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Click on the cover to view as a virtual edition:
JUNE 2024
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Fairlocks Pool Products
Industry survey results show an uncertain future location for SPATEX
The UK pool and spa industry is still split down the middle when it comes to any decision to move away from its traditional base in Brighton.

An all-day SPATEX focus group meeting in Telford heard that the results from an industry survey carried out amongst exhibitors, exhibition visitors and specialist companies did not result in any clear preferences on the future location of the three day exhibition.

The purpose of the day was to gather intelligence and a number of clear messages came from the sessions.

BSPF Managing Director Chris Hayes told the focus meeting: "The results of the survey produced no overall choice of preferred venue. There was a slight majority of visitors and a larger number of exhibitors who did not consider Brighton to be the preferred location."

Other results from the survey included:
• Birmingham was the venue that came out as the preferred alternative to Brighton, but it was not a clear cut favourite of the survey
• There is a growing consensus for an annual trade show in February for three possibly four days straddling at least one weekend day and at least one week day
• A consumer audience is not a key target at SPATEX

SPATEX next February is booked for Brighton’s Metropole Hotel but after that organisers have made it clear they want to consider a whole range of options with the location of the show being the key decision. They have said they also want to look at the timing, duration of the show and whether it should be open to both trade and consumers.

Telford was chosen as the venue for the meeting to give those attending the focus group the opportunity to look around the International Centre in Telford (right), a three hall exhibition venue providing 10,500 sq metres of space. The venue is one of a short list of 13 possible sites in the North, Midlands and London for SPATEX should it move from Brighton.

Chris Hayes led an open discussion on the options available for SPATEX beyond 2012 which included views that:
• In terms of location, there is a difference of opinion over whether Brighton should continue to be the place to hold SPATEX and there is some evidence of support for it to be moved to the Midlands, or possibly London
• There is also some support for the idea of alternating between a venue in "the South" and a venue in the "Midlands"
• From the sample surveyed, there is little support for co locating SPATEX with either a consumer or a trade show
• Social events and access to social facilities are seen as important for the event

Chris Hayes told the forum that the next stage was to continue gathering feedback.

The SPATEX board which runs the show as a separate limited company would meet to discuss and confirm future plans.

The SPATEX Board will be discussing the intelligence gained so far and will then be putting out some proposals for consideration by the industry in time to be discussed at the time of the 2012 show and beyond.

SPATEX will also use the time to put some costs together for the show to be held at some of the venues in London and the Midlands to identify what effect there is on the price for exhibitors and visitors and also for SPATEX itself.

"Any proposal for major change will be sent out to the industry for consultation," he added.

For more information visit www.spatex.co.uk

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