Soon it will be time to pack your bags and head for the trade shows and conferences. To make your planning a little easier, here’s a roundup of events near and far.

Sept. 17-19, 2016
Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, UAE
The exhibit space for this event, which is part of Hotel Show Dubai, has been expanded for 2016 due to the region's booming leisure industry. This show caters to four sectors: pools and spas; sports and fitness; recreational fun and adventure; and outdoor design, furniture and equipment. Attendees from waterparks, leisure resorts, theme/adventure parks and health clubs from around the world are expected to attend,

Oct. 5-8, 2016
America’s Center Convention Complex, St. Louis
More than 7,000 are expected to attend this park and rec show/conference, featuring nearly 400 exhibitors and many education sessions. The opening reception will be at the St. Louis Zoo on Oct. 5. The keynote address the next day will feature Scott Sampson, dinosaur paleontologist, museum executive and host of the Emmy-nominated PBS Kids TV series “Dinosaur Train.”

Oct. 11-14, 2016
Morial Convention Center, New Orleans
Besides the booths filling the exhibit hall, the World Waterpark Association event has a strong conference element. The education program includes certification courses; Breakout Sessions (core seminars, professional development seminars and advanced seminars); and the WWA University. There’s also a keynote speaker; golf tournament; the reunion party at the adjacent Hilton Hotel on Oct. 12; and Pat O’s on the River Party Oct. 13.

Oct. 19-21, 2016
Sheraton Music City Hotel, Nashville, Tenn.
Besides workshops, seminars and certification courses, there’s the new Aquatic Therapy Day on Oct. 19, 8 am-5 p.m., which will emphasize the top five populations that can benefit from aquatic therapy. WAHC’s keynote speakers are Wallace Nichols, Ph.D., author of Blue Mind (2015), on Oct. 20, and professional waterman Bruckner Chase on Oct. 21.

Nov. 15-18, 2016
Eurexpo, Lyon, France
Occurring every other year, this French show attracted nearly 17,000 visitors in 2014. With a focus on public and private pool and spa construction, maintenance and renovation, the event includes seminars and an exhibit hall filled with the products of 559 exhibitors. Piscine Global will feature two awards ceremonies: Innovation Trophies Awards Ceremony on Nov. 15, and Pool Vision on Nov. 17. The latter recognizes beautiful pool projects from around the world.

Feb. 6-9, 2017
TradeWinds Island Resort
St. Pete Beach, Fla.
The 6th Annual Association of Aquatic Professionals event includes an exhibit hall and full slate of educational sessions. The opening session features keynoter Mike Kinziger, former teacher and now a wilderness travel expert; the closing session is led by motivational speaker James Anderson. Activities include the poker run/pub crawl on Feb. 6; the Aquatics International Awards Breakfast Feb. 7; golf tournament Feb. 7; and yacht cruise with dinner/social on Feb. 8.

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PSP Expo heads for New Orleans

International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo (photo courtesy Informa Exhibitions U.S.
International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo (photo courtesy Informa Exhibitions U.S.

Another trade show heading for New Orleans’ Morial Convention Center in 2016 is the International Pool | Spa | Patio Expo ( Each year, it attracts aquatics professionals; pool and spa builders, service technicians and retailers; and outdoor living professionals. The center’s 142,500-square-foot exhibit space is expected to draw 525 exhibiting companies and over 11,500 registrants.

The Expo runs Nov. 2-4, and the Conference is Oct. 30 to Nov. 4.

The conference will feature a grand total of 67 classes for more than 260 hours. Educational tracks will focus on business topics; pool/spa service, building and retail; and outdoor living. Certification courses include NSPF’s Pool/Spa Operator Course (CPO) and APSP’s Certified Maintenance Specialist Course (CMS).

Of particular interest to aquatics pros is the Commercial Pavilion, featuring products for commercial pool and spa installations. The adjacent Commercial Education Area will hold sessions Nov. 2-4 covering the MAHC, water chemistry and codes for commercial pools, VGB Pool & Spa Safety Act, and Commercial Talk.

Activities include the Welcome Party at Generations Hall on Nov. 2, the BBQ Bash on Nov. 3 and the Pool Prize Party on Nov. 4. The Booth Scavenger Hunt involves taking a map around the show floor and collecting jewel stamps from participating exhibitors – for the chance to win $2,000 cash.