Your Guide to Western Pool and Spa Show 2019
What should you look forward to before going to WPSS? Experts weigh in and share their top course selections and other exciting conference notes.
Western Pool and Spa Show 2019: Jobber's Guide
If you’re a pool service provider, technician, or vendor, then you won’t want to miss out on Western Pool and Spa Show (WPSS) happening March 21-23 in Long Beach, California. This conference will be jam-packed with seminars, certification courses, talks, and vendors. It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up on industry trends and network with like minded professionals.
Plus, you’ll get a chance to meet the men behind the Pool Chasers Podcast, Greg Villafana and Tyler Rasmussen, and chat with Jobber staff at booth 535. This is your chance to ask all of your burning business-building questions, and get the answers you need to be successful.
What should you look out for at the conference and how can you be successful while you’re there? That’s what we’re talking about in this guide.
Here’s what you’ll get out of this pre-show guide:
- What you need to check out at the Conference
- Some conference best practices and tips so you can make the most of your time
- What to check out in Long Beach
Why You Should Go to Western Pool and Spa Show
We are excited for this show for so many reasons. This is Jobber’s first time attending Western Pool and Spa Show, which will make for a fantastic learning experience. It’s also going to be an amazing opportunity to meet local pool and spa service experts and learn about the industry first hand from pool service providers!
But there are plenty of other draws. Here are three things you have to check out!
1. Check Out the Classes, Educational Opportunities, and Get Certified
With the Western Pool and Spa Show, you’re getting one of the best pool care and construction education packages available. You can access the full seminar list here and we’ve also talked to industry experts about why they are so excited for the education at this year’s show.
Megan Kendrick, Editor-in-Chief of Pool Pro Magazine had a lot to say about WPSS. She’s seen it all, but still can’t wait to be at this particular conference.
“I’ve always wanted to sit in on a Bob Lowry class, so Water Chemistry For the Pool Service Professional is one that I’d check out.”
The classes at this show are a great learning experience for those who have yet to learn on the job, or learn better in a classroom environment. “There are quite a few water care classes. So, if there’s an area someone feels weak in, or has that one problem pool they can’t figure out, I’d look through that class list closely.”
Megan suggests a few classes that offer some practical advice and help you look at your operations more closely. She recommends the following:
- Hazardous Material Transport & Your Route Truck
- Preventing Chemical Accidents
- How to Sell the Importance of Proper Water Chemistry to your Customer
The Pool Chasers are excited to talk at the conference, but they are also looking forward to taking some classes as well.
“We always look forward to the new classes that are being offered. The two being offered by Steve Berens (The ABCs of GenX, Y+2. How to Build Pools They Care About, and Future-Proof Your Business: Know Your Customers & Make More Sales) look very interesting this year.”
In addition to the seminars, you can get fantastic learning experiences while visiting booths and attending breakout sessions. Kim Olsen, Account Executive at Broadly says, “my advice for the show is to visit all the booths and go to as many breakouts as possible, especially the one I am giving on Saturday about how to be a 5 star business online.” You can apply so much information learned at WPSS to your trade, skill, and business.
2. Visit the Jobber Booth
Of course, the Jobber team will be there and we hope to see you there—stop by booth 535 to say hi. We can’t wait to meet all the pool service pros, talk shop, and learn about your business. It’s the perfect time to:
- Ask questions about the product
- Get to know how Jobber works for the pool service workflow
- Get a one-on-one product demo
- Meet our friendly staff in person
- Get the details about the our pool service professionals meet-up in the area!
- Get some awesome swag!
3. Meet the Pool Chasers
The Pool Chasers will be doing two Q&As at the Jobber booth (booth 535) on pressing topics in the pool services industry:
Friday, March 22 | 4:00pm
Company Culture: Appealing to a New Generation
Saturday, March 23 | 4:00pm
Professionalism: What We Learned While Running a Service Company
Learn more about what you can do internally to improve your business practices for growth.
Why is this important? Megan Kendrick explains that “one of the big issues for the pool service and maintenance industry is making it look like an attractive industry to join. Our industry is really struggling to find workers.”
Pool Chasers will show you how to figure out how to improve your employee retention by making small company culture and organization practice changes.
Conference Best Practices
Conferences can be overwhelming and hectic. There are a few small measures to take so that you’re prepared and ready to squeeze every bit of value out of your experience at WPSS.
1. Wear good walking shoes.
Conference days are long and full of walking. Wear comfortable shoes so you can visit all the exhibitors, do your networking, and experience the entire conference without back and leg pain!
2. Bring a portable charger for your mobile device.
Your mobile phone is going to be your best friend at any conference. It’s perfect for taking notes, recording conversations, taking photos, posting to social media, and networking. You’ll use a lot of battery power while you’re on the floor, so that extra charge will come in handy.
3. Be prepared.
Look at the conference schedule and the vendor list before you start. Make a schedule and make notes on which seminars, talks, and vendors you want to see.
Megan Kendrick even recommends signing up for seminars beforehand to make sure you don’t miss anything. This will help you make sure you don’t miss anything crucial. Things come up at conferences (like amazing conversations) that can side track you. If you have an itinerary then you’ll be able to do it all.
Pool Chasers also suggest to “choose classes that apply to what you do in the industry. There are so many classes being offered, so go in there with a plan and use your classroom time wisely.”
4. Prepare your employees/team.
Get the biggest bang for your buck. If you’re bringing a team with you, then make sure you spread everyone out and attend different classes and talks. “Put them in charge of relaying what they learned to the rest of the team and get them to talk to and set up appointments with people and booths if you can,” Megan explains. “That way, you can be in multiple places at one time.”
5. Go in with the intention to learn.
A lot of information passes through conferences. You can’t possibly absorb it all. The best way to deal with this is by doing whatever you can to record your experience. Take notes, make voice recordings, record videos–document your learnings and encounters during talks, classes, and interactions with service providers and vendors.
Megan suggests taking note of interesting vendors, even if you don’t have time to speak to them at the conference. She says, “I always try to leave with at least one new product or company to learn more about when I get home.”
6. Do your networking.
Conferences are a perfect opportunity to meet people who are on your wavelength. This conference in particular will be filled to the brim with pool service and construction providers just like you in the local area and across the country.
Kim can’t stress how important networking is at conferences. “I have attended WPSS the last three years and it is a great show! My favorite part is the Thursday night mixer. It promotes great networking and a chance to really make some great introductions to the people you will see the next two days at the show.”
Pool Chasers stand by networking too: “at the end of the day, this conference isn’t just about learning–it’s also about forming connections and making new friends in the industry.”
“There is no better place to get around like minded individuals. It’s one of the best ways to make industry friendships that can benefit both parties. We have built so many great relationships with the people we have interacted with at the Western Pool and Spa Show. We feel as if is our hometown show.”
Visiting Long Beach
Conferences can’t be all work and no play. Long Beach is an amazing place to visit. Long Beach is close to Hollywood Boulevard, the Getty Museum, Disneyland, Universal Studios, the Santa Monica Pier, and the Long Beach Aquarium. There are a lot of local to-dos as well if you have some time set aside to experience the city.
WPSS makes it easy for you to do that. They are giving all attendees access to a special conference badge which gives you discounts at local restaurants and attractions. Check out this list to see where you can use your badge for a great deal.
While you’re in the area, you should check out some top local eats like Playa Amour, Robert Earl’s BBQ, Ellie’s, and Cheko el Rey de Zarandeado. Kim’s been to Long Beach three times and she recommends Saint & Second, and Nick’s on 2nd.
If exploring the city is too much after a long conference day, then keep it low key. Megan loved winding down by the water during her last trip. “After a long day I walked from my hotel over to Pier 76 Fish Grill, grabbed a beer and a lobster roll, sat there with my Kindle and relaxed. It hit the spot!”
The only eBook you'll ever need...
Customer Service Best Practices
Following up with your leads? Reminding a customer of an upcoming visit? Sending an invoice? Here's how to master good customer communication and service.Get it now!