Science Inspires Attendees at World Aquatic Health Conference
Event highlighted new research, including making pools and spas safer, and impact of DBPs
The 10th annual World Aquatic Health Conference (WAHC) and Aquatic Physical Therapy Summit was held in Indianapolis, Oct. 16 to 18, 2013. Nearly 400 attendees from 39 states and eight countries (the U.S., Australia, Canada, Mexico, Finland, Poland, Puerto Rico and Ukraine) attended this global aquatic research forum. The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) conducted a post-conference survey with all WAHC attendees. “It is powerful when those who responded said they will discuss the most valuable seminars they attended with others after they get home,” said Michelle Kavanaugh, conference manager for NSPF. “It’s clear: The WAHC is inspiring a positive impact when attendees affirm that the seminars influenced their thinking and decisions. About 95% said they left the conference with new leads or partnering opportunities."
There was a broad diversity of representatives from the aquatic community; 57% have returned year after year and 49% were new attendees. Tailored for people involved in all areas of aquatics, attendees were affiliated with aquatic facilities, service providers, consultants, parks and recreation, water parks, manufacturers, academia, associations, builders, community organizations, distributors, hotels, government, health/medical, retail and media.
Global water recreation and therapy experts listened to two keynotes and selected from more than 50 seminars on topics ranging from recreational water illness prevention, disinfection byproducts, facility management, drowning prevention, health benefits, and natural and new industrial technology. A scientific poster session, a tour of three aquatic facilities with the designers and facility staff, lunch roundtables, an aquatic art show, and tabletop displays presented by nonprofit organizations and conference sponsors filled out the event. Several organizations held board, leadership and committee meetings adjacent to the conference so their leaders could more easily attend, including NSF Intl., the American Chemistry Council and the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals. Just prior to the WAHC, NSPF hosted an NSPF Instructor School and a Certified Pool/Spa Operator certification course; and Genesis 3 presented a four-hour Natural Pools event. USA Swimming held a Build a Pool Conference immediately following the WAHC.
Fourteen organizations provided sponsorships to help underwrite the costs of offering post-conference video seminars. For the first time ever, these seminars are available for free.