Last week, thousands of industry professionals congregated at the 2021 International Pool Spa Patio (PSP) Expo / DeckExpo show in Dallas. Event attendance increased by 21 percent from 2019, when the event was held in New Orleans.
PSP Expo, the premier event for the pool, spa and outdoor living industry, annually draws a broad array of residential and commercial pool and spa professionals looking to exchange product knowledge, processes and best practices. This year, PSP Expo co-located for the first time with DeckExpo, the show where professionals involved in the deck, dock and railing community gather to share ideas, discover new products, and learn about the latest advances in building techniques.
In previous years, DeckExpo co-located with the Remodeling Show, so this year’s event definitely involved a sea change. It will be interesting to see if the new format gains traction.
One thing is for certain – the pandemic has accelerated the desire for bigger, better and more functional outdoor spaces. In fact, in a report from Fixr.com, 85 percent of home construction experts surveyed said they believe American homeowners are more willing to invest in outdoor living spaces than before the pandemic. Probably not a surprise given the outdoor living trend was already gaining momentum even before the disruptions of the past 20 months or so.
Always keeping our pulse on the industry… and forever curious to learn about the latest and greatest offerings, the K&A team has noted some of the most popular trends and products seen at the show.
Jumping in with both feet
When the doors to the exhibit floor opened on November 16, attendees were ready to get their first look at the newest pool, spa and deck and patio innovations. Nearly 350 exhibitors on the show floor and more than 130 educational sessions were offered to help pool, spa and deck pros take their business to the next level.
Show floor education included a full roster of Deck Workshops, a Spa Retail Academy and education centered on strategies for business growth.
Deck(ing) the hall
When it came to decks, railings were front and center. Feeney showcased its new ColorEasy™ powder coated colors for the DesignRail® aluminum railing system… including realistic wood grain finishes, all designed to complement the latest trends in exterior finishes and hardware. The architectural solutions brand also featured its DesignRail® Panel Infill, including laser-cut aluminum and stainless steel mesh options available in a range of trend-forward designs, along with its Class 4 impact rated Awning Kits.
Also on display were low maintenance decks in aluminum wood grain finishes from Levanté and composite decking from TRUNORTHDECK™ made from 95 percent recycled materials and featuring reversible boards with wood grain pattern on both sides.
On the pool side, safety was a focus. Introductions included CamerEye, a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) pool smart fence and overhead camera safety system that enables pool owners to monitor their pool 24/7 from anywhere, detect distress and near-drowning behavior… and receive an alert within a few seconds of distress being detected. Also on display was SwamCam, an AI swimming pool alarm designed to detect and alert as soon as a child enters the pool area.
Many of the spa products were focused on health and wellness. Clear Comfort’s CCW25 AOP spa water treatment touted low touch, non-corrosive water care that provides soft water with drinking-water chlorine levels and requires less than one minute of maintenance every year.
For the ultimate “cool” experience, BlueCube showed off its fully self-sustained ice baths designed for cold immersion enthusiasts and those interested in optimizing wellness. The brand’s Hydro Healer ice bath is capable of high volume cold plunges at 36 degrees Fahrenheit.
Also popular were swim spas that offer everything needed to create an underwater gym, including a swim lane, rowing kits and resistance bands and bars.
The K&A team participates at numerous trade shows each year (virtually and now again in person) to do a deep dive into industry trends. We are always inspired by the innovations that continue to propel the industry forward.
We look forward to being together with all of our industry friends and channel influencers soon at IBS/KBIS.