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OPINION

Is This Going To Be One Of The Best Seasons Ever For Our Industry? All We Need Is A Little Ray Of Sunshine “All in all, I would say that our industry is in pretty good shape at the moment. In fact, 60% of us are looking forward to a great 2016. What are some of the reasons for that and do you agree?” asks Golden Coast’s Jamie Adams

S

o how do you judge the health of an industry? How do you tell if it’s poised to make the most of the year ahead? An industry show should be a good indicator and this year’s SPATEX was a real success. There were lots of great exhibitors and ‘best ever’ visitor numbers. It was particularly good to see commercial visitors from other leisure and tourism sectors. An industry show should be there to keep members of that industry informed and up-to-speed with innovations, trends and all the latest developments. It should also sell that industry to other areas of the business world and it seems that SPATEX 2016 succeeded in doing that. The Ricoh Arena might be a bit more mainstream and accessible. It might have been the fact that SPATEX marketed the show as ‘The Pool, Spa and Wellness Show’ but, according to many of the people I talked to there, the show drew an unusually high number of visitors from the health and tourism industries.

MAKING FITNESS FUN IS THE SECRET The health sector is a booming part of UK business and it’s good to see our industry is becoming clearly associated with that. Messages that urge people to live a healthier lifestyle and look after their wellbeing fill the media in all of its forms and people are making more and more decisions that are influenced by them. Everyone knows that pools, spas and saunas have benefits for health; they also know that they provide fun and relaxation, and that is a very powerful combination. They are looking for holiday parks and

If you haven’t read the survey results yet, you can download them from www.goldenc.co

EVERYONE WORKS IN MARKETING

hotels that have pools, holiday cottages that boast a spa and health clubs that offer a sauna. And they want those same benefits when they are at home. That all makes for a healthy business.

WHEN YOU ARE HEALTHIER, YOU FEEL MORE CONFIDENT How else might you judge the health of an industry? Well, one way would be to ask the people who work in it what they think and how they feel. And the Wet Leisure Survey does just that. The results of the survey are made freely available to everybody at SPATEX and this year they made for some rather positive reading. Sixty per cent of us are expecting to find business conditions ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ this coming year. I think that confidence is really important. In the same way that you are more likely to do business with an individual who is confident, an industry that feels it is on the up is more likely to attract attention and make sales. The survey provides some reasons for that positive outlook as well as charting some of the trends and growth areas in our industry.

I think that confidence is really important. In the same way that you are more likely to do business with an individual who is confident, an industry that feels it is on the up is more likely to attract attention and make sales” 88 April 2016 SPN 88_SPN_Apr_16_Opinion.indd 88

I’ve always been a great believer in marketing. It doesn’t matter how great your business is if no one knows about it. If 2016 does turn out to be a bumper year that success is going to be measured in terms of sales and marketing is the first step towards making a sale. According to the survey, more and more wet leisure businesses are turning to social media to connect with their potential customers. As one survey respondent puts it, ‘Social media is widespread and definitely a positive way to get the company out there, but it’s constantly evolving and needs to be managed correctly’. At one end of the spectrum, social media, particularly Facebook, can be a digital form of word-of-mouth. It can keep your customers in touch with what is going on in your business and let them know about new products or new offers. Posting updates and replying to comments is something that anyone can do. At the other end of the scale, Facebook can be used to target advertising specifically at people who live within a certain distance from your showroom and have an interest in swimming, health or even spas. For me, what form of marketing you choose is less important than the fact that we are increasingly recognising its importance and doing something to spread the word about our industry to a wider audience. So I think our future looks bright. All we need now is that little ray of sunshine. So fingers crossed for a good, hot summer. Jamie Adams is Managing Director of Golden Coast, the current Chairman of Pool Industry Promotions (PIP) and a board member of the British Swimming Pool Federation (BSPF).

www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk 21/03/2016 16:57

SPN (Swimming Pool News) April 2016  

Informing the pool and spa industry since 1959. Covering the UK's wet leisure market, SPN (Swimming Pool News) is the UK's longest running a...

SPN (Swimming Pool News) April 2016  

Informing the pool and spa industry since 1959. Covering the UK's wet leisure market, SPN (Swimming Pool News) is the UK's longest running a...