Piscina & Wellness Barcelona continues to grow thanks to its commitment to innovation and international business, while reflecting the upturn in a sector which has consolidated the recovery that began in 2015.
At its next edition on 17-20 October at Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via exhibition centre, the show expects to host a total of 315 direct exhibitors from 25 countries in a net exhibition space of over 14,000 sq. m, representing a 10% increase in the number of stands and a 15% increase in space compared to the previous show two years ago.
Organised by Fira de Barcelona in collaboration with the Spanish Association of Pool Sector Professionals (ASOFAP), Piscina & Wellness Barcelona will present an overview of pool products for residential and public use, as well as installations, equipment and accessories for the wellness and spa sector, a speciality that is booming.
More than ever before, the show is putting an emphasis on innovation and will present the latest products, technologies and innovative and eco-efficient solutions that improve the sustainability, control, automation, maintenance and user experience of swimming pools, an area in which health and wellness are increasingly important.
Eloi Planes, the president of the show's organising committee and CEO of Fluidra, defines this edition as ’key’ to consolidating the upward growth trend that started in 2015. "We are committed to promoting innovation and access to emerging markets, but also to the business side. We’re working to make the show a great network for contacts and a driving force for opportunities and knowledge so that firms and visitors alike can get the most out of their participation in Piscina & Wellness Barcelona."
The main market leaders such as Fluidra, BSPool, Espa, Diasa Industrial, Hayward, Kripsol, Grupo QP, Renolit, Zodiac, SCP, Blautec, Construcciones Condal, Dantherm, Inbeca and Rosa Gres have already confirmed their participation in the show, which will occupy two entire halls of the Gran Via venue. At the same time, the show is growing internationally, one of its major hallmarks, with 61% of exhibitors coming from abroad.
After Spain, the country with the most firms at the show is China, followed by France, the USA, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Due to the number of swimming pools in the country (the second largest stock in Europe and fourth in the world), the Spanish market offers interesting business opportunities for renovating, maintaining and equipping residential aquatic facilities.
Another big attraction is the growth in demand for products and services for public swimming pools and recreational water parks, as well as for the wellness and spa sector that is helping to drive the country's tourist industry.
All this means that international firms see the Barcelona show as a direct route for making contacts with the main agents in the Spanish demand sector.
At the same time, Piscina & Wellness Barcelona is taking advantage of its strong international character to attract industry professionals from all over the world. This international pulling power (40% of its 12,000+ visitors are foreign) is particularly helpful to promote Spanish exports from the sector to Europe, Latin America and the Mediterranean region, the show's main areas of influence. Plans are in place for meetings between exhibitors and foreign visitors through more than 130 scheduled business appointments with hosted buyers – invited specifically by the show – from up to 26 countries. Some 300 buyers are expected to attend with specific projects for the Spanish market, mainly linked to the hotel and tourism industry.
As a new feature, Piscina & Wellness Barcelona will hold the first meeting between companies and industry professionals from Latin America and Europe to share knowledge and experiences and make business contacts. Invitations are being sent to architects, designers, developers, tourist industry investors and hotel operators, primarily from Mexico – the guest country at this edition – as well as other Caribbean nations, which form one of the world's main areas for luxury hotel investment and one of the fastest growing in the wellness industry.
Innovation and shared knowledge
Piscina & Wellness Barcelona also represents an important barometer for identifying opportunities and trends, as well as for sharing experiences and information and gaining an appreciation of the innovation driving the sector. That is why this year the demonstration areas are being expanded to showcase the actual use of the products and services being exhibited by participating firms. As explained by the show's director, Ángel Celorrio, "we are strengthening the areas that provide added value, extending product promotion beyond the stands and paying particular attention to facilitating professional networking."
A highlight in this respect is the Innovation Zone, a space where this year's latest new developments will be introduced in the form of short presentations. There will also be a display of Internet of Things solutions applied to the control and maintenance of swimming pools, and an area giving advice on internationalisation and financing for businesses.
Additionally, an international exhibition will feature innovative architectural projects related to aquatic facilities, presented by the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS Spain), as well as the prize-winning projects and installations from the Piscina & Wellness Awards 2017; from the new Wellness Spa Experience Awards, and from the first Student Architectural Competition being organised by the show.
There are also two interesting new spaces being introduced this year: the Demo Pool, a fibreglass pool for holding technical trials on products and testing out different construction systems; and Demo Surf, a pool with a continuous artificial wave for surfing that may be of interest to water parks and tourist establishments.
In addition, following its excellent response in 2015, the Wellness Spa Experience will be repeated. This comprises a wellness centre (that will be double the size of the previous event) where visitors can see the technical systems necessary for its operation, put queries to experts, and discover the latest trends in design, equipment and technology and the services and treatments available.
The show will also be the venue for the Wellness Spa Experience professional seminars in which over 30 speakers will take part. There will be conferences, round tables and talks on boosting the business and profitability of spas, wellness and thalassotherapy centres, as well as on aspects such as training and professionalization for wellness facilities, specialisation and USPs as a way of differentiating a business, and how the digital revolution will impact the wellness sector.
Piscina & Wellness Barcelona will also be hosting various conferences and seminars, notably the III Aquatic Leisure Symposium, which will address safety regulations and the efficient and sustainable management of recreational facilities in water parks, hotels and campsites, as well as the new trends in aquatic-related leisure and the importance of the customer experience.
For its part, Asofap will organise training courses for residential swimming pool installers and point-of-sale professionals. There will also be seminars and conferences on public swimming pools which, along with the wellness sector, is the sector with the biggest growth at this year’s show.