue forward on the A444, straight on at the roundabout until you see the Ricoh Arena. At the last roundabout adjacent to the Ricoh Arena on your right-hand side, take the 3rd exit onto Rowleys Green Lane. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Judds Lane for the Ricoh Arena.
Directions from South East
Take the M1 northbound. Taking the left hand lane, join the M6 motorway (signposted M6 The North West, Coventry North, Birmingham). Leave the M6 at Junction 3, then take the 2nd exit onto Phoenix Way – the A444 (signposted Coventry). At the roundabout take the1st exit onto Rowleys Green Lane. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Judds Lane for the Ricoh Arena.
Directions from the East
Take the A14 westbound. Continue forward, then join the M6 motorway (signposted M6 The North West, Coventry North, Birmingham). Leave the M6 at Junction 3, then take the 2nd exit onto Phoenix Way – the A444 (signposted Coventry). At the roundabout take the1st exit onto Rowleys Green Lane. At the roundabout take the 2nd exit onto Judds Lane for the Ricoh Arena.
SPATEX opening times for the new host venue during the first two days of the exhibition, on Sunday and Monday, will be 9:30am and the scheduled finish is 5pm. There is a shorter day on the third and final day on Tuesday, which will run from 9:30am to 4pm.
Trade and Non-trade Registration is now open. Log onto the website www.spatex.co.uk for details.