Viva Las Vegas!

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Once again, the AQUA Show hits Vegas with a splash (pun intended).

With the show just around the corner, we've compiled our handy-dandy guide to give you the lowdown about the trade show, the educational program and the popular Genesis 3 Design School, not to mention all the other new offerings afoot. The trade show, Nov. 810, includes a dizzying array of spa companies and new products from pool accessory, chemical, control and equipment, casual furniture, sauna, game and toy and backyard accessory companies. So many new pro ducts will b e on hand, in fact, that AQUA has responded to attendee requests to lengthen the trade show hours to take it all in. The show will open and close an hour later on Wednesday, running from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m., so that seminar attendees can also see the keynote presentation; day two hours will remain the same at 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.; and day three hours are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., so that at tendees and exhibitors can take in the seminars, finish up their show business, see the Retail Pavilion panel "The 'I Dos' And Don'ts Of Running A Business With Your Spouse," and still have time to catch a show that evening. Education, shopping and entertainment abound at this year 's show, so put up your feet and read on to find out how to make the most of the greatest show on Earth.

Genesis 3 If you're involved in the design/build/landscape sector of the market, you probably already know about the forward thinking Genesis 3 Design/Build Pavilion. After its successful debut in 2004, the Pavilion doubled in size last year, and provides access to even more cutting- edge companies in 2006.

The Genesis 3 Design Studio will be presenting guest speakers, demonstrations, product introductions and other events during show hours. One of the Pavilion's popular features is an outdoor installation incorporating water features and landscaping. This year's display, "Desert Dimensions," will take its cues from the natural beauty of the Nevada landscape by demonstrating the unique effects that can be achieved using such raw materials as rock, sand, wood and water. True to its natural environs, the desert garden will also incorporate water, but require little maintenance and almost no irrigation. Visit or s to the demonstration landscape will see an undulating hillside with rippling sand dunes and petrified twisted ancient trees, with cactus plants on the landscape to provide depth of perspective and drama. A dry riverbed, marked by drifts of gravel, will snake b et ween t he dunes. In t he lower reaches, water will begin to appear and trickle down between the pebbles, gradually becoming stronger as it falls over low outcrops of rock. The water course will end in a tranquil pool where small groups of aquatic plants will be visible in the shallows.

Design and creation of the "Desert Dimensions" installation will be undertaken by Anthony Archer -Wills, one of the world's foremost authorities on water gardening, Dave Duensing of David B. Duensing & Associates, Max Hammon and Dave Miller of Natures Expressions, Larry Womack of Nevada Water Gardens, Chris and Jeff Kane of Kane Brothers, Todd Simpson of Simpson Landscape Group, and Craig Tutt of Aval on Nursery.

Educational Opportunities

New this year are pre-conference workshops, allowing attendees to get a jump-start on learning. The two half-day sessions are geared for retailers and service providers. Tom Grandy will present "Pricing Service And Products For A Profit ," and invites you to bring your calculator and use your own numbers to determine what you need to charge for profitability. Alternately, Jon Schallert presents "Turn Your Store Into AC on sumer Destination," offering methods for drawing consumer s from outside of your immediate marketplace. Either session is $2 49 and includes a comprehensive manual.

George Gur-Kovic and the National Swimming Pool Foundation will present an intensive two-day CPO (Certified Pool/Spa Operator) certification course. Though the course will be offered in English only, the textbook and test will be available for the first time in Spanish as well. The $225 registration fee includes the textbook, materials and a continental breakfast both mornings.

The AQUA Conference seminars will offer three days of sessions devoted to sales, marketing, store design, finance, management, technical topics and design/build issues. The convenient format allows you to maximize your day by attending your choice of conference sessions in the morning and s hopping the trade show in the afternoon. This year's faculty includes popular favorites Greg Welsh an d Steve Abercrombie, as well as new presenters such as Peter Montoya on branding, Linda Cahan and Natalie Tan on store design and Lorna Riley on sales and service, with scores of topics to choose from.

Too Hot To Handle

Debuting this year is the brand-new AQUA Hot Sheet, which will offer attendees significant discounts, bonuses and other incentives when they place their orders at the show. All AQUA exhibitors are being encouraged to submit as many as three show specials that are just too good to pass up. Just a few examples of the kinds of offers you can expect to take advantage of are early-buy pricing on new products; bonus product when a certain quantity level is reached, and free freight on orders totaling a specified amount and shipped before a particular date.

"I think it 's a great idea," says Shawn McManus, vice president of sales and marketing at FreeFlow Portable Spas, one of the first companies to sign on for the new program. "We're always at the show to write business, and this is a great opportunity t hat dealers can really benefit from," he adds, promising exciting incentives for AQUA Show shoppers.

One dealer already poised t o take adv ant age of these great deals is Olympic Hot Tub in Seattle. "I go to the show to purchase product, identify new products that we might want to carry, and look for ways to make more pro fit ," explains Sue Roger s, general manager. "When all is said and done, we're there to make more money. If there are gr eat deals that can only be purchased at the show, of course I'm going to be there. And if the exhibitors can motivate me with better pricing or other incentives, I'm going t o buy. It adds a completely new element to the show that benefits both vendors and attendees."

If you've already registered for the show, you've probably already received Hot Sheet specials via e-mail and work ed t hem in to your purchasing plans. Either way, up-to-t he-minute Hot Sheets will be distributed at the show entrance, and you'll also find one in the AQUA Show Pocket Guide.

The AQUA Retail Pavilion

Another new development this year is t he addition of the AQUA Retail Pavilion, sponsored by GE Consumer Finance, Sundance Spas and Advantis Technologies. The pavilion, on the trade show floor and open during trade show hours, will bring dealer education right onto the show floor, offering free seminars by some of AQUA's most -popular faculty members. The Pavilion will also honor the AQUA 100 retailers and AQUA Choice Award winner s while providing inspiration to others in the industry. Use the new pavilion to relax, socialize and exchange id eas .

With all the new offerings this year and the same high standard of education and entertainment that you've come to expect from the AQUA Show, your schedule is sure to be packed from the moment you arrive. Make time to stop by the Retail Pavilion and say hello, though. We love seeing all the new faces at the show and can't wait to hear how your show is going. See you there!

I Quit, But Forgot To Tell You Wednesday, Nov. 8, 12:00-1:00 p.m.

"EMPLOYEE DISENGAGEMENT COSTS American businesses billions of dollars annually in turnover, lost productivity, and customer dissatisfaction. No one takes a job intending to fail. And no employer hires with the intent to fire. Both parties want only the best, and they both want to succeed. So what happens. "asks AQUA's 2006 keynote speaker, Terri Kabachnick, an internationally recognized retail and employee behavior expert. That's just one of the important workplace mysteries Kabachnick will unravel in her upbeat and informative Keynote Address: "I Quit , But Forgot To Tell You." Based on her popular book of the same title, Kabachnick's presentation is targeted to owners , managers and employees who are committed to developing happier, more creative and efficient work environments, where everyone can perform to t heir maximum potential — and where the goals of both individuals and the organization are met.

With more than 25 years of firsthand retail experience in executive management , Kabachnick, founder of The Kabachnick Group in Largo, Fla., is one of retailing's most sought-after productivity specialists, and one of only five people worldwide to hold certification as a speaking professional, professional behavior analyst, professional values analyst, and attribute index analyst.

Shake Your Groove Thing Wednesday, Nov. 8, 7:00-11:00 p.m.

THE WORLD-FAMOUS House of Blues in Mandalay Bay again plays host t o t his most celebratory of industry celebrations. Your show badge will get you in free (provided you're 21, of course) to see The Boogie Knights, hailed as "the greatest disco revival show in the world." This retro parody band will have you laughing and dancing at the same time as they cover the hits of such disco-era favorites as Donna Summer, K. C. and t he Sunshine Band, Blondie, The Bee Gees and many more. Enjoy terrific Cajun foo d, drinks, amphitheater-style seating, a roomy dance floor and the opportunity to socialize with industry friends. See you there!

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