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It’s SPATEX, But Not As We Know It

With the industry’s annual show unable to return to Coventry due to COVID-19 restrictions, its organisers are putting on a unique online event at the beginning of February. SPATEX Virtual will provide a safe networking opportunity for the pool and spa trade and will host the industry’s annual awards too. In this earlier than usual feature, we cover the news from both the organisers and exhibitors, highlight some of the products on display plus take a look at the educational options By Jon Wadeson


PATEX – the wet leisure industry’s annual event – returns in early February, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year it will be held as a unique and online only offering. Throughout most of 2020, there was still optimism that a physical show could take place, however as summer came and went, there was still no certainty of the exhibition industry opening up in the months ahead. So, as was the case with numerous exhibitions and trade shows across all sectors, SPATEX’s organising team were faced with the challenge of what to do regarding arrangements for 2021 – cancel completely, postpone or run with a completely new type of event – and after reviewing a number of options and considering the needs of the industry as a whole, the latter was chosen and SPATEX Virtual was born. Commenting on arrangements, Organiser Michele Bridle said: “We hope SPATEX Virtual will rally the spirits and be a focus for bringing the industry together until we can all meet safely again. “SPATEX has, for the last 25 years, acted as a magnet for uniting us each year, so it was imperative to find a virtual platform to replicate, as far as possible, the ‘live’ SPATEX will continue to host its popular seminar and workshop programmes, but naturally in a different format

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Awards Lounge – SPATEX Virtual will be hosting the British Pool & Hot Tub Awards at 17:00 on Tuesday 2 February

experience and in vFairs, the leading international virtual expo provider, we found the very best. With their expertise, we have created something unique. “Interaction is the cornerstone of this platform, which ingeniously offers all visitors the opportunity to chat live with online exhibitors, direct message and hold video meetings. No travel, no waiting in queues, or running out of time to get around the exhibition hall, as can sometimes be the case

with a live show. With SPATEX Virtual you can make immediate contact, do business there and then, or arrange a future meeting. “All the traditional ingredients are in place for the SPATEX that you have come to know and love. Albeit in 2021, it is experienced through your desktop, laptop, or tablet. Live online for three days from Tuesday 2 to Thursday 4 February, visitors have the luxury of time on their side along with the option to dip in and out of the virtual exhibition halls as and when needed. A digital ‘show bag’ facility means that picking up information and literature has never been easier and there are even rewards on offer for those that explore the event fully via a points-based leaderboard system. With a full seminar programme still on offer this year, which will consist of both live and prerecorded content, there’s no excuse to miss out on this vital aspect of SPATEX either. “No SPATEX would be complete without our loyal partner, ISPE, who have once again coordinated the most comprehensive, free educational workshop programme in the industry,” advised Michele. The platform’s flexibility has also meant that SPATEX are thrilled to be hosting a virtual edition of the British Pool & Hot Tub Awards, scheduled for 5pm on the first day

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Profile for Aqua Publishing Ltd

SPN (Swimming Pool News) December 2020  

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) December 2020  

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...